Real Estate Agents provide an essential service to home buyers and home sellers in our communities, and much of their time is spent meeting clients and traveling between homes. To highlight the importance of realtor safety, September is designated as National Realtor Safety Month. Read on for best practices to ensure a safe and successful showing or open house!
Prepare For Home Showing with Realtor® Safety in Mind
Meet and Learn about the Client
Schedule a meeting at the office to pre-qualify your new client before arranging a showing. Learn more about their work or how long they've lived in the area. Make sure to collect their cell phone, home phone, and work phone numbers and share with a colleague. This will both streamline the process, and ensure your personal safety at the showing.
Consider Your Schedule
When possible, schedule appointments to show the property before dark. If an after-hours showing is necessary, turn on lights and open shades before entering the home. Always share your schedule and appointment details with a colleague or assistant.
Tour the Property Before Clients Arrive
Familiarize yourself with the home to eliminate surprises during the tour, increase your comfort level, and gain insight into the property details. When walking through the home, make note of where the exits are located. This will allow for an easy escape in case of a fire or other emergency.
Familiarize Yourself with the Area
If you are unfamiliar with the neighborhood, make note of nearby landmarks, verify the exact address of the property you are showing, and share this information with a colleague.
Check for Cell Service
Factors like thick walls and remote locations may interfere with cell reception. Make sure that you have cell service and a full battery before arriving to the property. If you know that you have poor reception in the area, alert your colleagues before the appointment, and identify where on the property you have the best reception.
Realtor® Safety During an Open House or Showing
Keep valuables like a purse, wallet, or non-essential items locked inside your car and out of view of windows. This will increase your personal safety, while keeping your hands free to use essential business items.
Have the Client Lead the Way
When showing clients around the home, have them walk in front of you. Simply direct and gesture for them to go ahead when guiding them through each room. Avoid entering areas where this may not practical, like attics, crawl spaces, or garages.
Trust Your Instincts
If the situation at an open house or private showing feels unsafe, don't hesitate to act. Politely excuse yourself and reschedule for another time that a colleague can join you.
After the Real Estate Showing
Walk Through the Property
After an open house or showing, make sure that everyone has left the premises before locking up. If possible, ask a colleague to help you check all rooms in the home.
Transport Cash Deposits Safely
When carrying large cash deposits to the bank, remain vigilant and use the buddy system or arrange for a security service.
Being a Realtor® allows you to help clients in your community, but it also comes with safety risks. With preparation and vigilance, these best practices can help reduce the occurrence of safety incidents in the industry. For more helpful information, see the Realtor Safety Program’s full list of safety tips, or visit the National Association of REALTORS® website.