Believe it or not, real estate agents face many dangers in their profession. Private showings, listing appointments, hosting open houses, among others, are routine duties for a real estate agent and often involve one-on-one interaction with complete strangers. Crimes against realtors are referred to by a 2011 Realtor.org article as “crimes of opportunity”. They are targeted not only because of the valuable items they carry such as a cell phone, purse or wallet, but also because they drive up in a car and often show up alone.
Since you can’t assume that every client you meet with has the best intentions, real estate agents, especially women, need to be prepared to encounter the worst of the worst. Safety is key. Check out and share these safety tips for real estate agents that could help save a life:
Make sure to have all new clients or prospects complete an information form that includes the essentials like name, copy of driver’s license, vehicle information, etc. before scheduling a private showing. This way, you have all the information you need to file a complaint should that be needed.
Before you meet your client for a private showing, take a drive through the neighborhood and look out for any potential hazards and/or people lurking around. Also, be sure to inspect the home prior to showing and identify the exits.
Download a personal safety app to your smartphone that has a personal assistance button and GPS tracking. We recommend Mobile Alert™ and/or Family Guard™ by LifeFone, both of which are affordable, come with 24/7 professional monitoring, personalized user profiling and GPS tracking. Oh, and always keep your cell phone in your hand during a showing.
In the event that something bad does happen, you want to be prepared for the worst. Beef up your own protection with self defense classes and keep pepper spray on hand – best on a key chain.
BE AN UNATTRACTIVE TARGET
Leave your purse, jewelry – everything – but your cell phone and your car keys – in the trunk of your car. Place it in the trunk before you arrive to a showing or open house. Also, feel free to bring a friend, your dog, grandmother, and/or neighbor – with you. Criminals are less likely to attack if there are witnesses – or your dog is snarling.
Although these safety tips may seem a bit extreme, it is far better to be safe than sorry.