When you put your house up for sale, do you know if it's safe to let the potential buyer in? If you're a realtor do you know if it's safe to go inside the prospective property listing? Who are these people?
One in four realtors personally experience safety related or harassing situations while conducting professional duties. (Source: Realtor Safety 911).
15 Tips to Keep You Safe
Run a quick Google search of the perspective buyer or seller of the property.
Have the client provide you information, such as phone, address, driver's license prior to the showing or visiting.
Make sure you tell a colleague or spouse where you will be.
Leave the address, client information and include approximately how long you expect to be out.
Trust your instincts! If you are nervous about the person/people you are meeting snap a picture of them, their vehicle and/or license plate and send it to the office, spouse, etc.
Although it's nice to drive with your client, it's safer to travel in separate vehicles.
Have you received a request to view a property you have not previously visited?
Carry your pepper spray with you and know how to use it!
When you arrive at a property review your surroundings.
Look at landmarks, parked cars, people coming and going.
Is it usually quiet or dark?
Do you see anything or anyone suspicious?
When parking your car don't allow yourself to become boxed in. You should be able to exit without effort.
Step slightly aside and always allow client to enter the home or a room first applying the two second rule before you follow.
Try to position yourself near the door in case you need to exit in a hurry.
Holding an open house? Remember you will be up walking around with perspective buyers and not always in one place.
Keep personal items including your purse out of site or locked up.
Before leaving an open house check the yard, closets, basements and restrooms.
Lock the doors furthest away working your way towards the exit until the property is secure.
Never show a vacant property without first verifying there is electricity. If there is none commit to only showing it after dawn and before dusk. Clearly daylight hours are ideal when showing a property but not always possible.
If you need to show a home in the evening you want it to be well lit and secure prior to your arrival.
Open all the blinds or curtains in the home so the home is visible to passersby on the street. This would be a great time to have your spouse or partner drive with you and wait in the car.
Keep your conversation friendly but professional never providing information about your children, family, home or vacation plans. Safety first!
More often than not realtors will add a professional picture to their business card which is a nice touch but it can be potentially dangerous as bad guys like to pick their prey and pictures help them narrow down their choices. I would suggest opting for a logo or design instead of a personal picture.
Would you know what to do if you were faced with a potential attack or abduction?
Article by Tracy Ward-Vega, Co-Founder Simple Self Defense for Women
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