Some real estate agents have their own safety protocol to follow when meeting a prospect or holding an open house. Most agents, however, fail to recognize the importance of dedicated safety tactics.
Meeting a new prospect at a home can be risky, but that’s how real estate industry has operated for decades. For those real estate agents that don’t have their own safety protocol, the team at Cobra-Defense put together a comprehensive checklist. If you ever feel vulnerable, take the following precautions before and after your prospect arrives:
- Tell the prospect you will arrive with somebody else at the appointment, even if untrue
- Open all doors and unlock windows before your appointment in case you need to get out quick
- Inform your office of all relevant information on the appointment and prospect
- Consider taking a photo of their license plate when they arrive
Before the Appointment
When you’re on the phone setting up an appointment to meet a prospect at a home, tell the prospect that you’ll be arriving with a partner. Whether it’s true or not, this statement plants the seed that there will be more than one person present—and that’s not good news for a criminal.
Arrive at the appointment early, before your client has arrived, and make sure to
Open the windows. If you find yourself needing to make a fast escape but you’re not near a door, a window may be your only exit.
Unlock all doors. You lose precious time if you have to fiddle with locks to get out.
Open the lockbox. The point here is to retrieve the key before your prospect shows up. That way, you won’t have to turn your back to him or her to get the key out.
Wait in your car with the doors locked. The danger here is that your car confines you into a small space, but in some cases, the weather dictates that you take shelter. Waiting in the car is still much safer than waiting in the property.
Send a text to your office. Alert someone to where you are and all of the information you have on the prospect. If you need help, that person will know pertinent information to give authorities.
Keep your head up. Always be aware of your surroundings. Surprise attacks when you’re caught off guard make you more vulnerable.
When the Prospect Arrives
Once your prospective client is in the space with you, pay very close attention to his or her behavior. Small details can clue you in to whether something is wrong:
- Watch for anything suspicious such as a man wearing a long coat on a hot summer day. He could be concealing a weapon. If it feels like something is awry, trust that feeling and depart ASAP.
- If everything appears OK at the start, exit your car but stay well out of arm’s reach. The odds of an attack are reduced outside the property rather than inside, but keeping a distance makes it even more difficult for an assailant to jump you.
- Hold your phone up and say, “I’m sorry, but my boss is really strict on safety. Would you please move over to your license plate so I can send in a photo?” Quickly take the shots and send them in.
View the original article at Realtor Magazine