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How Safe Are You? What a New Realtor Safety Report Reveals

September 20 2016

safety stop silhouetteThe National Association of Realtors released their 2016 Member Safety Report2016 Member Safety Report today, and it's packed full of insights about how safe agents feel on the job, their personal experiences, and how their brokerages help reinforce agent security.

"Like most jobs that require interacting with the public, selling real estate involves some level of risk," NAR President Tom Salomone said in a statement.

NAR surveyed 3,000 Realtors and found that 5 percent of respondents had been a victim of a job-related crime. Nearly one in four Realtors have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information. Here are a few other key statistics:

  • 5 percent of Realtors have been a victim of a crime
  • 2 percent of Realtors have been robbed, and 1 percent assaulted
  • 1 percent of Realtors have experienced identity theft
  • 39 percent of Realtors have been in a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information
  • Far more females than males--46 percent vs. 22 percent--reported encountering fearful situations
  • 44 percent say their brokerage has standard procedures for agent safety

Agents most often said they felt fearful during open houses, when showing vacant and model homes, when working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured, and showing properties in remote areas.

Here's a breakdown of who has experienced fearful situations and where:

NAR 2016 Member Safety Report 1

How Are Agents Protecting Themselves?

The NAR survey also dove into the methods Realtors use to protect themselves in the field.

Forty-two percent use a smartphone safety app to track their location and alert designated contacts in case of emergency. Women more likely to use safety apps--45 percent of female agents say they do, while only 35 percent of men report the same.

So what are apps are agents using? Here's a rundown:

NAR 2016 Member Safety Report 3

Realtors will soon be able to add lockbox app SentriSmart to that list. Sentrilock, the app's maker, announced that they will soon add a safety feature that starts a timer once a listing's lockbox is opened. When the timer runs out, the app asks the agent for a status update. If the agent doesn't respond, an emergency contact is notified. The feature is expected to be available in late October.

Self-Defense Weapons of Choice

Many Realtors also choose to carry a weapon with them for self defense. While men and women are equally likely to have a weapon, men are more likely to carry weapons capable of lethal force, as the graph below shows:

NAR 2016 Member Safety Report 2

Most Common Safety Precautions

Beyond apps and weapons, education plays a big part in helping agents play it safe. Forty percent of Realtors have taken self-defense class, and 19 percent have taken a Realtor safety course. Of those who completed a safety course, 73 percent said they felt more prepared for unknown situations.

As far as safety procedures for screening prospects goes, well, we're halfway there. According to the survey, the typical Realtor meets just 50 percent of prospective buyers and sellers they don't know in their brokerage's office or other neutral location before showing.

Your broker probably has other best practices you can follow in order to ensure your safety. If you're not sure (and 27 percent of Realtors aren't), just ask!

NAR also offers members an array of other safety resources, including tips and articles, safety training videos, courses and presentation materials, and safety-focused webinars. You can learn more at