With plenty of people looking for new homes this summer, safety should be the top priority for real estate agents. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has some tips and guidelines for staying safe throughout the home buying season.

  • Never host an open house alone; take a colleague with you.
  • If you are showing a model home, have your cell phone and car keys with you at all times. Keep your handbag locked in the trunk of your car.
  • Let others in your office know where you’re going.
  • Meet a potential client in your office first*
  • Never show a property alone after dark or advertise it as vacant.
  • Always take your car for showings and remember to lock it.
  • When exploring a home, let potential buyers take the lead while you follow behind.
  • Avoid going into the basement or confined areas with a prospect. Even going upstairs alone can be dangerous.
  • Be aware of what prospects are doing at all times – don’t become too preoccupied with viewing the house

If you start to feel uncomfortable with a situation, have a scenario prepared that allows you to leave or encourage the prospect to leave. Examples: Your cell phone or beeper went off and you have to call the office; you left information in your car that you need to get; you’re expecting another salesperson with buyers in a few minutes. Remember: It is better to walk away from from a listing or a showing if you feel uneasy or unsafe.

*Louisiana REALTORS, the Washington Real Estate Safety Council and REALTOR Magazine suggest making a photocopy of each prospect’s driver’s license. REALTOR.org even has a Prospect Identification Form that can be used to request car make, license number, contact information and employer information.

Being aware of your surroundings is key to avoiding dangerous situations. Another great tip from the NAR is to follow the 10-Second Rule:

Take 2 seconds when you arrive at your destination

  • Is there any questionable activity in the area?
  • Is your parking space well-lit and easily visible?
  • Could you be blocked in by a prospect’s vehicle?

Take 2 seconds after exiting your car

  • Are there suspicious people nearby?
  • Do you know exactly where you’re going?

Take 2 seconds as you walk toward your destination

  • Is the area busy or relatively quiet?
  • Are there any hiding places or obstacles along the street or in the parking lot?
  • Are there any loiterers in the area?

Take 2 seconds at the door

  • Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
  • Is someone following you in?

Take 2 seconds as soon as you enter your destination

  • Does anything seem out of place?
  • Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?

By utilizing the tips and advice mentioned above, you can keep yourself safe on the job. For a complete list of resources for staying safe, visit the National Association of REALTORS website.

Do you have any safety advice for your fellow real estate agents? Share it here.

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