The purpose of this guide is to help you be alert of your surrounding and things that you do while working in the real estate industry. Real estate isn’t typically thought of as a dangerous career, but the fact is that Realtors may have some risk in everyday situations. A simple example would be you meeting a practical stranger in vacant homes during odd, sometimes unpredictable hours. This happens and as a Realtor, you know that this can be a common situation. There are cases where agents have been attacked in model homes, at their office, during showings, and at open houses.
So what can you do to protect yourself? You need to be aware at all time. Consider all of the areas that are vulnerable to attack. Then, take steps to stay safe, whether you’re using the buddy system or even wearing a personal security device.
Real Estate Tasks That Can Turn Dangerous
As we all know that the crime rates are on the rise. Therefore there are a number of situations that leave agents vulnerable to attacks including:
-On your way to meet clients
-Organizing open houses
-Entering foreclosed or vacant homes (alone or with clients)
We are not saying that it will happen but as a precaution in these situations, Realtors are typically alone, and this leaves plenty of opportunity for an attack if you’re not careful enough.
Personal Safety Tips for Realtors
Here are some of the tips to increase your safety whether you’re showing homes or hosting an open house:
Keep your phone charged: If you know that you are constantly busy with your phone. Keeping an additional power bank and phone charger with you is crucial. This is to make sure that you will always have a full battery on your cell phone to call for help if necessary.
Appropriate attire: Every agent wants to look nice, but avoid wearing expensive jewelry, revealing clothing, or shoes that you can’t run in. Try to keep it simple and neat. You don’t have to wear expensive jewelry to look good, what you need is confidence.
Inspect the exterior of properties before entering: In foreclosed or vacant homes, it is often that homeless or criminals may have made themselves at home and you’ll want to avoid a confrontation with them at all cost. Be sure to check everything around the house and if you noticed any break in signs you should back away and call for help before entering alone or with clients.
Always use the buddy system: Always make plans to check in and maintain a schedule everyone in the office can see. Have a close friend or even tell a coworker that you’ll be calling or texting at a certain time, and if you don’t check in, they should call you. Another method is to consider showing homes with a partner if you’re not confident in the client or the neighborhood. You should also create a distress code that you can call or text to get help without alerting the client, such as a secret hand sign or even facial gesture to alert your partner.
Avoid spaces where you can be cornered: Heading into a basement, attic, or cramped bathroom can have you backed into a corner without a way to get out. Instead, stand at the door and invite clients to view the space on their own.
Require guest registration: Ask visitors to complete a guest registration and show a valid ID when attending an open home.
Carry protection: Pepper spray or a taser gun can help you fight off an attacker. If you’re trained and ready to use it to defend yourself, you consider carrying a firearm.
Self Defense Technology for Real Estate Agents
With today’s technology, you never have to go into a house alone. You can use personal security devices for alerts and tracking, by using the apps on your phone ask colleagues or loved ones to keep a watch out for you while you’re showing homes or hosting open houses. Here are some of the apps you can use to keep yourself safe at all times.
Watch Over Me: Using the Watch Over Me app, you can ask a colleague to track your journey. You’ll also be able to set a safety timer, so if you fail to check in safely, your emergency contacts will be notified.
SafeSnapp: This app can help identify the attacker and send information immediately to authorities. Push the button, point your phone toward the attacker, and the app will send three photos and the GPS location to your email and the SafeSnapp database. This can discourage further action, as the attacker may not want to continue if they can be identified without your help.
bSafe: The bSafe personal safety app uses a timer mode to program an automatic alarm. You can also trigger a guardian alert to ask for help and send GPS location and video. Plus, the app has a fake call feature to make your phone ring when you want it to.
We hope that this guide will help you stay on guard no matter where you are. If you’re interested in taking it to the next level, read our guide on how you can make your clients truly valued. Cheers!