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10 Important Tips For Realtors To Keep Safe

September 26, 2011

We all have at least one friend a/o relative who is a realtor, don’t we? Even if you are not in the real estate business yourself, please read and share the following safety tips for realtors.

A real estate agent makes a living meeting a complete stranger in an empty home.  Rather than focusing on making that sale, every agent should take the following steps to ensure their safety:

1.Introduce the potential buyer to someone in your office.

Criminals don’t want witnesses.  Meeting with the client at the office first allows a co-worker to give a description to the police if a crime does occur.  Collect personal information, like the driver’s license and license plate.  An individual will be less likely to try anything if they know their personal information is on file in your office.

2.Use your own car to get to a showing.

Just like you don’t hitch hike to catch a ride to your destination, you don’t want to ride in your client’s car for a viewing.  You have no control over an abusive situation when you are a passenger in a car. Use your own vehicle for showings or have the customer follow you in their car. Your car might be the only means of escape.  Keep your car locked while driving to the property and after you park it.  Do not park your vehicle where it can be blocked.

3.Keep your cell phone with you at all times.

Criminals target real estate agents because they know that the nature of this industry requires agents to sometimes be alone when showing a property or hosting an open house, often without an active phone.  Treat your cell phone as your life line to the outside world.  Make sure it is charged.  Don’t leave it in the car where it will do you no good. Have 911 and your office number programmed for speed-dial.

4.Take along a friend.

If possible, have someone from your office, a relative or a friend accompany you when meeting with a potential buyer or hosting an open house.  This will reduce your chance tremendously of someone trying to rob or worse, assault you.

5.Be aware of your surroundings.

Make it a habit of being aware.  Take notice of your surroundings and other people around you.  Be aware of small details.  Don’t just follow a daily routine, change it up to be more aware. 
6.Trust your instinct.
You must trust your gut instinct.  If you have a bad feeling about a person or situation, instead of being politically correct, you need to listen to your body.  Don’t be afraid to call 911.  Police officers will tell you they rather come to a false call than a crime scene.
7.Get to know the house you are showing.
Everyone is vulnerable, especially in a vacant home.  Be prepared for a worse case scenario.  Pay attention to the floor plan.  Check all rooms and determine escape routes.  Make sure all doors are unlocked.  Be cautious when showing property.  Because of the very nature of showing property, you are in a somewhat secluded place (an empty house) and are alone with individuals you don’t know well.  Be aware of potential dangers you may encounter.
8.Have a secret phrase.
Establish a method of being able to relate an emergency situation to the office or a contact person.  Have a secret phrase or code word to notify the office when you are in a potentially dangerous situation. 
9.Do not hold an open house alone.
Working with a partner allows you the luxury of having someone available to call or go for assistance if needed, and someone to help monitor how many people are in the house.  If you must do an open house alone, stay near the door and let the prospect look through the house alone.  Always keep a guest registration sheet at an open house.
10.Be extremely careful with Social Media.
Social media is increasingly becoming a tool used by criminals to track their prey as agents leave a Web trail on places like Facebook and Twitter.  They announce their open houses, therefore would-be criminals know where they are.  Stalkers can target them at an open house or rob their homes, thanks to the information divvied out on social media Web sites.
By following these 10 safety tips, realtors may not be able to guarantee their protection, but this will go a long way to avoid potentially dangerous situations that are completely preventable.
If you don’t have a security system, if your current system is not monitored or if you are not happy with your current security provider, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation.
You will be glad you did!
Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986

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  1. len permalink

    These are very good ideas for anyone. Real estate agent or private seller. Though RARE that something tragic will happen, it still does happen. Criminals do not care who you are, they are only looking for a victim. Though there is no safety net, system or plan that is 100% out there but if you do not take some precautions eventually something will happen. Bottom line, if your inner voice/gut is telling you something is wrong, most likely there is something wrong. Do not be afraid to call a friend/partner or try to have someone with you. Protect yourself because no matter how close the police, friends or partners are by the time they get to you it is after the fact.

    • Thank you so much for your comments, Len. Very much appreciated. I don’t like using scare tactics when selling security. However, common sense goes such a long way!

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