Every so often, stories show up in the news about real estate agents being attacked while on the job. While you can’t escape the fact that meeting clients and showing houses is all part of being a real estate agent, you don’t have to take unnecessary risks either. That’s why I’m providing you with the following tips on keeping you safe at all times when you’re working. Please keep these in mind before heading out to your next appointment or setting up a meeting with a new client.
Don’t Get Too Personal
Being personable certainly helps you win over clients, but don’t share personal info. Put your work address and phone number on marketing materials, and don’t give out your home address or phone number to any clients. No potential sale is worth having to worry about someone showing up at your home uninvited.
Verify Client Info
Don’t take the client’s word for it that they are who they claim to be. Ask for an ID, such as a driver’s license, and make a copy of it. You can also confirm their place of employment and current address and check to see if they have criminal records if you have a bad feeling about a client.
Don’t Leave the Office Without It
Always have your cell phone on you, especially when showing homes, in case you need to call for help. I recommend putting 911, your office number and the phone numbers of a few friends or family members on speed dial, so you’re not fumbling around trying to type in a number in an emergency. Make sure to have your cell phone charged at all times, too.
Show Houses the Smart Way
If possible, bring someone along with you when you’re showing houses. If you can’t do this, always let the client walk into rooms first instead of having them walk behind you. Stay near the doorway while they look around, and make sure you know where all the exits are. It’s also a good idea to leave the main doors unlocked in case you need to get out of there quickly. Have another agent come with you for open houses or whenever you’re showing vacant properties or properties in less than desirable neighborhoods.
Spread the Word
Let someone at the office or a friend or family member know where you’re going, who you’re meeting and when you’re meeting them. For added safety, set up a distress code that will let them know immediately that you’re in trouble. Stick to something mundane that’s easy for both of you to remember, rather than a super secret phrase.
Trust Your Gut
Above all else, always follow your instincts. You know that feeling you get when someone seems a bit off to you, but you’re not sure why? If that someone happens to be a potential client, trust your instincts and think twice about agreeing to show them a home. You might lose a sale, but you could also be saving your life.
Reading this article might have made you feel uneasy, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately, attacks happen, and real estate agents become more cautious for awhile, but then it’s all too easy to start feeling complacent again (until you read about the next attack). Don’t throw caution to the wind…stay safe instead!