Most real estate transactions are violence-free, but many real estate agents around the U.S. are beginning to take their safety more seriously. There were 64 fatal injuries for real estate professionals in 2015. That number rose almost 150% in the next year to 91 fatal injuries in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Moreover, real estate professionals are feeling the difference. A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors showed that 40% of realtors have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or personal information. It is easy to forget potential dangers when things are going well, so safety practices should become make a permanent part of your workflow.
- Create a checklist to identify any potential threats from new clients
- Ask clients for identification and meet them in a neutral place to gauge their intentions
- Portable security cameras and door-open alerts are great ways to increase awareness at an open house or showing
- Keep your cell phone on your person and be ready to call for help if something seems off
Most Realtors are well-aware of the potential dangers of the job. Many carry self-defense devices or have taken self-defense training courses, but it is easy to get rusty and fall into a rut if nothing happens to put you on edge. This is why it is best for Realtors to follow certain safety protocols during all parts of the selling and buying process.
For starters, they should create a checklist to identify any potential threats a new client who is not a referral or personal acquaintance might pose. Doing a simple internet search can be a first step to finding any potential red flags on a new client.
Asking for a client to show identification or to meet in a neutral location first like a coffee shop is also a good way to verify intentions and ensure that a person is who he or she is claiming to be.
When hosting an open house, consider installing door-open alerts on entrances so you can easily hear whenever anyone enters or exits. Set up portable security cameras in the area of the home where you will be sitting and post a notice at the entry to alert visitors that video surveillance is in use. Lock all your valuables out of sight in your car and do not wear any flashy, expensive-looking jewelry. Keep your cellphone on your person at all times and set a fire extinguisher within easy reach of your workstation in the home. Visitors will not think twice about it, but in a pinch, you can use it to defend yourself against an attacker.
View the original article at Houston Agent Magazine