Welcome back! In the past two weeks we discussed “Safety Tips To Keep In Mind When Selling Your Home” as well as “Safety Tips For Homebuyers”. This week we’re going to provide safety tips for real estate agents, a handy guide of strategies and techniques to help keep you and your clients out of harm’s way. Ready?
Real Estate Agent Safety Tips
Verify Client Information
When receiving a call from a potential client, be certain to get as much information as possible. Explain to your customer that this is for your safety as well as their own. Questions to ask should include current address, the reason your services are required (buyers/sellers), at least two telephone numbers, a valid email address and, ideally, a driver’s license or state identification number. Each of these is a reasonable request for clients who are sincerely seeking your help. Once provided, it is wise to verify as much information as possible through an online search as well as a phone call and email to the client.
Schedule Your Initial Meeting At Your Office
When possible, it is always best to schedule your first meeting at your office, or, at the very least a public location. It is advisable to never meet a new client for the first time at a property, whether it is a house for sale or a property they are looking to sell. In the event an initial visit to your office isn’t possible, always ask a co-worker to attend the meeting with you. Be certain to let your colleagues know that you are also willing to accompany them as well when the need may arise.
Conduct Showings During The Daylight Hours
Always attempt to schedule your showings during daylight hours. There will, of course, be times when your buyers won’t be available during the day due to work or other commitments. In these situations it is important to scout the property as well as the neighborhood before hand, looking for anything out of the ordinary. If you do not feel comfortable visiting the property at night, again, ask one of your colleagues to accompany you. If this isn’t possible, it is best to error on the side of caution and reschedule at a different time.
Always Drive Your Clients, Never Let Them Drive You
Establish during your first meeting that you will be driving to all of the properties and that it is your personal policy to not let clients drive you to viewings. If your client insists on driving, agree to have them follow you to the showing in their own car.
Create A Coded Distress Signal
It is always wise to let as many supervisors, co-workers, friends and family members now when, where and who with you will be showing properties. Establish a code word with your inner circle that will only be used when you feel you are in an unsafe environment. If needed, you can text this word or mention it in phone call, alerting others you have chosen that you need assistance.
In addition to the tips above, there are several other practical steps real estate agents can take to ensure their safety. There are several smart phone apps available to help increase your security as well as multiple self-defense classes available in your neighborhood.