Essential Realtor Safety Tips For #RealtorSafetyMonth
September is Realtor Safety Month in the real estate world. As a real estate agent, your job involves meeting new clients and showcasing properties, which can sometimes put you in unfamiliar and potentially risky situations. Ensuring your safety should be a top priority. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 15 essential safety tips for real estate agents to help you stay safe while conducting business.
Always Share Your Itinerary:
Let someone you trust know where you’ll be and with whom. Share your schedule, property addresses, and client information before meeting anyone. Keeping an updated schedule that a colleague can see or sending a quick text message to a friend with your showing details is a simple way to ensure your safety.
Meet Clients in Public Places First:
Initiate first meetings in a public, well-lit location to gauge your client’s demeanor and intentions before visiting properties. Greet clients outside of buildings in view of others and confirm who you are meeting before you enter.
Trust Your Instincts
Maybe the most obvious but often one of the most overlooked essential realtor safety tips. If a situation or client feels uncomfortable, trust your gut and prioritize your safety over a sale. Don’t be afraid to reschedule if something doesn’t feel right. Make yourself aware of all potential exits and entrances from the building and familiarize yourself with the surrounding area so you are prepared should you start to question your safety.
Use a Safety App
Consider using safety apps that allow you to share your location with friends or colleagues during property showings. The Google Maps (Android & iOS) and Apple Maps (iOS) apps allow you to share your real-time location with anyone for free. Another great app for realtor safety is Forewarn, which gives you the ability to perform background checks on clients. If you’re a member of the Chicago Association of Realtors you have access as a part of your membership – see more info here.
Collect client information, including ID and contact details, before scheduling meetings. Some agents will have sign-in sheets on location while others may only accept individuals who have signed up virtually beforehand. Whatever method you choose, make sure you know who you’re dealing with. As mentioned previously, the Forewarn app is a great tool for pre-screening clients.
Whenever possible, bring a colleague with you to property showings, especially in secluded areas. This can also be a great time to bond with a team member or show a new agent the ropes of open houses and showings. Remember, there is safety is numbers!
Consider taking self-defense classes to gain confidence in your ability to protect yourself if necessary. Look around for the best class for you – some are geared toward beginners, others are only for women, and the list goes on. Also, consider purchasing self-defense tools to protect yourself such as pepper spray.
Arrange to check in with someone during property showings, whether by phone or text. Set expectations ahead of time with the person you’re checking in with by having a specific start and end time. What is the plan if you don’t check in? How long without an answer before they contact the authorities?
Stay Informed About Local Crime
Be aware of the safety reputation of the neighborhoods you work in and adapt your safety precautions accordingly. Check your local PD website and neighborhood community websites such as NextDoor for up-to-date information on local crimes.
Avoid Late-Night Appointments
Whenever possible, schedule appointments during daylight hours to greatly reduce risks associated with darkness.
Maintain Physical Distance
Maintain a safe personal space when interacting with clients to prevent any physical threats. It’s also recommended you allow clients to enter buildings and rooms first so you are not cornered or trapped in a bad situation.
Limit Personal Information
Avoid sharing personal information such as your home address, schedules, or family details with clients. Keep conversations light and focused on business/real estate until you feel comfortable enough divulging private details. Also, consider what information and image is presented in any online advertising. If you are unsure, a good practice is to leave out your headshot/face from any advertising efforts.
Park your car in a way that allows for a quick exit if needed and keep it locked when not in use. Avoid parking in a driveway or spot that allows you to be boxed in. Arriving early gives you time to locate an optimal spot to park for your safety.
Keep Emergency Supplies
Carry a personal safety kit in your car, including a flashlight, pepper spray, and a first-aid kit. You never know when you (or your clients) may need them.
Stay In Touch with Colleagues
Maintain regular communication with fellow agents to share safety concerns and client updates. Another great reason to join or start a team is so you can have constant support from fellow colleagues!
Remember these essential tips as you plan your next showings and meetings to optimize your safety. By following these 15 essential realtor safety tips, you can reduce your risks and ensure your well-being while still excelling in your career. Remember, it’s always better to be cautious and prepared than to take unnecessary risks.
Stay safe out there!