Better Safe Than Sorry!

Better Safe Than Sorry!

 Here's a tip to help start the new year right!

Although many people may not realize it, the real estate business can be a high risk career. In the past few weeks, real estate professionals from across the country have been attacked in model homes, during open houses and even in their own offices.  

Closer to home, it has been reported that real estate licensees

have been harassed and verbally abused when refusing to meet

with a potential client to the extent that police reports have been

filed. A little common sense can go a long way in insuring your personal safety.


Many real estate firms have developed policies and procedures

designed to keep their agents safe. If your firm has done so, be

sure to follow them. If your office hasn't, there are some things

that you can do.

Here are some personal safety issues to consider:

  •  On the first meeting of a client, try to meet a new client at your office. Get as much personal information as possible. A copy of the driver's license is a good start not only for safety, but also for the client database. In today's market a copy of the pre-approval is a good idea and also contains their verified information like name, and etc.

  • During this first meeting, if you have any suspicions or uneasiness about a client, do not go to the showing alone, no matter what time of day. Ask another person to accompany you. If you are at an open house and you feel that you are in danger, leave the home and seek assistance.
  • Give someone in your office an itinerary of properties you plan to show and check in as often as possible by cell phone - or ask someone at the office to call you occasionally. Work with others in your office to come up with a code phrase that alerts them when you are uncomfortable about a showing and a second phrase for emergency situations. If you call and say those words, they'll know that someone should either head out to accompany you or call the police.

  • Always drive your own car to the property as this might be the only means of escape. Keep your car locked while driving to the property and after you park it. On the way make notes on the type of car, color, and license plate number and call the office with this information. Once at the property do not park your vehicle where it can be blocked.

  • Always be consciously aware of your surroundings.

  • Be aware of the neighborhood in which you are showing a listing. If the neighborhood poses any possible threat to your personal safety, take another person with you.

  • Do not show vacant properties by yourself unless you know your customers.

  • Carry a cell phone in your pocket and program it to dial 911 at the touch of a button

  • Always follow the prospect through the home and never let them get behind you. Your attention should be focused on the client, not on the house.

  • Never work a public open house by yourself.

  • Never wear expensive jewelry and if possible keep your handbag and other valuables locked in the trunk of your car.

  • Don't list your home address or telephone number on your business cards.

  • Take the safest and best lit route-day or night while driving to appointments.

Use common sense and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What safety precautions can I take when meeting a new client for the first time?
  2. Do I preview or show foreclosed or vacant homes?
  3. Do I show property or hold open houses alone?
  4. Do I transport or ride with strangers?
  5. Am I consciously aware of my surroundings as I preview and show property?

Create and act on our own personal safety plan. As the old saying goes, "It's better to be safe than sorry."

Sources: Main Street Association of Realtors, Illinois Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors

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