Real estate agent safety should be at the top of everyone’s priority list. In light of recent realtor involved tragedies across the country, more and more realtors are taking action to protect themselves. Whether you are working late at the office, driving in the car, or showing a property, all activities lend themselves to potential harm by a bad person. Real estate comes with its share of risks, from working solely on commission to watching out for one’s personal safety. The first thing that you can do when working with a client is to verify all information that they have provided. Such as where they live, work, and family life. Secondly, be careful about sharing your personal information. This means to make sure that you are personable but also act as a protector of details about yourself and family.
There are a variety of ways that you can look out for your safety while you are showing a property. First and foremost, begin with scouting the location early and preferably only showing property in daylight hours. Keep a cell phone on you at all times and also keep an eye on your client. Consider establishing a distress signal with your office or home that a stranger may not pick up on but is known to the other party that you may call or text in case of trouble. Know where the nearest neighbors are and also where all exits in the home are. Try to take a self-defense class that will give you additional tools to utilize in case a situation should arise. If something doesn’t seem right, then you should trust your gut.
Open houses bring on other safety concerns as you never know who is going to stop by an open house. A buddy system works well. If someone can’t be with you throughout the entire open house, try to have them stop by at some point within the hours of the open house. While it’s important to look professional, also keep in mind that you should dress for safety. Try to avoid uncomfortable shoes or expensive jewelry.
If you are meeting a client for the first time, elect to meet at your office or another public place instead of at a property. This way others can see the prospective client. If it is necessary to meet at a property, then take an associate or someone else along for an added safety precaution. For a safer environment take your vehicle in lieu of riding with a stranger. First impressions are everything… if you feel that anything is suspicious about the person then cease working with the prospect. A lost sale is much better than the alternative option of putting your safety and life on the line. You should also have all information of the prospective client written down, whether you utilize a form and have the client fill out, or you fill in the information that the client has given you. Obviously, the more details, the better ranging from normal contact information to references and vehicle description with license plate.
Using Your Smartphone for Added Safety
Carrying your smartphone can serve as a great defense mechanism and also an added layer of safety. A variety of mobile apps are available on the market today, some of which are specifically designed for the real estate agent. From accessing your GPS coordinates to alerting others that you are in a threatening situation. Apps such as Agents Armor, Real Alert, and Safe Fi are all customized for real estate professionals. These apps offer features such as tracking, messaging, data information on suspicious characters, and alert notifications to your specified contacts when you are in trouble.
Always question your safety and stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Part of a real estate agents job is to meet strangers, but you shouldn’t always trust them. You want to be well educated in the area of personal safety so that you can prevent an attack from happening and not become prey.