As a realtor, you’re constantly meeting new clients and showing empty properties. Sadly, a lot of agents have been in situations that are uncomfortable and because of this, it’s crucial to listen to your gut and keep yourself safe at all costs, even if it makes you come off as rude.
Here are five simple tips to improve realtor safety and reduce the opportunity for a dangerous situation from happening.
Always Meet the Buyer Prior to Showing a Property
One of the worst things you can do is meet a potential buyer for the first time at a vacant property. With social media and listing sites allowing anyone and everyone to contact you to set up a listing, meeting the interested buyer in a public place or at your real estate office will allow you to vet them before showing them a vacant property. If you notice anything that is “off” about the individual or if you feel in the slightest bit uncomfortable, you’ll easily be able to step away from the client without it being awkward.
Always Tell Someone Where You’re Going
Even if you’ve met with a potential buyer five times before, always tell someone where you’re going. It can be a coworker, a family member, or even a friend. If something were to happen, they will know your last whereabouts.
Know the House Inside & Out
Before meeting a client at a property, arrive 30 to 45 minutes early to prepare for your showing. Do a complete walkthrough of the house, check closets, and unlock doors. If something were to happen, you want to be aware of any possible exit routes.
- Unlock all deadbolts to make it easier to exit the home.
- Walk around the outside of the property to find any possible escape routes. Are there any fences that would block you in?
- Have a sign in sheet to get as much information from the buyer as possible.
- Avoid rooms with no escape route, such as attics and small rooms.
- Don’t assume everyone has left the property after a showing or open house. Always check all rooms and closets before leaving.
Always Walk Behind the Buyer(s)
When showing a property to a potential buyer, always walk behind them, even when entering a room. Keeping behind them will allow you to watch for any unexpected movement and avoid an unexpected attack from behind.
Don’t Be So Polite
In the real estate industry, we’re taught to be polite, cheerful, and welcoming. We’re not saying you shouldn’t be those things, but if you do feel uncomfortable or feel like something isn’t right, don’t worry about being rude. Leave, walk away, get in your car. This will remove you completely from any issues.
If you are in a situation you don’t feel like you can just walk away, pretend to take a phone call in order to step out of the room.
Following these 5 easy tips will help to improve your awareness and safety when out in the field. And always remember to trust your gut!