Real estate agent safety is very important. When you work with the general public, you could become a target of a scam or worse. Your safety should be very important, but how do you stay safe as a real estate agent?
There are many things you can do to ensure you stay safe when working as a real estate agent. With the right preparation and effective communication, you can stay safe working in real estate.
Top 12 Tips for Real Estate Agent Safety
1. Stay in Control of Your Schedule
One of the ways you can stay safe as a real estate agent is to stay in control of your schedule. Meet with clients when you’re comfortable meeting with them. With set hours, which can be included in your marketing materials, you don’t have to work after dark. If working during the darker hours makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it.
2. Meet with Clients in Public First
When you schedule a new client meeting, always take it at your office. This can help to weed out anybody not serious or meaning you harm in any way. Don’t meet with people you don’t know outside of the office or alone.
If the office isn’t an option, choose a public location, such as a coffee shop, restaurant, or hotel lobby. This will ensure you’re not alone when you meet with someone new.
3. Do a Full Recon on Social Media
With today’s resources online, you can do a full social media recon before you meet with someone. This can help you to see who the person is and make sure they are real. Checking out the person you plan to meet with on social media first can help you see if they are linked to undesirable activities, too.
4. Keep Up with Car Maintenance
You will spend a lot of time in your car as a real estate agent. This means you need a car that works properly and won’t break down on you. While you cannot plan for every single issue with your car, you can prevent most issues.
Take care of the proper car maintenance on a schedule. This will help to ensure your car doesn’t break down. A good mechanic can also give you an idea of what to expect if something is starting to wear out.
It’s also a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full. Treat the half-tank line as your empty line and always fill up before you drop below the half-full line. This will help keep you prepared for anything.
5. Take a Self-Defense Class
It’s best to be prepared for anything and hope you never have to use your knowledge. Taking a self-defense class can not only help give you confidence in a worst-case scenario but will also allow you to protect yourself. You don’t want to use what you learn in this type of class, but having the skills can come in handy.
Along with a self-defense class, you can carry pepper spray on your person and in your vehicle. This will help to ensure you have a way to buy some time if someone tries to attack you.
6. Be Careful with Your Online Profiles
When you set up your social media profiles, be aware of what you put in the pictures. Don’t display any pictures with expensive jewelry or anything else that might entice a criminal.
Avoid giving out your home address or home phone number, as well. This information can make you a target and many criminals look at social media to find their targets.
7. Always Communicate Where You Are with Someone
Someone in your office should always know where you are supposed to be. This can be an assistant or someone else in the office. If someone knows where you are and where you are supposed to be next, they will know if you don’t arrive at your next destination.
If nobody knows where you are and something happens, it might be hours before someone figures out something happened to you. Communicating where you are and where you are going next is an important part of real estate agent safety.
8. Never Take a Private Showing with a Stranger
If you have not met with a client in the office before, don’t agree to a private showing. Make sure you feel comfortable with the person before you meet with them privately at a showing.
You should also have a completed information form on anybody you meet with for a private showing. This should include the person’s name, a copy of their driver’s license, vehicle information, contact information, etc.
9. Let the Client Lead
When you handle a private showing, you should never leave the client where you cannot see them. Let them lead in front of you during any showing so they are not behind you where you cannot see them. This helps to ensure, that if there was an attacker, they don’t have an easy way to attack you.
10. Take a Co-Worker with You
There is safety in numbers and this refers to real estate agent safety, too. If you feel uncomfortable at all or just want added safety, take a co-worker with you for a showing or open house.
11. Lock Your Purse in the Trunk of Your Car
A purse is an easy target when left out in the open, especially if you have a very nice purse. Leaving it in the trunk of your car, locked up, takes the target out of view. This can help ensure you don’t have to worry about your purse or someone trying to take it from you.
12. Get Trained to Carry a Firearm
While it might not be for everybody, getting properly trained to carry a firearm can help you gain the real estate agent safety you want. A gun, in a self-defense situation, with proper training, is a great equalizer.
While it’s unlikely you will ever need to use your firearm, it can help keep you safe. This tip, especially for females, can be life-saving. An Arkansas real estate agent was targeted specifically because she was a woman that worked alone. This is just one of the several stories across the country of real estate agents attacked because they worked alone.
While simply having a firearm doesn’t make you safer, having a firearm and the proper training can make you safer. Of course, you will still need to exercise situational awareness.
There are many great ways to practice better real estate agent safety. While every single tip on this list might not be perfect for you, putting the right plan in place can make a big difference. Use these tips to make sure you remain safe as you do your very important job as a real estate agent.