As a realtor, you travel to a lot of new and unfamiliar places. You also meet many people from different walks of life. Unfortunately, this makes your job as a realtor dangerous! In case of any unpredictable or dangerous situations, you will want to have a firm understanding of realtor safety tips that will keep you safe on the job.
In this article, discover vital realtor safety tips that will help you protect yourself in the field. You will learn everything you need to know to prevent yourself from getting into a sticky situation.
Here are 9 must-read tips for how you can stay safe as a realtor.
1. Always Trust Your Gut
Every year, reports tell the sad story of realtors that have fallen victim to crimes, physical attacks, and scams. Don’t let this happen to you! Many times, a bad situation can be avoided by simply trusting your instinct.
If you feel uncomfortable, uneasy, or just have a general bad vibe about something, always trust your gut. Whether a certain person gives you a bad feeling or a specific area or location gives you the creeps, go with your instinct and don’t continue the transaction.
If something feels wrong, your initial gut feeling is usually right. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Let Others Know Where You Are
Your safety should be your number one priority. Most likely, your friends and family will agree with this statement.
Therefore, inform your coworkers, friends, spouse, or any other trusted individuals of your whereabouts. There are many smartphone apps that allow you to share your location so others can look out for you and stay updated.
Lastly, always let someone know where you’ll be going, how long you’ll be there, and who you are meeting with.
3. Establish Your Schedule & Boundaries
One of the best realtor safety tips you can do for yourself is to define your boundaries. That’s right, it’s okay to say NO to projects that make you feel uncomfortable.
For instance, if you are not comfortable meeting with clients at night, don’t meet clients at night! It’s that plain and simple. Let them know your availability and establish boundaries that make you feel the safest.
Don’t feel like you have to compromise for anyone. It’s not worth it.
4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
How aware are you of your environment when you approach a new property or client? No matter where you are, you need to be aware of your surroundings. Follow these important pointers to improve your awareness:
- Pay attention to where you are, both inside and outside
- Take note of any suspicious vehicles, loiterers, etc.
- Try not to walk around while talking on the phone or reading on your phone, as those distractions can make you an easier target
Next, if you are inside showing a home, take note of the exit points. Also, always be sure to let clients enter a room first and give yourself some space to follow behind.
5. Research Ahead of Time
The next tip on the list of realtor safety tips is to do your research before you go to an unknown area!
Always know where you are going and who you are meeting. If you haven’t been to an area before or if you are not very familiar with it, take some time to look around on a map and get a feel for where you will be.
As for your clients, do some digging online to find their social media pages or even local judicial records for a more thorough vetting process. If you take the time to research beforehand, you may be able to avoid any dangerous situations completely by not engaging further.
6. Carry a Self-Defense Weapon
If you are comfortable carrying a self-defense weapon, there are several options to choose from. Pepper spray, a firearm, a knife, a taser, or even a noisemaker/alert system can save you if you end up in a dangerous situation.
Even a flashlight could be used to momentarily blind your attacker in a dark room or low-light situation, giving you extra seconds to make your escape.
Check your state and local safety regulations for what is permitted for you to carry, and choose something that you are comfortable using if you ever have to.
7. Don’t Share Too Much Personal Information Online
Be very aware of what information you are sharing online with your clients. Here are 4 ways to ensure the privatization of your personal information:
- Keep it professional and avoid sharing your personal information, like a cell phone number or home address
- Be careful revealing your schedule and areas you frequent
- Make sure your personal social media accounts have privacy restrictions
- If you have a headshot or any images of your appearance tied to your real estate profile, make sure they are professional and appropriate so that you do not stand out as a vulnerable potential target
It’s sad to admit, but there are a lot of online predators out there. You want to ensure that you keep your personal information as private as possible.
8. Have an Escape Plan
Setting up a plan with your coworkers or trusted personal contacts ahead of time will help prepare you for a surprise situation. It will hopefully help you react as quickly and calmly as possible.
First, let people know where you are. Then, ask someone to come with you if a specific situation feels ‘off.’ Finally, have an excuse ready that will prepare you to exit potentially dangerous situations.
Make sure you have an “escape plan” ready if you become uncomfortable during any meetings with clients. Have a couple of go-to stories you can use to get out of threatening situations.
For example, if someone is insisting on meeting you somewhere you aren’t comfortable with, you can always fake an emergency meeting. Or if you are already meeting with a client and need to leave, you can fake a phone call asking you to take care of something back at the office.
9. Be Aware of Scams & Fake Requests
Last but not least, block any suspicious phone numbers or email accounts. If someone is asking for specific personal information or seemingly odd requests, be able to recognize that it may be a scam.
Again, if a situation doesn’t feel right, go with your gut and avoid the interaction.
Overall, being prepared and being aware will help you navigate uncomfortable or dangerous situations that may arise. Trust your gut and know that it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Enhance Your Real Estate Knowledge with New Venture Escrow
Want to learn more insider tips and tricks in the real estate field? New Venture Escrow has got you covered! We offer phenomenal tools and resources to aid your real estate journey, including an expansive blog and expert escrow advice.
Feel free to contact us to discover how we can help you create a better and more technological escrow experience for your clients!