18 May 7 Safety Tips For Real Estate Agents
In recent years, there have been more safety issues facing real estate agents than ever before. It’s important to remember that while criminal acts against agents are not a frequent occurrence, there is no warning when they do happen. Taking proactive defense measures is a realistic approach to prevent the increase of crimes against agents. Use the following tips as a guide to establishing personal safety goals.
. Download the “Prospect Identification Form” provided at Realtor.org/safety, and have every potential client complete it at the office before you show him or her any properties. Make a photocopy of the person’s license, which can be shredded and disposed of when your work with the client is completed.
. Avoid showing properties at night. If there is no way to avoid it, take another person with you. Turn on all the lights and be sure all shades are up and curtains are open. Prearrange to call someone when you arrive and leave. Ask him or her to text you every 15 minutes while you are with the client, and take that opportunity as a way out if you are feeling uncomfortable with the client.
. Make a bulletin board schedule to help agents monitor each other’s location whenever he or she is showing a property. The schedule should show the names of both the agent and client, date, property address, arrival time, expected departure time, and both agent’s and client’s phone numbers.
. Always drive your own car to a property showing, and lock it when you leave it. Never get into the client’s car for any reason. Be sure to do a quick check for any suspicious activity as soon as you arrive. Be sure the area is well lit, and park your car where it cannot be blocked in.
. Be sure you cell phone coverage includes all areas where you may be showing property. If an area is rural or mountainous and cell phone connections are questionable, take another person with you. It is always better to err on the side of safety.
. Select a file name that is never used, such as the “amenities folder” and make it a distress code for all the agents in the office. If at any point you feel in danger or threatened, call the office and state you are with “client name” at “address” and would like to have the “amenities folder ” emailed to you. This is your secret request to have the police dispatched to do a safety check on you.
. Have an agents’ meeting and discuss the safety tips in this list and add your own ideas. Print out your expanded list, give copies to everyone in the office, discuss it, and then practice your safety tips.
The chances of encountering a dangerous person when showing a property are low, but it can and does happen. Being cautious 100 percent of the time will minimize the risk it will ever happen to you.