Unfortunately, Realtors® often find themselves in risky situations. Meeting new clients to show properties, holding open houses and driving clients to available properties… all these scenarios add up to what security experts call a high-risk profession.
While there are plenty of safety tips for Realtors, there’s something you may not have considered: checking in on social media accounts to let people know where you are at all times.
COULD "CHECKING IN" ON FACEBOOK KEEP REALTORS SAFE?
If people know where you are, they’ll be able to keep tabs on you – right?
The other side of the coin is that safety experts tell us (repeatedly) not to check in on Facebook or other social media sites because it can alert burglars that you're not home. It can also attract people you don’t want to attract.
However, many Realtors are turning to social media to make sure the whole world knows where they are. A simple check-in on Facebook or location-based tweet on Twitter can ensure that your friends and family know you’re out showing a property; at the same time, it gives them a rough idea about when you’ll be back.
Realtors are also using apps, such as Agents Armor, to check in and show that they’re safe. When a Realtor using an app like this one fails to check in, an alert goes out to his or her contacts.
OTHER WAYS FOR REALTORS TO STAY SAFE
At Benchmark Realty, we’re constantly talking about ways to improve agent safety and ensure that every member of our team is following best practices that don’t put them in harm’s way.
Here are a few highlights:
1. Meet first-time clients at the office. While you’re there, make a copy of each client’s picture identification and leave it with someone in the office.
2. Don’t assume everyone has left when you wrap up an open house. Take someone with you while you check all rooms, including the basement, attic and exterior of the property before you lock the doors. You can also check crawlspaces, outdoor sheds and places around the property.
3. Keep your clients in front of you. Instead of leading, direct clients from behind. For example, it’s easy to say, “The master bedroom is down this hall and to the right,” while making a gesture for your clients to lead the way.
4. Create a distress code you can use when you are in danger and share it with several friends or family members. For example, you could use the phrase “Blue file” as code for “Help!” when contacting someone surreptitiously: “Hi, Julie. I'm with Mr. Brown at 567 Elm Street. Could you please email the blue file for the Joneses before the bank closes?”
BENCHMARK AGENTS ARE OUR FAMILY
We care about every member of the Benchmark family, and if you’re not already working with us, now is a great time to explore your options and take control of your real estate career.
Set up a confidential meeting with us to find out what you’re missing. Just call us at 615-371-1544 or 615-809-2323; you can also get in touch with us online to learn more about our 100 percent commission agent plans and so much more.