As a new real estate agent, it can be easy to get so caught up in the excitement of meeting clients that we often forget one of life’s most important rules: SAFETY FIRST! While the thought of realtor safety can be scary, it’s best to educate yourself early on so you can set proper boundaries upfront.
While most of us won’t hire personal bodyguards (although wouldn’t that be nice?!), there are precautions you can take to better protect yourself from having malicious encounters. See below for six tips on realtor safety while running a successful real estate business.
Safety Tip 1: Meet new clients at the office or in a public place
Whenever possible, meet new clients in a public place to ensure realtor safety. This gives you an opportunity to feel out your clients and gain information about their needs in a familiar space. This way, you’ll be around others if the client has other motivations for meeting you. Additionally, speaking to new clients on the phone first is recommended to learn more about the client’s personality and demeanor.
Safety Tip 2: Share your schedule with a colleague, assistant, or family member
While some may think sharing their schedule is a little intrusive, it can be a lifesaver should something ever go south. If an assistant or family member knows the location and time of your last showing, they can help confirm your whereabouts. Additionally, you may consider tracking your appointments with clients in a shared online calendar, which can serve as a source of reference if ever needed.
Safety Tip 3: Don’t overshare about your personal life
Keep information about your personal life close to your chest. If you overshare about your friends, family, and hobbies, those out to do harm can gain enough information to track your whereabouts. Don’t forget that personal information about you can be used in a plethora of malicious ways, including identity theft or phishing attempts. Don’t be afraid to build a relationship with your client, but remember To keep your personal business off the table.
Safety Tip 4: Don’t host open houses alone
While open houses give clients a feel for enjoying a social experience in the home, experts suggest hosting an open house with a realtor associate, your broker, or mortgage underwriter to maximize safety. Not only does this provide an extra layer of protection, but it provides some extra help on-hand in case there are questions you are not able to answer.
Safety Tip 5: Check your cell phone signal and battery before heading to an appointment
There’s nothing like finding yourself in the middle of an emergency with no way to contact anyone for assistance. We use our phones so much that our batteries are often running low before the day is over. Always remember to keep a car charger on hand and ensure your phone is in good shape before attending a home tour. Also consider your Wi-Fi signal when showing rural properties.
Safety Tip 6: Direct clients to walk in front when conducting home tours
As a best practice, never enter the home you are showing before the client. Instead, gracefully direct clients to walk in ahead of you. Additionally, stand outside of restricted access or confined spaces such as bathrooms, attics, and closets.