Realtor Safety Tips
Real estate agents enjoy working with the public, but they have a right to be attentive to their own safety.
Real estate firms have responded to recent violence against Realtors by implementing procedures to help keep their agents safe.
If your brokerage office has developed Realtor safety policies, learn them and follow them consistently. If it hasn't, here are some things you can do to help minimize
your risk of being attacked.
- Verify Your Customers
Ask your customer for work, phone and cell phone numbers and a physical address. Ty to verify the information by calling the customer at one
or more numbers. If you cannot do that, enter the customer's home phone number or name, city and state on Google to see if you get a match.
- Do not agree to meet unknown customers at a property
Require that they come to your office and record their license plate number and description of their car. One real estate agent we know suggests that it isn't out of line to ask to make a copy of their driver's licenses.
- Give someone in your office an itinerary of properties you plan to show
and check in as often as possible by cell phone. Agree upon a code word or phrase that alerts them when
you are uncomfortable about a showing and a second phrase for emergency situations.
If you call and say those words, they'll know that someone should either head out to accompany you or call the police.
- Never get into a car with someone you don't know
Use your vehicle for showings or ask your customer to follow you in another car. If you encounter a threatening situation
while in your vehicle, hit the brakes suddenly to startle your attacker then get out of the car and run.
- "Never, ever, work at a public open house alone," says one Tampa Florida real estate broker. "There are multiple reasons for this," she says, "but, in addition to the safety consideration, it also prevents an attack team where one of them keeps you occupied while the other
searches the home for valuables.
- Whenever you are in your car alone, keep all the doors locked. Attackers frequently wait at stop lights and then jump into a car with a single female just as the light changes. Don't let that happen to you.
- Never show vacant properties alone unless you know your customers well.
- Carry mace (where its use is legal) or pepper spray in your pocket, not your purse where it will be harder to get to.
- Keep your customers "in front of you" when entering a room, especially a bedroom. Stay at the doorway and let them enter the room. After all, you want them to experience the room
as they would if they owned the home so this should not appear to be anything other than a normal presentation of the room.
- An experienced Sarasota realtor told us, "If you feel you are being followed while in your car, drive directly to a police department or sheriff';s office before stopping the car.
- Finally, trust your instincts. Be safe, not sorry