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61 Safety Tips

61 safety-related things to think about, implement, and practice.

  1. “I hope it doesn’t happen to me” is not a self-protection plan. Remain diligent.
  2. Never hold an open house alone. Partner with another agent, a lender — someone.
  3. Meet new clients in a public place, not a listing. Your office is ideal. Need to be more handy? Ask a title company or attorney if you can borrow a conference room. Have that initial chat in a coffee shop. Your policy should always be to meet a new client with others.
  4. Buddy up. Work with an agent friend or two and accompany each other on initial meetings and showings, open houses, door-knocking, and anywhere else you might meet new people. 
  5. Trust your gut. Your instincts are sharp. Listen to them.
  6. If you feel uncomfortable, leave the situation
  7. Practice good situational awareness. Prevent tragedy before it happens.
  8. Take a self-defense class.
  9. Practice self-defense frequently. A couple of classes you took three years ago won’t help if you don’t practice techniques often
  10. Carry a weapon. Yes, this is often controversial, but it is a viable option. Handguns are one of several options: pepper spray, mace, or a knife. 
  11. You must practice a lot to carry a firearm. There’s a reason law enforcement officers spend hours on the range. Without “muscle memory,” your chances of appropriately reacting when faced with danger are slim. A gun in your purse, strapped on your hip, wherever it may be, won’t help if you can’t use it properly in the middle of the most significant moment of fear and adrenaline rush of your life.
  12. Use a safety app.
  13. Carry a “personal safety device” (jewelry or a device designed to alert emergency officials). 
  14. Always tell someone where you are going, who you’ll be with, and when you expect to be home/back in the office.
  15. Establish an office code word for trouble. “The red file” is frequently used. You call your office: “Hi, I’m showing 123 Main Street and forgot the red file. Can you email me?” The “red file” code word has been frequently published, possibly making it more likely to alert whoever is with you. Using a word or phrase, everyone knows means “I’m in trouble” without alerting the person or people with you. 
  16. Don’t advertise a listing as vacant. Vacant listings attract bad people
  17. Keep your phone charged.
  18. Lock your car at showings and open houses. The last thing you want to do is drive away with someone crouched in the back seat. 
  19. Look inside your car before getting in. Yes, even if you locked it.
  20. Be bright. Don’t show homes or hold them open when it’s dark outside. Yes, that may limit your hours for showings. Deal with it. Your safety is way more precious than a paycheck.
  21. Consider adding a cloud-based camera to open houses. Simply knowing a property is under surveillance can be a crime deterrent.
  22. Require open house visitors to sign in. Of course, they can always fake their name, but it’s better than nothing.
  23. Have an office policy that requires potential clients to submit a photo ID at initial contact. Could this cause a potential client to walk away? Sure. Safety first!
  24. Ditto for requiring a photo ID at open house sign-in
  25. Advise sellers to put away and secure firearms, tech, jewelry, and prescriptions. These are the most targeted items for which thieves look.
  26. Before leaving an open house or showing, lock the doors and windows.
  27. Only bring what you need. There is no need to have your wallet, money, or credit cards at an open house.
  28. Check out NAR’s Safety Resources for Brokers page.
  29. Check out NAR’s Realtor Safety Program page.
  30. Take NAR’s Realtor Safety Matters course.
  31. Does your broker have a safety plan? If not, demand it and help create one.
  32. Does your local or state association offer safety courses? If not, demand them and help create them.
  33. Remember, safety is non-negotiable.
  34. Keep the client(s) in front of you as you show or tour an open house.
  35. Always have an exit. Stay between the client and the door
  36. When closing an open house, check all rooms and closets to ensure no one is hiding. Be prepared to react (run!) if they are. 
  37. Keep your phone in your hand at showings and opens.
  38. Flight is almost always a better option than fight.
  39. If it comes down to it, fight. And scream. Claw, kick jab keys into eyes
  40. If a client makes unwanted advances and doesn’t understand that “no means no,” fire them. Could you lose a transaction? Yes, deal with it. Your safety is far more important than a paycheck.
  41. If a client makes an unwanted advance, don’t lie (I’m married or have a significant other), and don’t say, “I’m flattered, but … ” It’s not flattering. It’s creepy and potentially dangerous. Tell them, “No, this is a professional relationship.” If they don’t get it, fire them
  42. Let buyers drive themselves. Gone are the days when agents need to haul around clients. You’re a professional real estate agent, not a taxi or Uber driver. You’ll probably save on car insurance, too. 
  43. Don’t be too public. Don’t share too much personal information. When advertising your business, consider not including your photograph, home phone number, or home address in the newspaper or business cards. Don’t use your full name with your middle name or initial. Use your office address — or list no address at all. Giving out too much of the wrong information can make you a target.
  44. Don’t get blocked in. At showings and opens, park on the street, not in the driveway, where someone can easily block your car.
  45. Lock the doorknobs, but not deadbolts, when showing or holding opens. That will help keep unwanted visitors outside but make it easier to get away if necessary. 
  46. Don’t text and drive, ever. It’s best not to talk on the phone, even hands-free. Focus on your driving. If a call or message is that important, pull over (and lock your doors).
  47. Spot and avoid danger using the 10-second rule. Take 10 seconds to ask yourself questions and assess your surroundings from the moment you arrive at your destination to meet with a client. Plan an escape route.
  48. Consider using only your first initial and last name on signage to conceal your gender and prevent anyone other than a personal friend or client from asking for you by name.
  49. Don’t use the same password for every account/login you have. Consider using a secure password manager to hold and create passwords.
  50. Enable “Find My iPhone” (Find My Device for Android phones). This feature will help you locate a lost phone, and more importantly, it allows you to lock out the phone if it’s stolen. 
  51. Invest in a secure hotspot. Hotspots are handy when cell and Wi-Fi are spotty. Always be connected.
  52. Pre-program essential numbers on your cell phone. Emergency contacts, roadside assistance, 911, your office.
  53. Don’t speed away if you feel you’re being followed. Keep calm, and drive to a public place or police station. Do not drive home.
  54. Always use the password/lock feature on your laptop, phone, and tablet. You don’t want anyone else to have easy access if those are lost or stolen.
  55. Work with your sellers to consider video surveillance options. Be sure to understand local laws. 
  56. Meet the neighbors. Introduce yourself to the neighbors around your listings and opens. They can be eyes and ears while you are there or away.
  57. Follow your office data security policy. If they don’t have one, demand one. It’s a must-have in this day and age.
  58. You spend a lot of time in your car. Pack an emergency kit with water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, and a blanket. A solar-powered phone charger comes in handy. Be prepared. 
  59. Help others stay safe. If you’ve been contacted by a suspicious person, been involved in a situation, or felt something was wrong, talk to your fellow agents, broker, and association. 
  60. Keep your face out of your phone. Stay away from walking in an unfamiliar area while looking down or texting. Keep your head up, and stay alert
  61. Think about safety — all the time. Help other agents do the same. You are important to someone. Be diligent, be aware, and think

That’s 61 safety-related things to think about, implement, and practice. Stay safe!




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