Now that August has passed and the real estate industry is recovering from a dizzyingly busy summer, it’s time for agents to brush up on industry fundamentals, such as safety. September marks the beginning of Realtor Safety Month from the National Association of Realtors.
Realty can be a precarious profession — not only are sellers’ physical items and personal information at risk, but agents also must take precautions to keep themselves safe. They’re often alone when meeting with prospective buyers, leaving them vulnerable to theft and attacks or unable to keep tabs on everyone in a house.
To ensure the safety on the job, there are a few things agents can do when they meet clients and show homes, including:
- Make sure someone in your office knows where you are.
- Try to schedule appointments during the day.
- Don’t share any of your personal information.
- Make sure a home’s doors and windows are locked before and after showings.
- Require appointments for showings.
- Screen potential buyers before showings.
- Ensure personal documents, prescription drugs, guns and other potentially valuable or dangerous items are locked up and out of view.
- Don’t let anyone stray — keep all potential buyers together.
- Request that potential buyers offer up some collateral while viewing, such as a photo ID.
- Remove all window coverings and turn on all lights during showings.
Ultimately, agents must trust their own instincts when dealing with potential buyers. If something seems off or you fear for your safety, take a colleague with or cancel the viewing.