1. Entertain Near An Exit and With Your Phone Close By.
“When it comes to open houses and tours with clients new to you, hanging out near the front door or another exit is a great safety strategy. I always keep my cell phone in my pocket. If it is a man by himself, I never go to the basement and I stay near the front door,” says Marilyn Dexter of Sandwich, Maine.
This strategy is good for two reasons– First, it keeps you sage. Second, it gives potential buyers breathing room to generate their own questions and tell you what’s important in a sale. If you have to make a quick exit due to danger, you’ll be in the best position. If the buyers are serious, the feedback they come up with on their own will help you find them a home that’s the best fit.
2. Don’t Use Tools You Don’t Know.
Recently, Rose O’Reilly of San Diego, California commented with some valuable feedback, “Some agents carry pepper spray but I’m afraid I might pepper spray myself by accident.”
If you’re going to invest in devices, like pepper spray, to protect yourself, be sure to supplement them with training and be sure they are kept up to date. In a high-risk situation, training, like a self-defense class, is the only way to help ensure you respond in a way that keeps you safe ad doesn’t increase your risk.
3. Lead from Behind
“Always walk behind the prospects, NEVER lead. You can get bonked on the back of the head!” says Laguna Beach broker, Lee Ann Canaday. If you’ve heard this advice echoed from your broker and places like NAR’s Realtor Safety tips, know that we all repeat it because it’s one of the smartest tactics that too many agents forget about–especially when there’s a big commission to distract.
No matter how nice the property, client, or prospect, be sure not to forget fundamental tips like these to stay safe.
4. Don’t Rely on Numbers for Safety
While a high-traffic open house can make you feel safe, Gloria Ensley of Miami has an important tip for those that think traffic alone is a savior, “One can never be too careful! Especially near the end, bad people tend to stay behind and surprise one when least expected. Stay with someoone you can trust, like a co-worker.”
If you’re looking for someone to partner with you for safety, Sean Hillier, Team Leader from Southern California has a great suggestion, “I always try to have two people at all my open houses. One can be a lender; buyers love talking to lenders about payments, interest rates, etc.”
Numbers are a great way to stay safe and having a back-up attendee, like a lender, can be a great way to pass along and generate referral business.
5. Stop by for a Cell Phone Check
Most of us think of our cell phones as a lifeline, but what if you don’t have reception, then what? Before you go on a property tour, do a quick drive by to make sure you have service in the area. If not, follow the next tip to make sure you’ve got back up in case of danger.
6. Check In with a Trusted Resource
One of my favorites on the list of NAR’s safety tips, is to “Track Your Colleagues.” If you’re headed to a new neighborhood or a property where cell service is spotty, schedule a check in with your broker, family member, or another colleague to help stay safe. These small check in calls, not text messages, are a great way to ensure safety and alert someone if something goes wrong.
7. Never Get Blocked In
This doesn’t just go for walk-throughs. When touring homes, make sure you park in a way that clears you for a quick exit. In driveways, that means you pull in after clients and backing in is better. If in a neighborhood, makes sure your vehicle is pointed outward and not toward a cul-de-sac or dead in. In the case of an emergency, this makes for a quicker, easier getaway.
Safety Tips and Stories
These are just seven of my favorite safety tips. What would you add to the list?
Comment below and tell us about your strategies for showing safely or stories where one of the above tips paid off big when it came to staying safe.