Realtors Most Risky Everyday Situations
As a real estate professional, you just might not realize it but you put yourself at risk every day. Meeting new clients, showing properties, holding open houses, letting strangers get into your car, and even your marketing may be jeopardizing your personal safety. These everyday tasks seem harmless, but these situations can expose you to danger.
Below, we have some common tasks to practically every realtor. Learn the risks and precautions you can take to stay safe.
1. Accessing foreclosed or vacant homes
Foreclosures attract unexpected house guests. Such as squatters, former home owners refusing to leave or attract wildlife since it’s abandoned, leading to potential safety hazards.
Inspect the Perimeter. Before entering the house, walk around the area and make sure the door hasn’t been kicked in and no windows are shattered. Call police if you suspect someone is in the property.
Never confront a squatter. If a squatter is in the home, leave immediately, call law enforcement and allow police to deal with any trespassers.
The buddy system. Ask a co-worker, spouse, friend, or family member to come with you when you show the home.
Inform others where you are. Before leaving, tell your co-workers, family, or friends where you are, who you’re with, and when you expect to return.
The Day Visit. Try to make appointments during the day only. Visiting homes at night makes it more dangerous.
2. Meeting with a new client for the first time
Meeting with strangers can put your safety at risk. You don’t know whether this person could potentially be a criminal, stalker, thief, or worse.
Meet at the office first. Get them on your territory before you visit any property with them so you can learn more about them and collect personal information about them for your files.
Ask for ID’s. The public is used to having their identification checked, so don’t be reluctant to ask because you’re scared you’ll offend someone. Tell clients it’s company policy that all clients' driver’s licenses are photocopied.
Have all clients fill out a customer identification form. The form asks for car make and license number, contact information, and employer information, and also requests a photocopy of the driver’s license.
Introduce them to a co-worker. When you meet them at the office, introduce them to at least one other person in your office.
3. Showing a property alone
You’re visiting vacant properties with strangers.
The buddy system. There’s always strength in numbers. Whether you bring a co-worker, spouse, or even your German shepherd, avoid going alone.
Don’t go into confined areas. Avoid basements and attics where you can easily be trapped. Instead, know the selling points of these rooms and remain in the foyer on the first floor with the front door open as the buyer tours these areas.
Walk behind. Let potential buyers take the lead when touring a home, with you always following behind.
Let others know where you are. Tell them where you are going, when you will be back, and who you’re with.