Here are reminders of simple ways to stay safe on the job any time you are showing a property.
1. Don’t meet strangers at a property.
For a first meeting, ask the real estate prospect to meet at your office when other people are present. If anything seems off or strange to you about the prospect, make sure to introduce them to others in the office. If for some reason it isn’t practical to meet at the office, and you need to meet prospects at a property, take a partner.
2. Be informed about your clients.
Use a prospect form to gather your potential client’s name, address, car information (including make, model, and license plate) and their driver’s license. If you are uncomfortable asking for this information, tell them it is company policy. Here is a sample form from the National Association of REALTORS®.
3. Don’t allow clients to ride in your car unless you know them well.
Again, you can use company policy as the reason, or make an excuse that you have another appointment.
4. Bring a partner if you are showing a vacant home.
If a coworker isn’t available, bring a friend, or family member. In addition, arrive before a new prospect to take a minute to walk around the property and check for signs someone may be inside, such as broken or open windows, and unlocked or open doors.
5. Don’t show properties after dark – especially vacant homes.
This is especially true of a vacant home where the power has been turned off. If you must show a house after dark, always take a partner.
6. Be aware of your surroundings.
When you arrive at your destination, take a few minutes to check out the surrounding area and park in a visible, easy-to-access area. Ask yourself: Can you be blocked in? Is anyone loitering around? Does anything seem out of place?
7. Trust your instincts.
If you feel uncomfortable or sense anything suspicious, trust your gut and leave immediately. It is better to risk embarrassment or a potential sale than your safety.
8. Have an excuse ready if you feel uncomfortable.
Make up an excuse ahead of time in case you feel uncomfortable and want to leave. For example, “I forgot an important form in the car,” “Oh, gosh, I just remembered I have another appointment,” or “I’m sorry, but I need to take a call.”