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And You Thought Your Job Was Dangerous

Posted by admin on March 14, 2016
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You may not think about it often, but being an agent can be dangerous. Hosting open houses, going on listing appointments and visiting vacant properties are routine duties for a real estate professional. Real estate agents are targeted because they are crimes of opportunity. Agents usually work alone in all of these situations. Bad people target real estate professionals because know they carry a phone, purse, or wallet, and are often alone. I know as a real estate professional, I have been in several dangerous situations from being alone when a group of people come to an open house, to being in homes that were not safe due to health hazards.
Since a lot of people read blogs, and those people are involved in real estate, I looked up good ways to stay safe in otherwise dangerous situations. Here are some that I found helpful. I didn’t put them in any particular order and they may not pertain to everyone, but if they help even one person stay alert and safe, they have done their job well. The first one is to trust your instincts. You are your best weapon: your mind, voice, and body. Listen and trust your inner voice. If something doesn’t feel right, or someone is making you feel uncomfortable, head for the door. Never ignore your intuition in fear of losing a sale. It’s not worth it!

Next, have a procedure in place for new clients. Always meet new prospects at your office when your fellow associates are around. Have them fill out a prospect identification form with their name, phone number, vehicle make and model, and license plate number. Also, verify their information. In addition, get a photocopy of their driver’s license and keep it on file. You can also visit NAR’s REALTOR safety page for a complete listing of safety forms that you can customize with your company logo.

Whenever possible, use a buddy system. Establish a buddy relationship with a coworker or fellow agent. Whenever possible, take them with you to vacant listings and open houses. If it’s not possible to have the second person with you, make sure they at least always know where you are. The Washington Real Estate Safety Council advises agents to walk through listings and plan their escape routes before a showing, leave doors open, avoid attics and basements, and always walk behind clients.

The last one is to always keep your cell phone charged and close to you. Download personal security apps such as Street Safe or Moby. Street Safe’s “Silent Red Alarm” can be enacted with a discrete slide, communicating your location and profile information to the local 911 center. If the situation is uncomfortable, but not significant enough to call 911, the “Walk With Me” green button puts you in contact with a live, 24/7 safety advisor who will offer safety tips and contact police if a situation escalates (use promo code BESAFE for a 15 percent discount). The Moby app allows you to send your GPS location periodically to designated contacts. It also has an emergency alert button hat will contact 911 with your GPS location if you need help.I hope these help keep people a little safer. If you’re not a real estate professional, some of these can probably still help you. Be safe everyone!

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