The current real estate market is very competitive and moves quickly. While it is imperative that you are also moving quickly to help your clients achieve their goals, it’s as important as ever to not let your guard down when it comes to your safety. September is REALTOR® safety month and here are some reminders of what you can do to help protect yourself.
- Never meet a client for the first time alone or at a listing. Schedule the initial meeting at your brokerage, a coffee shop, etc. Make a photocopy of their driver’s license and don’t be afraid to do a little searching beforehand. A Google search, a mugshot search, and a basic social media search can show a lot about the person you are getting ready to potentially spend quite a bit of time with.
- Let somebody know where you are going. Email a friend, a spouse, or team up with another agent or somebody else in your office and let them know what properties you plan to show for the day, whom you are showing them to, and a time frame you expect to be done.
- Drive yourself to the listings. Have first time clients follow you in their own vehicle. Make sure to park in a position where you can easily leave if you feel uncomfortable. Don’t park too close to large bushes or other buildings or objects people can easily hide themselves behind. Make sure to lock your car while you’re showing properties.
- Keep in mind the time and don’t show properties at night.
- Make sure your cell phone works. Keep your cell phone fully charged and try to recognize the areas where you won’t have service, including if the listing may have a metal roof. Use your GPS so you know of road closures, traffic conditions, and don’t get lost in unfamiliar areas.
- Bring up the rear during a showing. Allow the client to lead you through the listing to help ensure you aren’t taken by surprise. Carry mace.
- Take a basic self-defense class. These classes are designed to help you recognize potential threats and get out of them.
- Do not be afraid to tell somebody if a client or situation makes you uncomfortable. Team up with somebody if you do not want to go to a meeting alone, pass the client on to somebody as a referral, or pass on the situation completely. Whether it’s the area the listing is in or the client themselves makes you uneasy, it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.