The National Association of Realtors® has declared September Realtor Safety Month. A lot of real estate agents like to work closely with people they already know and trust. However, most realtors know that in order to generate new business, they will need to be in contact with several strangers on a daily basis. Fortunately, most clients are genuinely good people who want a trustworthy agent to help them buy or sell a home. Unfortunately, they cannot be sure that this will always be the case. As in everyday life, there is always going to be a small percentage of the population looking to take advantage of an unsuspecting person and potentially cause trouble. Because of this, and in light of last year’s horrific kidnapping and murder of Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter, it is important for all agents to know how to protect themselves while in the field.
If you’re in the real estate profession, we hope these tips offered by House Hunt Network will help keep you safe on the job:
1) Be careful with personal info – Never advertise your home address or personal info. You might want to consider purchasing a separate phone or Google Voice number in order to keep your work and personal calls separate.
2) Verify customer info – Before a showing, always obtain identification and addresses from your clients. When holding an Open House, require a signature and phone number from all attendees who stop by.
3) Enlist support from a coworker – Have someone from your office join you for private showings whenever possible.
4) Announce your showing schedule – If a coworker is unable to come along on your showings, at least make sure others know your scheduled locations and anticipated return time.
5) Scout out locations ahead of time – Become familiar with a neighborhood before showing a property and always be aware of your surroundings.
6) Always have your phone accessible – Keep your phone handy with an emergency contact and local police on speed dial.
7) Keep the customer in sight – Walk behind clients at a safe distance to avoid being attacked from behind.
8) Pay attention to exits – Check to see where the exits to the property are in case you need to take the nearest escape route. Keep all doors unlocked during a showing.
9) Take a self-defense class – It is important to know how to defend yourself if a dangerous situation arises. Taking a self-defense class can not only help protect you as an agent but in life as well.
10) Trust your gut – If your gut is telling you to get out of a potentially bad situation, listen to it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Do you have any other important safety tips to share? Let us know in the comments!