7 Ways to Stay Safe When Showing Houses

Unfortunately, being a realtor is not without risks. It’s not unheard of for realtors or real estate investors to be violently attacked, or worse, when encountering strangers on the job. To ensure that you perform your job in the safest manner possible, please keep the following tips in mind.

Stay Organized

Organized Real Estate

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Always keep a database of leads and appointments that includes client names and addresses. This can be done with a PDA device, smartphone, old-fashioned planner or real estate software. Consider keeping a copy of your day-to-day schedule with this type of updated information at your office, with a co-worker, or with a friend who knows your whereabouts that day.

Take Only Pre-qualified Clients

Pre-qualified Real Estate

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It’s easy to weed out the undesirables by asking if an interested party has been pre-qualified. Most criminals who want to take advantage of a realtor as a means of burglarizing a home or finding an easy victim won’t bother to go through this process. If you only accept pre-qualified clients, you know that they’re serious about purchasing a home and have no ill intentions in mind.

Meet Potential Clients in Public

Real Estate Clients

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Many realtors find themselves meeting clients for the first time at a home site, but this can have consequences. Realtors can become victims meeting strangers at vacant houses, so it’s much safer to schedule a first meeting with a new client in a public place, whether it’s at your office or a nearby coffee shop. Similarly, never accept a ride from a client and insist they follow you in their own cars to and from the home or realty office.

Keep Your Cell Phone Handy

Keep Your Cell Phone Close

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Always carry your cell phone when showing houses. This gives you the opportunity to dial 911 if something goes terribly wrong, but it always serves as a distraction. When you feel like clients are acting a bit off, tell them you need to call your office and will wait outside while they tour the property alone. Call a friend or co-worker who would be willing to stay on the line with you the entire time.

Don’t Work Open Houses Alone

Real Estate Open House

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Open houses have the potential to invite all sorts of unsavory characters who may take advantage of a realtor being there alone all day. During an open house, have the homeowners stay with you on the property. If this isn’t possible, bring a friend or family member who will remain with you during the duration of the open house.

Bring Backup

Backup

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If you still aren’t comfortable meeting a client at a house for a showing, bring someone with you. A spouse, friend, family member or co-worker should be more than willing to tag along if it means ensuring your safety. For added protection, bring your dog along. Perpetrators are less likely to attempt a crime when you’re not alone.

Trust Your Instincts

Real Estate Instincts

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You’ll know when something isn’t right, so don’t brush off that feeling. Rather than second-guess yourself, find your way out of a situation that sends your instincts into overdrive. Keep your finger on the alarm button of your car remote, have pepper spray readily available, and don’t go into a room in front of a client or turn your back when those inner red flags go up.

It’s much better to be wrong about suspect clients than to be sorry for not keeping your guard up.

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