Safety in any job position requires changes in behavior and safety practices that later develop into daily habits, when posting to social media, meeting a client or closing down an open house, you should always reduce the risk of personal harm. In many cases, safety precautions not only protect you, these precautions can protect the homeowner as well.
Never reveal any personal information (This should be a no brainer, however in our quest to become real estate moguls… we may let our ambition lead us astray. Safeguard your information!— such as your home phone number, private cell phone number (if it’s separate from your work cell phone) or home address — on any public-facing materials such as signs, flyers or social media posts, set a password encryption on documents with personal information on your computer and set a screen lock on your phone.
When working with a team, it’s a good idea to keep an office document listing the make, model, year, color and license plate number of every agent’s vehicle and the who to call in the event of an emergency contact information. Store this document in a central, online location with safety passcode protocols so if needed it can be it can be quickly accessed from anywhere at any time.
Business road trips are great aren’t they? Always let your office and at least one other person know where you are going and how you plan on getting there (route, pit stop, etc.), leave an itinerary for when you arrive. In fact, you can use your smart phone and google to alert only the people you want alerted about your location during the entire trip… How nifty is that?
Keep your keys and cell phone with you at all times, make sure to set up your screen lock and make sure location services on your cell phone are activated so you can trace it down in the event it finds itself misappropriated by another guest of the function you are attending. I mean, I’m sure they meant to return it to you…right…
Conduct private showings if you’ve met the client in your office beforehand, ask them to provide their name, two forms of identification and vehicle information. This is essential to establishing trust on both ends that there is no shady dealings happening here, anyone who does not understand how this is for their protection as much as yours has no business buying a house from your illustrious sellers or you.
Hosting an open house in an unfamiliar area is anxious for everyone, drive through the neighborhood first, identify any safety concerns you or potential buyers might have and if possible correct them. If you cannot correct them you can at least appear knowledgeable to potential buyers and take their concerns head on, showing buyers you not only have gumption, you also care about their concerns.
Do not drive or ride with any client you don’t know. How many slasher movies or cold case shows do you need to see to acknowledge this does not show your cie la vie or carpe diem-like passion for your job? Do not even consider it.
Do not enter vacant property or conduct an open house by yourself. When an open house is over, you and your co-host should double-check that everyone has departed. Safety in numbers.
Have exit strategies: Know all the ways in and out of a home before you visit or show it, keep those doors unlocked and have a game plan for you and your co-host. Remain vigilant!
Register every buyer who attends your open house and use a digital sign-in system so that the information is stored immediately and remotely. I recommend a tablet versus a laptop, you can even just use your phone to email yourself the information, either way you want it to be handy as in hand held, get it? Hehehe… Seriously, though not only is this a great safety measure, it also allows you to make notes about each potential buyer and contact them later showing you took their concerns seriously with prospects of property they can really take an interest in.
Let clients lead the way into rooms when touring a home and stay close to the doorway but not in the doorway, this allows them to really get a feel for the room without feeling trapped in and provide you an easy exit…in the event you need one.
Do not wear expensive jewelry, wear tasteful clean business-like attire, show pride in your job. Potential buyers respond well to that kind of thing and you lessen the chance of becoming a mark for criminal behavior.
Put your bag or briefcase in the trunk of your car during showings. It will only get in the way and distract you from selling the property.
Learn basic self-defense techniques and attend local safety courses not just when they’re offered, but you should make a yearly training of it. This is that something you make the time to do, like showing up for your 3rd graders play or Little League game. It’s the kind of thing that really pays off in the long run… you know, 10 years down the line when least expected.
Instincts. If you have any uneasy feelings about a situation, leave immediately. Nothing is more important than your safety — not even the thought of offending a client.
Personal safety is not to be taken lightly; it supercedes manners or deference towards others every single time. Use common sense, always be aware of your surroundings. Make sure your entire business supports safety initiatives so that everyone — colleagues and clients alike — can stay out of harm. Vigilance can only be obtained through diligence.