September is Realtor® Safety Month, and that means it’s a great time for all of us to review our practices and evaluate what we do to make sure we—and our clients—are completely safe while we’re on the job.
20 Safety Tips for Realtors
As a Benchmark Agent, you can never put too much focus on safety. As you evaluate what you’ve done over the past year, keep these 25 Realtor safety tips in mind:
1. Always show properties before dark. Now that the days are becoming shorter, it becomes a bit more difficult to show homes before the sun goes down—but that doesn’t mean your safety should take a back seat to convenience.
2. Make sure your clients don’t show their homes by themselves. Strangers aren’t always who they say they are, so ensure that your sellers refer inquiries to you.
3. Have your clients leave a copy of their driver’s licenses in the office before you show them homes. Let someone know where you’re going, too.
4. Stay behind your clients when you’re showing a home. It’s tempting to lead sometimes, but gesture for your clients to explore on their own when you enter a house—and stay behind them.
5. Take a self-defense class, if you can. There are plenty of places you can learn self-defense in Nashville and the surrounding communities, and typically the classes are affordable.
6. Drive your own car to showings. Don’t ride with your clients, and don’t drive them, either.
7. Make sure your phone is charged and gets a signal wherever you go. Check out areas in advance, and if cell service is sketchy, have a backup plan in place.
8. Tell your sellers to keep personal information under lock and key. Make sure mail and bills are tucked away before showings, and easy-to-steal electronics should be secured at all times.
9. Have an “out.” If you’re in a threatening situation, prepare an easy out you can use to get out of an uncomfortable situation. Whether you need to pretend to call the office or say that there’s information in your car, or you want to tell people there’s another agent on his way with buyers, make sure you have a scenario prepared if you need it.
10. Use your GPS. We all know our territories, but what if there’s construction and a road is shut down? Make sure you’re using your phone’s map or another GPS device.
11. Follow lockbox procedures we already have in place. The last thing you want is for a seller’s keys to fall into the wrong hands.
12. Keep your personal information to yourself. Don’t mention where you live, where you’ll be after work, or where you’ll be on vacation—you don’t need to share everything to be a fantastic Realtor.
13. Get to know the neighbors. It’s always a good idea to introduce yourself to people who live immediately next to your sellers; they’ll feel more comfortable when you bring people in, and you’ll feel more comfortable that they know you (and recognize your vehicle).
14. Travel light. Don’t tote a big handbag when you show properties, and only bring along non-valuable items that are absolutely necessary. Just make sure you have your phone.
15. Park in front of properties you’re showing. Don’t park in a home’s driveway; park in the street in front of the house. You can’t get blocked in when you’re parallel parked.
16. Keep your head on a swivel. That old military saying is necessary when you’re showing homes. Always make sure you’re looking for things that appear to be out of place—and leave if something’s not right.
17. Pre-program important numbers into your phone. Some smartphones have the ability to send emergency messages, so check your phone’s user guide to see if yours does (Samsung’s Galaxy Note can send an emergency message that includes live video or voice if you push the power button three times quickly, for example).
18. Call someone; anyone. If you’re walking alone or if you’re uncomfortable, get on the phone. Assailants will be less likely to come after you if you’re on the phone having a conversation with another person.
19. If you have a flat tire, don’t get in your car. Unfortunately, predators have been known to cause damage to a person’s vehicle in order to do something terrible. If you have a flat tire or there’s any other damage to your car, back away from it and call for help.
20. Don’t be afraid to make noise or be rude. If you’re in danger, scream, yell and run. If you’re uncomfortable, leave the situation. It’s better to be thought of as “that crazy Realtor who ran away” than to be in a dangerous situation—so follow your instincts.
ARE YOU PART OF THE BENCHMARK REALTY TEAM?
Realtor safety is paramount. We care about our agents, and we care about our clients.
If you’re not already working with us, now may be a good time to make the switch. Fill out the form below to set up a confidential meeting where you can learn about our agent plans, get answers to all your questions, and find out what it’s like to be on the Benchmark Realty team.