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9 Mobile Apps that Keep Realtors Safe During Showings

September 21 2017

Realtors are increasingly turning to smartphone apps to keep them safe on the job, according to new research.

NAR's 2017 Member Safety Report says that 44 percent of Realtors use a smartphone safety app, up from 42 percent in 2016. Real estate agents use these apps to track their location and alert designated contacts in case of an emergency. Women are more likely to use safety apps--48 percent of female agents report that they do, while only 34 percent of men say the same.

So which are apps are most popular among Realtors? Here's what NAR's survey says:

safety month 2017 apps nar report

What's interesting about the data above is that the vast majority of survey respondents don't use a dedicated safety app. Instead, 33 percent report using their phone's built-in tracking feature. While that's great for finding your phone if you lose it (and protecting its data), it's not so great for keeping you safe.

Why? Let's dig into how safety apps are different, and the features that specific apps offer.

The Advantage of Dedicated Safety Apps

While phone tracking apps will only help locate your phone when lost, safety apps let you discreetly call for help, and can lead authorities and emergency contacts to your location. Some apps offer an alarm feature to draw attention to your situation and deter attackers. Still others offer audio and video recording capabilities so that any criminal activity can be documented.

Here are nine dedicated safety apps that can help protect you during showings:

Safety Apps for Real Estate

Several safety apps have been built specifically for the unique security needs of real estate agents, including:

1. HomeSnap Pro - Yes, HomeSnap is a property search app (and the official app of the Broker Public Portal). But did you know that it has a safety feature built in? Activate HomeSnap Pro's Safety Timer right before a showing. When you're finished, cancel the time. If you don't cancel the time, it assumes that you're in distress and will alert your emergency contacts with your location and a request for assistance.

2. SentriSmart - SentriLock's mobile app is another real estate tool you may already use. Last year, the app added a safety timer that starts counting down as soon as you open a listing's lockbox. The feature periodically asks if you're okay. If you don't respond to the prompt in a timely manner, SentriLock sends an alert to your emergency contacts.

3. Real Safe AgentReal Safe Agent - Offered as a free member benefit of your MLS or association, Real Safe Agent relies on the entire real estate community to keep agents safe. The "Accompany Me" feature lets agents request nearby agents to go with them on a showing when they feel unsafe. When agents feel uneasy during a showing, the "Drop-in Alert" feature asks nearby agents to stop by the property. To discreetly call for help, agents can shake their phone to dial 911 and alert their emergency contacts. To warn other agents of shady prospects, Realtors can log the name and information of individuals who make them easy in an area-wide database called Prospect Link.

General Safety Apps

4. GuardLlama - Does this app sound familiar? You may know it from the TV show Shark Tank. Only it's not just an app--the GuardLlama system consists of a wearable safety device that pairs with a mobile app on your phone via Bluetooth. Feel threatened or have an emergency? Press the button on GuardLlama's wearable device and your GPS location, photo, and medical information will be sent immediately to the authorities.

5. Life 360 - Built with families in mind, Life 360 lets you track the locations of multiple people under the same account. The premium version of the app offers a crime alerts feature that displays "hotspots" for crime on a map so that you can avoid them. 'Driver Protect' offers vehicular crash detection, automatic alerting of authorities, and extended roadside assistance.

6. Trusted Contacts - This free new app from Google taps into your phone's GPS capabilities to notify your emergency contacts when you're in danger and share your location with them. It also lets trusted contacts 'walk you home' in threatening situations--they can speak with you while monitoring your GPS location on a map. Select people can even monitor your location on Google Maps, and request a safety status check if worried.

7. CompanionCompanion - This iOS only app lets you set your destination and periodically checks in with you to see if you're okay. If you don't respond, Companion will alert your contacts. Companion also sports an "I Feel Nervous" button that lets you report when you feel unsafe and alerts your contacts. The app can even detect when your phone falls to the ground or your headphones have been yanked out--signs of a possible threat. In addition, Companion makes it easy to contact emergency services in your area.

8. bSafe - Like all of the apps on this list, bSafe uses GPS to monitor your situation. The app lets your friends "walk you home" virtually by tracking your location in real-time on a map. BSafe also documents the situation you are in when you activate an emergency alert via video and audio. And if you're in an uncomfortable encounter with someone, bSafe can send you a fake call so that you can discreetly back out of the situation.

9. Glympse - Give your teammates and loved ones a, well, glimpse into your location via real-time maps that only designated contacts can see. A "Glympse" is also something you can send or receive. Request a Glympse from a client who's running late, or send one to a spouse who's wondering where you are. You can share your Glympses with anyone, too; they don't need the app to view it. Glympse also lets you contact emergency services when needed.

Do you use a safety app (or a wearable device)? Share your experiences and favorite apps on our Facebook page.