Too often, Realtors find themselves in dangerous situations. They may have to go into neighborhoods that are unsafe or they might find themselves face to face with a snarling dog. Sometimes, criminals walk right into an open house.
In 2016, about three percent of all Realtors reported that they were physically attacked when working. Though this might seem like a small number of people, by comparison consider that only about two percent of the entire population of the country are attacked each year. So, this means that if you are a Realtor, your odds of getting assaulted are higher than average.
None of us are immune to this. Here’s a short, true account that was posted to Facebook about a Realtor’s experience…and it could happen to you:
“Another reason why I like running my real estate business by referral: Went to meet a female seller today who contacted me on-line. She told me she would meet me at her property as it is an occupied rental. She was there and so were four random guys. It was a small, cramped house, and she told me the tenant would take me around on a tour, as he lived there, and he knew the house better than her…. immediately I knew something was strange.
The guy took me around the first floor of the house, and then he showed me upstairs. At this point, another man, who was NOT one of the four men downstairs, appears out of nowhere. He was standing behind me, and I started to get really nervous, as my instincts told me something was really off here. I made a quick excuse and went back downstairs. I then took out my phone and while chatting briefly with the seller, I sent a text of my location to my team. Then I left.
I’m 5ft, weigh about 100 pounds, and I would have been no match for them.
I realized halfway through that 10-minute tour that no one knew where I was. I also realized that I didn’t know who these people were, nor if this woman was really the seller.
The point of my story is this: Please be extra vigilant when being in homes of strangers. I know it sounds obvious, yet it’s not for some of us who just go with the flow and the motions of our everyday job. This situation ended well, but it could have been a very different outcome.”
In this story, almost instantly the agent knew something was off about this situation. One of the men took the agent to the second floor, and before she knew it, there was another man directly behind her…and this man was NOT one of the men she had seen downstairs.
This was a very scary situation, and though this story ended without her getting hurt, plenty of these situations, do end up with the agent getting harmed. Stay smart, remain vigilant, and trust your instincts when something seems odd.
Here are some more tips to help you stay out of harm’s way when showing or touring your next house:
1- Before meeting with a potential buyer, do some research – This might be as simple as looking them up on Google or asking them to fill out a questionnaire.
2- Check IDs – Check the ID of any potential buyer/seller before showing a home. If they refuse, this is a red flag. You should take a photo of the ID and keep it on your phone. Also, text it to a colleague just in case.
3- Show during the day – Only show a home when it’s light out, not at night.
4- Bring a friend– Do you have an assistant, friend, or family member who wants to keep you safe? Bring them along. When you show a home, bring a buddy. Make sure the buyer/seller knows that this other person is coming, too.
5- Understand what you are getting into – Do your best to know the home when going into it for the first time. Ask if there is anyone in the home, too.
6- Stay near the exits – Make sure during a showing, that you always have an eye on the exit. Also, don’t go into any area, such as a basement, where someone couldn’t hear you if you had to yell for help.
7- Keep your guard up – Any person who walks into a home is a potential “bad guy/gal.” Keep your guard up, even if they seem like they are safe.
8- Be smart with advertising – People should know that viewing the home is by appointment only and that you will check their ID before the showing.
9- Dress appropriately – Don’t wear expensive jewelry when showing a home, and dress in a professional manner.
10- Trust your instincts– Finally, trust your instincts. If you get the feeling that something just isn’t right, it probably isn’t.
Source: Protect Now LLC — Founded by the founder of a real estate brokerage to serve other brokerages and their agents, Protect Now’s aim is to create a community dedicated to help keep us all safe from harm by bringing together the latest and best safety technology, tools and resources.
The company’s CSI Protection certiﬁcation promotes proactive strategies to enhance safety and security for real estate and associated businesses. This certification offering will return to RI REALTORS on April 9th, 2020. RI Realtors – See details on the RIAR Course Calendar on RIREALTORS.org.