25 Safety Guidelines For Real Estate Agents
Anyone can become a Real Estate Agent, which is a great thing. The thing about working as an agent is the many nuances that come up – many unexpected – may mean that their health and/or safety can be compromised. Buyers and Sellers come from all walks of life and they – like most people – can be unpredictable. Because of that, safety should be top of mind for all agents and we have 25 safety guidelines to keep in mind when navigating this unique industry.
From someone who is a retired State Trooper, Home Stager, and Real Estate Agent: "I study the MLS and I can't believe how many realtors leave the knives on the counter."
25 Safety Guidelines for Realtors
1. If possible, always have someone with you during an Open House. It could be a co-worker, lender, etc.
2. Always let someone know where you are.
3. 911 is ALWAYS the first call you make. Not your spouse, significant other, friend, etc.
4. Although you think they look nice, take those butcher block knives off the counter. (Any knives for that matter) There is no need to give someone easy access to hurt you.
5. Make sure you know everything about the property you are selling! If you do, there is no reason to go down to the basement or any secluded area of the property to answer a question.
6. Always know your exit plan in case you need to run out. Example: If the backyard is fenced in, don’t plan on using that door. Stand by the door you can easily run out of.
7. Leave your purse in the trunk of your car. You want your hands free if you must leave.
8. Have your keys, the property keys, and your phone on you and not the counter. You may not be able to grab them in a time of need.
9. If your town allows you to carry mace, then do so.
10. Never do a private showing by yourself unless you already know the client well. If you decide to show the property, notice the vehicle they came in. Take a picture from a distance. Get the license plate. Go outside to greet them. You may decide at that point to not to even let them in the house. Are you showing a million-dollar property and the clients showed up in a beat-up vehicle, raggedy clothes, etc. This is not profiling. This is being smart!
11. If you aren’t comfortable showing a house because you have an uneasy feeling about a possible client, then don’t do it. Follow your gut!
12. Let your local police department know where you are and ask them to do a drive-by to check on you. If they aren’t busy with something serious, most departments will gladly do it. Go into the police station and introduce yourself. Don’t just call them.
13. Never ever have your back to a client. It only takes a second for things to change.
14. Remove all calendars (Some people just come to open houses to scope out the property and look at a calendar to see when the homeowners won’t be home.)
15. Remove all safes, weapons, jewelry, and prescription drugs (There are people out there that go to open houses just to look for these items) And let’s face it, some of us have Open Houses with 30+ people and it’s impossible to watch everyone.
16. Never park in the driveway or where you can be blocked it. Always get there before the client.
17. Take a good look at the neighborhood. See who is home in case you need to run there.
18. Take your picture off your Real Estate sign. You never know what triggers someone who may just be driving by and see your sign and decide to come in just to check you out. I’ve enclosed a copy of mine.
19. Always dress professionally, but you don’t need to be wearing stilettos. Wear comfortable shoes that you can run in.
20. Don’t be focused on one client. They could be a distraction for someone else to steal something or do you harm.
21. Have a plan with someone to check in with them and have a code word.
22. Make sure you have your location ON on your phone.
23. Have an app that discloses your location like 360
24. Pay attention to their demeanor. Are they really asking appropriate questions? Do they look you in the eye? Are they overdressed for the weather. (they could be hiding something) Do they keep their hands in their pockets?
25. Most important: Listen to your gut. If something feels off, go with your instinct!
Below is a pic of my sign. I use a white post now. It serves 2 purposes. First, it's safer with no pic and it's different than every other realtor whose signs all look the same. Hope this helps!