REALTOR® Safety Month is September
Here are 20 Safety Tips for Real Estate Brokers:
# 20. Have Your Excuse Ready
Part of being prepared to deal with a threatening situation is having “an out.” Prepare a scenario in advance so that you can leave—or you can encourage someone who makes you uncomfortable to leave.
You must call your office, you left some important information in your car, another agent with buyers is on his way, 0r set a timer on your cell phone.
#19. Best Practices for Open Houses
When a person comes through your open house, have them complete a guest register that includes their full name, address, phone number, and email.
#18. Open House – Introduce Yourself to Neighbors
Let them know you’ll be showing the house so others know that you’re there.
#17. Who’s calling?
Install a caller ID and blocker on your phone, which should automatically reject calls from numbers that have been blocked. It can also show you the name of the caller instead of just the city. (Most cell phones do not show names for numbers that are not in your address book.) This will provide you with immediate information about the source of the call.
#16. Be in Charge!
Whenever possible, be sure your cell phone has a full battery charge or is in the process of charging. This is critical for safety if you are alone in the house/venue and when leaving.
#15. Got Cell Service, Everywhere?
When you’re showing some type of properties, thick walls and/or remote locations may interfere with mobile phone reception. Check in advance to be sure your phone is serviceable in the area in which you’re showing the property.
#14. Check Suspicious Emails Google and Check Background
Before you act on an email request, check a list of the latest email scams, and do a Google, LinkedIn, and Facebook search about your prospect.
#13. From Dawn Till Dusk
When showing a vacant site, be aware of the time of day you meet a client. Showing a property at dusk or after dark, with no electricity on in the space you’re showing, is not advisable.
#12. You Take the Wheel
Whenever possible, take your own car to a showing. When you leave your car, lock it.
#11. Be Prepared: Pre-Program!
To best prepare for an emergency, pre-program important numbers into your cell phone. These may include your office, a friend, your roadside assistance service, and 9-1-1.
#10. Take Two Seconds When You Arrive at Your Destination to Check Out Potential Dangers:
Is there any questionable activity in the area?
Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
Can you be blocked in the driveway by another vehicle?
#9. Don’t Get Parked-In
When showing a property or meeting someone, park your car in front of the property rather than in the driveway. You’ll avoid having your car blocked in, you’ll have an easier time escaping in your vehicle, and if there’s a dangerous situation, you’ll attract lots of attention running and screaming to your car at the curb area.
#8. Bring Up the Rear
When showing a home, always have your prospect walk in front of you. Don’t lead them, but rather, direct them from a position slightly behind them. You can gesture for them to go ahead of you and say, for example, “The owner’s suite is in the back of the house.”
#7. Don’t Dial and Drive!
Using a cell phone while driving can cause an accident. For driving safety, purchase a hands-free phone kit for your vehicle. Never attempt to take notes while driving – pull over and stop in a safe place first.
#6. Your Profile
Avoid using photos that display expensive jewelry. Do not give out your home address.
#5. Touch Base
Always let a responsible person at the office as well as a friend or family member know where you’re going and when you’ll be back; leave the name and phone number of the client you are meeting and schedule a time for your office to call you to check in.
When you have a new client, ask him/her to meet at the office first, as long as you work in a populated office. Also, photocopy their driver’s license and retain this information at your office.
#3. Buddy System
If you are unsure of an area or meeting a new client, bring another agent along with you to the property/appointment.
#2. Agree on an Office Distress Code
A secret word or phrase (ex: 123 MAIN STREET) that is not commonly used but can be worked into any conversation for cases where you feel that you are in danger. Example: “Hi, this is “your name.” I’m at/heading to the 123 Main Street listing. Could you email me the seller’s disclosure?”
#1. Listen to Your Gut.
If your intuition tells your something is creepy, it probably is!. Do NOT be afraid of offending a potential client or looking foolish! It’s an old cliché’, but it’s true:
“It’s better to be safe than sorry.”