Common sense ways Realtors can protect themselves while doing their job!
Realtor Safety Tips:
1. Always meet a client for the first time in the office. Introduce him or her to coworkers and make it clear that they know you are taking him out of the office. Try to take separate cars but if that is not possible you will have slightly more control if you drive. Do not meet a client at the property, particularly if he is calling on a yard sign. He will already have had a chance to note if the property is vacant.
2. Get a license plate number and leave it at the front desk. Just explain that it is office policy; a customer who means no harm won’t mind. You might also leave an itinerary for your house tour.
3. Don’t identify a property as vacant to a caller on an ad or sign.
4. When showing property to a stranger, follow rather than lead him through the house. Don’t let him get between you and the door. At an open house, take up a position as close to the door as practical.
5. Ask the office manager to control keys to the office and to place deadbolts on the doors. If you are alone in the office at night draw the shades and do not admit anyone you do not know well and trust.
6. Keep your windows and counters clear. Robbers and attackers like to work in private and police like to see in. Keep a radio or T.V. playing fairly loudly in the back room when you’re alone in the office. Secure all unused doors and windows, especially if they are in the rear of the office and out of sight and sound.
7. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes.
8. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
9. Make sure if you were to escape by back door, that you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
10. Place one of your business cards, with the date and time on the back, in a kitchen cupboard. Note on it if you were the first to arrive or if clients were waiting.
11. When prospects begin to arrive, jot down their car description, license number and physical description.
12. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them, don’t lead them. Say, for example, “the kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.
13. Watch what the prospects are doing at all times. Do not become preoccupied with viewing the home.
14. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to notify the police immediately.
15. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he would keep an ear open for any thing out of the ordinary.
16. Have someone from your office, a relative or friend stay with you.
17. Go with your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, if anything raises the hair on the back of your neck escape the situation immediately. You might feel like an idiot but don’t worry about it.