Being a Realtor® means going to unfamiliar places, and into unfamiliar properties on a weekly, maybe even daily basis. This opens you up to being a target for all sorts of crime. So how does one stay safe without having to compromise their work life? Its not as hard as you might think.
Below are 19 of our best, tried and true, ways to stay safe whether your in the office, or out at a showing.
Can you hear me now?
When showing a new property, make sure you know if there are any areas of the home where you don’t get reception. In case of emergency you don’t want to be stranded unable to make a phone call.
Hint: Watch out for hills, thick walls, large buildings, and other obstructions to your signal.
Always remember when showing a property that has been vacant for a while that the electricity may have been turned off, so make sure you’re going to have working lights before showing a property like this, especially later in the day.
They took what?!
It’s a no brainer to have your clients take, or hide valuables such a jewelry and important documents. That’s not all burglars are after however. Also warn them to hide any prescription drugs, spare keys, and anything detailing plans of being out of the house for long periods of time.
Whenever you’re listing a new property, take time to introduce yourself to the neighbors. They’ll be more apt to trust you, and look out for you and your property if they know you.
Never publicize that a property is “vacant”. This is an invitation for burglars and criminal to enter the home knowing they won’t face any resistance from residence.
Don’t be a ghost
Never go anywhere without letting someone know where you will be, and who you will be with. If you can, leave information about the people your meeting with just in case.
Hide and seek
Even if your open house looks empty, double check. Go back through all the rooms and the outdoor areas. Someone could have easily slipped past you and hidden out while you were showing the home.
Pulling up the rear
When giving a tour of a home let the prospective buyers take the lead. Guide them through with gestures and directions while saying behind them, giving you a clear path to the exit at all times.
Wherever you go, always park on the street and not the driveway! By doing so you can make sure that you won’t be trapped in by others cars, making any possible “get-away’ situation much easier.
Where am I?
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to run or drive to get away, you don’t want to drive into a dead end or get lost. Make note of how you’re getting somewhere, and how to get out, by memorizing landmarks, or interesting street names.
Don’t rob my property
Just had a home staged? To clients you’re just making the place look better. To burglars you’re stuffing a home full of expensive things. Be on the lookout when moving expensive items into a home for suspicious onlookers.
Sorry I have somewhere to be
Prepare a go-to excuse to get out of a possible unsafe situation. Say you have meal plans with a client, or have meeting to get to. Preferably something where people will notice if your missing, to deter possible assailants.
Look both ways
When you arrive to a property take a second to assess your surroundings. Are you parked in a close by, well lit area? Do you see any questionable activates happening around you? Are there people around that could see/ hear you if you called for help? If not find somewhere else to park.
Don’t be a loner
If you ever find yourself in a situation that you can’t get out of, say something that indicates that others are around. Regardless of if there are or aren’t, you never want strangers to think you’re alone.
I’d like to phone a friend
So your walking to your car in a less than safe area, how do you keep from being targeted? Easy! Make, or pretend to make, a phone call. Studies have shown people on the phone are less likely to be attacked or robbed.
Which one of these is not like the others?
Take a moment when you walk into an open house or property to check your surroundings. Ask yourself, does anything look out of place? Is anything missing? Are all the people there, people you expected or know?
When walking through a home for the first time take special note of any, and all, escape routes. Then when showing a home unlock all the doors so if you have to get out in a hurry you won’t be stuck fumbling with locks.
Be my eyes and ears
Let a neighbor know when you’re having an open house and ask if they can keep an eye out for anything suspicious. While your inside showing the home, they can observe what’s going on outside the home.
We all make mistakes
You’ve locked all the doors and windows, all valuables are accounted for, time to head out. However just because you’ve gone over everything doesn’t mean that the homeowners shouldn’t. Encourage them to double-check everything in case you missed something.
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