As September is Realtor Safety Month, we wanted to provide these safety tips on behalf of everyone here at Home Mortgage Alliance. We all care about your well-being and would like to help you minimize potential risks when you’re working with clients. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Visit each Open House property before visitors arrive
, so you’re familiar with the home’s layout. This is also a good time to remove any personal items the seller hasn’t already locked away. If you’re showing a vacant home, you’ll want to walk the entire home, plus the garage and back yard, with an associate before you lock up and depart.
Host Open Houses with an associate.
If you’re sharing a listing with another real estate agent, or if your office is employing a trainee, ask them to keep you company. If my schedule permits, I would be happy to co-host your Open House events and discuss home financing with potential buyers.
Always keep your cell phone with you.
Make sure yours is fully charged, and you keep it with 100% of the time. You may want to consider installing a personal safety app designed for real estate agents, such as Katana Safety for Realtors or Safe Showings
. If you’re showing a rural property and not 100% sure your cell phone will work reliably, take a colleague with you.
Be aware of your safety during the daytime.
Statistics show that thieves are more active during the daytime, as they can pass as delivery drivers or tradespeople. However, we tend to assume that we’re much safer during this time and sometimes let our guard down. Be aware of potential risks all day long.
Identify legitimate buyers before meeting them.
If a potential buyer refuses to answer basic questions over the phone, insist they come to your office when others are present. For additional protection, you may want to carry out a background check online* or subscribe to an online service that provides unlimited monthly searches. Don’t hesitate to reject any potential client if your intuition tells you to do so.
* Available information may vary by state.
Implement a secret “distress call” protocol.
Discuss and decide upon an office distress code word or phrase with your colleagues. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, you can call for help discreetly without tipping off anyone nearby. Your code word or phrase should be short and easy to remember, such as, “I’m with Mr. Smith at the Easy Street listing. Could someone send me the RED FOLDER?”
We hope these suggestions will help provide you and your associates with genuine, lasting peace of mind.
Sep 03, 2019