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How Agents Can Avoid Being Targeted by Predators

September 26 2017

This article is part of a series we are publishing for Realtor Safety Month. Read previous articles here and here.

The real estate industry has traditionally approached crime against REALTORS® as if it were random and opportunistic. This is a fallacy. The overwhelming majority of crime against REALTORS® is predatory crime committed by predators. Simply look at what someone must do to commit a crime against a REALTOR®:

  1. Pick a victim
  2. "Research" the victim
  3. Pick a location for their attack
  4. Create a plan as to how they will get their victim to the location alone
  5. Execute on that plan
  6. Once at the location, create a plan on how they'll get their victim isolated where they cannot be seen or heard
  7. Execute on that plan
  8. Attack!

As you can see, this is far from opportunistic.

Don't Let Your Marketing Make You a Target

male agent headshotAnother important point to keep in mind is that violent predator's motive is power and control. Consequently, weakness, subservience, and vulnerability in pictures and language can possibly attract a predator. That being said, a big part of marketing yourself as a REALTOR® is making yourself and your picture as prominent as possible.

Here are some quick tips on how to avoid projecting vulnerability in your photograph:

  • Be aware of facial expressions
  • Look straight into the camera
  • Keep your head vertical, not tilted 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.
  • Project a 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.

To view the original article, visit the Real Safe Agent blogReal Safe Agent blog.