Author: Kelly Cruz, Customer Support Specialist – Realty Partners LLC
Sarasota, FL. July 1, 2021 – You’ve probably already seen it in the news. REALTORs® being assaulted, attacked, and sometimes even worse. It is a sad reality to accept but there is always a risk when attending open houses or showings. REALTOR® safety is of paramount importance when attending these appointments or meeting new customers.
You can’t stop everything from happening, but you can prevent dangerous situations or at the very least prevent them from escalating. Former brokerage owner and Inman News writer Jay Thompson, shared some great safety tips that all agents should consider putting into practice. Below are a few of his tips that we found the most helpful.
- Never hold an open house alone. Partner with another agent, a lender — someone.
- Meet new clients in a public place, not a listing. Your office is ideal. Not handy? Ask a title company or attorney if you can borrow a conference room. Have that initial chat in a coffee shop. Your policy should be never meet a new client alone.
- Buddy up. Work with an agent friend or two, and accompany each other on initial meetings and showings, open houses, door-knocking, and anywhere else you might meet new people.
- Always tell someone where you are going, who you’ll be with and when you expect to be home/back in the office.
- Don’t advertise a listing as vacant. Vacant listings attract bad people.
- Lock your car at showings and open houses. The last thing you want to do is drive away with someone crouched down in the back seat.
- Don’t get blocked in. At showings and opens, park on the street, not in the driveway where someone can easily block your car in.
- Always have an exit. Stay between the client and the door.
- Use a safety app.
Using safety apps is a great practice. From pulling criminal records to discretely notifying the authorities when you are in a dangerous situation; there are many great features that safety apps offer, and REALTORs® can benefit greatly from. Click here to read on about the 6 best safety apps suggested by Inman News.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has other great resources for safety information. They have created a REALTOR® Safety Program in efforts to lower the numbers of REALTOR® safety incidents. This program provides agents with training videos, tips, best practices, and safety strategies. You can view the full program here.
In this day and age safety is of utmost importance especially when you are in uncharted territories or with unfamiliar individuals. Remember, safety in numbers. Bring along a fellow agent or friend when doing a showing with a potential buyer that you are unfamiliar with. Can’t find someone to tag along? Reschedule the showing or if you feel comfortable enough, require the buyer to send you a copy of their Identification Card and be sure to share it with one of your fellow agents or Broker. Take some tips from NAR or Inman and be sure to invest some time in finding a safety app that works for you. Stay vigilant and stay safe.