September is REALTOR Safety month, but it certainly isn’t something that should only be considered during the month of September. As a real estate professional, it’s important to have a personal safety protocol in place that you use everyday.
It’s easy to overlook safety when a client is interested in seeing a home and you’re anxious to make a sale. Many times you may be working alone in showing a property, having an open house or manning a model home in a new subdivision. This can leave you vulnerable to an unsafe situation.
Here are a few tips that should become second nature to help keep you safe:
- Enact the CITO (Come Into The Office) rule: Always meet a new client at your office, never at a property. Get as much personal information as possible. A copy of the driver’s license is a good start, not only from a safety perspective, but also for the client record.
- Set up a “buddy” system: If you feel uncomfortable about a client, do not go to the showing alone, no matter what time of day it is, ask someone to go with you.
- Trust your instincts: If you are at an open house and feel uneasy or that you may be in danger, leave the home immediately and call someone.
- Follow rather than lead: Always follow the prospect through the home and never let them get behind you. Your attention should be on the client, not the house.
There are a variety of tools you can adopt in your personal safety protocol, such as the apps and safety products listed below:
- Agents Armor is designed specifically for real estate agents to alert brokers, emergency contacts and authorities everything they need to know about your appointments.
- Real Alert: Developed by a Realtor, Real Alert is designed to help you stay alert and aware of your surroundings while providing quick access to emergency services.
- Cuff is a line of jewelry with smart technology built in. Items such as bracelets and pendants discreetly hold a “CuffLinc” that operates as a distress beacon if you’re ever in trouble.
- LifeLine Response is the first and only patent-protected personal safety mobile app that utilizes natural human reaction to respond to emergency situations.
Working as a real estate agent can be very rewarding, but it can also present unsafe situations at times. Taking a little extra time to invest in your safety is paramount and could actually save your life.