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How to Stay Safe: Agents Share Their Top Safety Tips

September 27 2020

homesnap agents top safety tipsIn honor of Realtor Safety Month, we asked experienced real estate agents their advice on keeping safe on the job. Here's what they had to say:

Convince a client to let you take a photo of their ID—even if you have to bend the truth

"[If they don't want to show an ID], call their bluff before you leave the office: 'My company policy requires I take a picture of your photo ID before I show you the home.'"

Sam Debord, CEO of RESO

In a coronavirus world, a little bit of preparation goes a long way

"Always keep extra hand sanitizer and masks in your car when showing homes. I also bring disinfectant spray to all my showings."

Ronaldo Wilson, Military Mutual Real Estate Services, San Diego and Riverside County, CA

Always make sure a trusted someone knows where you are—and when you're due to return

"My number one tip for agent safety, and especially for female agents showing homes by themselves, is to send your location to someone you work with or a family member. I use this safety precaution whenever I have a showing with a new client I haven't met before or if I pick up on any strange behavior [from a client]. I have even gone so far as making a phone call to a family member letting them know I'll be finishing up soon. This is to alert the person I'm showing [a property to] that I have someone expecting me and they know my whereabouts, just in case."

Brittany Kiepke, Jason Mitchell Real Estate, Scottsdale, AZ

Turn safety into an advertising opportunity

"I always post on social media my open houses I am hosting, and I always send out a story when I get to it. My coworkers and wife follow me, so they know where I am."

Paul Bauer, Red Door Realty, Lincoln, NE

Trust your eyes and your gut

"Pay attention to your surroundings and stay alert when you are with clients. If you have a gut feeling something is off, trust it!

Emily Attwood, RLAH Real Estate, Washington D.C.

Prepare for the worst case scenario

"Always leave the main front door open, never corner yourself in a room, and have a quick escape plan in your head."

Hillary Stone, RE/MAX Cornerstone, Westland, MI

Arrive early

"When meeting new clients at an unfamiliar setting, it's important to get to know your surroundings. Arrive early to get to know the home—looking for exit doors and windows. Above all is your safety. If there is every a situation where you do not feel comfortable, leave immediately!

Rachel Milito, Star Real Estate Agency, Bergen County, NJ

Coordinate safety with your team

"Always communicate with your team if you're meeting someone new. Our team uses WhatsApp and have a group chat. Anytime we are meeting with a client for the first time, we request that their ID be emailed to us prior to the appointment, and we request to meet at the main office for the initial consultation. Clients who do not want to comply, we do not meet with them."

Lettely Foster, P.A., Hamilton & Associates Real Estate Firm, Coral Springs, FL

Stay behind your clients

"Always enter the property, staircase, walkway, etc. behind your clients and/or visitors, never ahead. Someone you don't know can easily attack you from behind and leave you with less of a chance to escape."

Nadiia Pavlyk, Keller Williams, Chicago, IL

Take your time and plan ahead

"As a woman with boots on the ground across LA, it's important when I'm working in Hollywood and Beverly Hills to plan ahead and not rush anything. I make sure I have my pepper spray hidden in my back pocket, and I keep facing forward to all people entering a property at all times. Showing a property does not mean escorting them throughout. Things can happen in a split second. Trust your instincts! Call anyone at anytime. We are busy, and that's OK, but taking a quick call can save your life. As the sun sets earlier each day, bring a colleague. We are all in this together. Cheers to safety!"

Julie Milne, Realtor Partner, RED Real Estate Group, Los Angeles, CA

Don't be a Pop-Tart

"Don't be a Pop-Tart agent! I remember early in my career being very eager to get a sale, and I was also accommodating to potential clients. When that lead came in over the phone wanting to see a listing, I was ready to pop in my car and show the property! I didn't ask the questions necessary to do my job well: 'Are you working with another agent?' 'Are you prequalified?' etc., etc. I have learned that for everyone involved, it is best to meet in the office or another public setting first, and then make sure you let someone know where you will be and with whom. And you can always get a copy of their driver's license and leave it with your receptionist in the office."

Tamara Fox, RE/MAX, Huntsville, AL

To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.