As real estate agents, we regularly meet with new people in new locations. Knowing the strategies to stay safe is among the most important parts of our job. I hope you’re already a sufficiently safe agent, but I know there are always ways to improve.
So we asked our members: “What safety tips have you learned that you tell all of your new agent friends?” Here’s what they said.
Meet in a public place first. Whether it’s at your office, a coffee shop, or a local diner. Make it a requirement! This will give you the opportunity to have a consultation, and make sure they’re a qualified client. It also gives you the chance to check them out. If you get a weird feeling, don’t meet with them again.
Set some requirements. Before you schedule showings, require a scanned copy of their driver’s license and a pre-approval letter from their lender. It’s another indication for you that they’re qualified, but also gives you a paper trial.
Share your location. Whether it’s through an app (like Life 360 or Find My Friends) or just regular check-ins with trusted loved ones. Make a habit of sharing each appointment, the addresses, and names of people you’re meeting. You can even take it a step further and snap a picture of car and license plates when you get there. Let your loved one know when you arrive and when you expect to finish the appointment.
Don’t get blocked in. A good rule of thumb: don’t park in the driveway. You never want to be in a situation where your car is blocked in a driveway. Not only can it be an inconvenience, it is a HUGE safety concern.
Check the lighting. Park in a well lit area, make sure the entrance is well lit, and make a practice of only keeping appointments during daylight hours.
Lock the doors. Any time you’re in a house alone. When prepping/closing for a showing, open house, etc.
Open house tables. Have them outside!
Be mindful of the exits. Don’t walk into a room first. Always have the prospect walk in front of you. Instead of leading them, gesture and direct them around the property from behind – near an exit.
Safe word / phrase. Have a Safety phrase / word that you can use with colleagues and/or loved ones in case of emergency. If you’re in a pickle and need someone to come help you, have a pre-planned phrase so they know you’re in trouble. Here’s an example from NAR, “Hi, this is Jennifer. I’m with Mr. Henderson at the Elm Street listing. Could you email me the RED FILE?”
Bring someone with you. When in doubt, bring someone along with you to meet a new person.
A few final words of wisdom: Don’t bend your rules for anyone and ALWAYS trust your instincts. If you get a weird feeling about something or someone, tell someone or do something about it. My rule – if something bothers me for 24 hours, say/do something about it within 48 hours.
Safety is such an important part of our job. I hope these 10 safety tips help keep safety top of mind while you’re on the job. Be safe out there!