Today, we’re tackling a very important and serious topic: agent safety.
As recent events have shown, safety while working out in the field is absolutely critical. Sadly, senseless crimes happen every day. For agents who spend a great bit of time in public alone or amidst strangers – you must recognize that doing so can lead to an increased safety risk. In addition to be aware of this increased risk, it’s equally important to prioritize dedicating time and resources to doing everything you can to manage it so that you can protect yourself.
The most important things you can do are to always be aware of your surroundings and to trust your instincts. If you feel like something is wrong or off, get away from the situation. In addition to trusting your gut, there are many other precautionary steps you can take to reduce your risk of ending up in a bad situation.
Consider implementing these real estate safety tips:
- Get certified in self-defense and re-take the certification class once a year to keep safety maneuvers fresh in your mind.
- Always make note of all of your clients’ contact information, vehicle information and physical attributes early on in your relationship.
- Drive through showing neighborhoods before you meet to show a property to assess the neighborhood.
- If you are nervous about the neighborhood, call the local police and ask them to have a squad car drive buy during open house hours.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry or other items that illustrate wealth to one-on-one appointments or open houses.
- Every time you leave for an appointment, make sure a coworker and friend or family member know where you’re going and how long you anticipate being gone.
- Check your cell phone strength and signal before you enter the house and hold your phone so you have access at all times.
- When possible, bring a coworker, neighbor or friend with you to open houses or scheduled viewings.
- Park in a safe spot where your car can’t be blocked in.
- As you walk up to the house, keep your keys in between your knuckles or keep your finger on the pepper spray or mace trigger in case you need to react quickly.
- Put a security system sign in the front yard and in the front-facing windows.
- Introduce yourself to the neighbors before you enter the house. Give them your number and ask them to keep an eye on the house while you’re there.
- Opening lockboxes can take some time. When possible, place your back against the wall to avoid attacks from behind you.
- Open the front door of the house before you go back to the car to get open house refreshments or supplies – you don’t want to have your hands full as you’re trying to get in.
- Immediately turn on all of the lights and open all of the shades and curtains when you get to an empty home.
- If you’re alone, call a friend or family member and keep them on the phone as you walk through the house to check each room.
- Identify exit doors prior to a showing and keep them unlocked
- Make sure you know the best outdoor escape route. (e.g. if backyard is blocked by a fence, find the next best option)
- Put bells on all of the doors so you can easily monitor who is going in and out.
- Notify a friend or family member that you are ok every 30 minutes to an hour and tell them to call the police if they don’t hear from you.
- Jot down visitors’ car info, license plate number and physical descriptions
- Make sure clients or open house guests are in front of you at all times. Gesture towards a room and let the viewers walk in first.
- Never walk into a closed space with no exits (walk in closets, etc.)
- Keep pepper spray or mace on your keychain or in your pocket and easily accessible at all times.
- Download safety apps for quick access to emergency resources. We recommend Real Alert to scare intruders with an alarm and quickly connect to 911 – and Moby Location Sharing to quickly share your GPS location with friends or family.
If you have any additional safety tips, please leave them in the comments below!
On a lighter note - check out our 10 favorite motivational quotes!