September is Realtor Safety Month. As professionals in the real estate industry, you are dedicated to helping clients buy and sell properties while providing top-notch service. However, it's crucial to remember that your safety is paramount. In this article, we will discuss essential safety tips and resources to keep you safe while conducting business in the field.
1. Trust Your Gut
Your intuition is one of your most valuable tools when it comes to safety. If a situation doesn't feel right, trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable, it's okay to decline a showing or meeting. Always prioritize your well-being over any potential business deal.
2. Pre-screen Clients
Before meeting with clients for the first time, gather as much information as possible. Request their full name, contact information, and ask for a copy of their ID. Share this information with a colleague or supervisor and arrange to meet them at the office before going to a property.
3. Use Technology Wisely
Technology can be a powerful ally in real estate safety. Consider utilizing smartphone apps that allow colleagues or family members to track your location. Also, enable location sharing on your device during showings and meetings so others can keep tabs on you.
Special Note: The Supra eKEY app has an “Agent Alert” function where agents can have quick access to send alert messages and gps locations to emergency contacts. For more information about this invaluable resource watch their informational video.
4. Establish a "Safe Word"
Create a safety protocol with colleagues or family members. Establish a "safe word" or phrase that you can use in a phone call or text message to indicate that you need assistance or that something is wrong.
5. Plan Escape Routes
When visiting properties, always take a moment to familiarize yourself with the layout and identify possible escape routes. Knowing your surroundings can be crucial in case of an emergency.
6. Avoid Isolated Locations
Whenever possible, avoid showing properties in isolated or remote areas, especially after dark. Always prioritize your safety and avoid compromising situations.
7. Carry Personal Protection Items
Consider carrying personal protection items like pepper spray, a personal alarm, or a self-defense tool. Familiarize yourself with how to use them properly and ensure they are legal in your area.
8. Communicate Your Whereabouts
Let someone know where you are and when you expect to return. Regularly check in with a colleague, friend, or family member during appointments, so they are aware of your location and well-being.
9. Attend Safety Training
Take advantage of safety training programs and resources provided by your association, brokerage, or local law enforcement agencies. These workshops can provide valuable insights and techniques to stay safe.
10. Report Suspicious Activity
If you encounter any suspicious behavior or individuals during a showing or meeting, trust your judgment and immediately report it to the appropriate authorities. Your vigilance can help protect not only yourself but others in the real estate community.
Realtor Safety Month serves as a reminder that your safety should always be a top priority. By following these essential safety tips and utilizing available resources, you can conduct your business with confidence while minimizing potential risks. Remember, being proactive and prepared is key to staying safe in the field. Your association, NCJAR, is here to support you in your quest for security and success in the real estate industry. Stay safe!