As a real estate agent, it’s important to understand the safety risks that you may face while out in the field.
Every year, there are a number of cases involving Realtors who are assaulted, abducted or even killed by predators who lure them to a meeting under the guise of being a client. So it’s important for you, as a real estate agent, to understand the risks and to take precautions that will ensure your safety. Consider these Realtor safety tips from long-time Southern Connecticut real estate agent Judy Szablak.
Document Your Daily Itinerary & Tell Others Where You’re Going
It’s important to provide a colleague or loved one (or both) with a daily itinerary with the client’s name, contact information, the address of the property and the scheduled time of the showing or meeting.
It’s also key that you tell someone when you’re expected to return. This is vital because without this knowledge, it could be hours or even days before others realize that you’re missing.
This information about whom you’re meeting, when and where is essential because if you were to go missing, this info would be crucial for the authorities to begin their investigation.
Many Realtors work as “buddies,” providing this information to each other in order to stay safe in the course of their business dealings.
Use Extra Caution With Vacant Homes
Vacant homes and other properties in particular can be especially dangerous because these are isolated locations where nobody will “come home” to discover that the real estate agent is in a bad position.
It’s also wise to perform a walk-around before entering a vacant home to look for any signs of entry. Thieves and even squatters can turn extremely dangerous if confronted, so it’s best to avoid any sort of confrontation whenever possible; simply call the authorities immediately if you locate any signs of forced entry into the property.
Also, always be sure to perform a walk through at the beginning and at the end of each showing or open house event. Be very aware of your surroundings as you perform this walk through.
Invite Clients to Your Office First
When taking on a new client, whether it’s a buyer or a seller, it’s good practice to invite them into your office for the initial meeting. Many Realtors will ask the client to complete a form with the individual’s basic information and a few questions concerning what they’re seeking by way of services.
You should also ask to view and photocopy the client’s driver’s license. Keep this information in a file in your office so it’s available to colleagues and the authorities in the event that a problem arises.
Keep Them in Front of You
When showing a home to a client, always keep the client in front of you. Never allow the client to stand behind you, where they could grab you and take you by surprise.
Also, be sure to make note of the client’s body language. Do they appear nervous? Do they seem more interested in you than the home that you’re showing?
Bottom line: Always trust your gut instincts while out in the field. Realtors do face many risks and some female Realtors will work as a team, showing homes together. You may also wish to consider taking a course in basic self defense. There are many courses offered, such as RAD (Rape Aggression Defense), which teaches women how to stay safe and defend themselves if the need arises.
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level, turn to real estate professional and consultant Judy Szablak, founder and CEO of Szablak Consulting and Best Agents Online, LLC. With Judy’s guidance and expertise, you’ll take your career to new places, finding success that’s beyond what you believed to be possible!
If you’re a real estate agent who is ready to elevate your sales or if you’re a realty owner or manager who’s seeking a dynamic, expert coach to bring a new element of professionalism to your sales team and your brokerage firm, turn to Szablak Consulting. Call 855.438.5839 or complete the booking form.