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Realtor Safety: Reducing the Risk of Being Targeted

September 11 2015

This month, we're publishing content from a course on Realtor Safety. This is the fourth in a series of articles that teaches Realtors how to prevent being a victim of crime. Read the previous article here.Read the previous article here.

male agent headshotThe first step in preventing yourself from being the victim of a crime is eliminating as many "attractors" as possible. That being said, a big part of marketing yourself as a real estate agent is making yourself and your picture as prominent as possible. This section is about how to still market yourself, but make minor changes that remove as many "attractors" as possible.


Images are an important part of marketing yourself and your listings. However, they are also often the item that starts the targeting process. Your professional photos can be an attractor for both the power motive and the profit motive.

To reduce the risk of being targeted by those with a power motive:

  • Avoid full body pictures
  • Wherever possible, use photos that are above or right at the shoulders

When using pictures that include the upper body:

  • Be professional
  • Wear a shirt that goes no lower than the top of the breast bone
  • Don't wear anything form fitting
  • Wear professional colors
  • Wear a jacket where possible
  • Be aware of facial expressions
  • Professional, authoritative smile and expression – We smile differently towards a client than we do towards a loved one. A professional smile is a facial expression that establishes a "boundary," whereas a personal smile is a facial expression that is softer, warmer, and conveys vulnerability.
    • Look straight into the camera
    • Keep your head vertical, no tilt to one side or another
    • Professional eyes (relaxed and fully open, but not "strained open" as if you are surprised)
    • For women, your make-up should be natural and understated.

To reduce the risk of being targeted by those with a profit motive:

  • Avoid pictures that depict you with an expensive vehicle
  • Avoid jewelry, if possible
    • Jewelry should be minimal and understated
    • Wedding rings visible in photos should be a simple wedding band.

Read the next article in this series now: Setting Expectations in Your Marketing

Read More Articles in this Series

September is Realtor® Safety Month. Throughout the month, RE Technology will be publishing excerpts from an educational course on Realtor Safety in partnership with safety app creator Real Safe Agent. Here's the list of articles that have been published to date:

Please consider sharing this important information with your colleagues, your agents (brokers), and membership (MLSs and associations)!