As professionals in the real estate industry, which is ever evolving, we know we need to be diligent and present to protect ourselves. As we get stuck in our daily routines, it is easy to become lax about safety measures and not protect ourselves to the full extent.
A 2018 National Association of Realtors® survey found that one-third of real estate professionals found themselves in a work situation that made them fear for their personal safety, or for the safety of their personal information. What can you do to protect yourself as you earn a living?
I always say the most important thing is to trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable with a situation, whether it’s the client or the property, either find someone from your office to go with you or cancel. Your life is not worth a transaction.
When meeting new clients, always insist they come to your office first and make copies of their identification cards. When showing clients properties, always let them lead and follow behind, especially to locations like basements or attics, where it would be easy to be trapped. Try to make your showings during the day, and always make sure a business colleague or close friend or family member knows your schedule and plans.
If you’re hosting an open house, have visitors sign in, make sure the homeowners have securely put away any valuables and medications and check the property fully before leaving.
Being a Realtor® oftentimes means building a personal relationship with clients. After all, you are helping them with the biggest transaction of their lives. But be careful about how much information about yourself you share. You don’t want someone to take advantage of anything you talk about in passing, like upcoming vacations or local plans.
And always be prepared. Check the properties you are showing for ways out. Trust your gut and always tell people you trust where you will be and when you will be back when working with clients. As Realtors®, we are used to going above and beyond for our clients, make sure you are doing the same for yourself.
For more Realtor® safety resources, visit https://www.nar.realtor/safety/realtor-safety-tips-from-nar.