There are safety hazards in every line of work, including real estate. Realtors® are expected to put themselves in potentially dangerous situations by meeting with strangers in homes that are typically vacant. For this reason, the Department of Labor even classifies real estate sales as a hazardous occupation. But fortunately, there are ways to stay safe while growing your real estate empire.
How to Stay Safe When Meeting Clients For the First Time
Realtors® are at risk every time they schedule an appointment with a new client. Each new client is essentially a stranger, so you need to follow safety precautions before meeting them. Here’s how to protect yourself when meeting with clients for the first time:
- Verify each new client’s identity using identity verification software for Realtors® prior to your meeting. You may want to even ask for a copy of their driver’s license in advance.
- Learn more about the client by searching for them on social media. Look for signs that indicate the client could be unstable or potentially dangerous.
- You should never meet a new client alone. Meet at a local coffee shop or your agency’s local office prior to visiting a listing together.
- Always tell someone where you are going, who you are meeting with, and when you should return.
Above all else, trust your gut. If something feels off, it might be wise to rethink your decision to meet with the new client.
How to Stay Safe When Hosting Open Houses
Hosting an open house is a great way to meet new clients and attract more buyers to a property. But, hosting an open house can also put Realtors® in potential danger. It’s hard to sell a home without hosting at least one open house, so you can’t avoid using this marketing tactic. Instead, make sure you stay safe by following these tips when hosting an open house:
- Become familiar with the layout of the home before guests arrive so you can map out a potential escape route.
- Hang bells around the front door of the house so they ring every time someone enters. This way, you will know whenever someone comes in the house even if you are busy with another client.
- Bring someone with you to the event. Have your partner stand at the door greeting guests while you show them through the home or vice versa.
- Don’t advertise an open house as vacant. It’s best to let members of the community think that someone is living inside the home.
- Ask every visitor to show a photo ID at the door. Take a photo of each visitor’s ID or write down their first and last names so you have a record of who was in the home.
Don’t plan an open house without keeping these safety tips in mind.
How to Stay Safe During Private Showings
Prospective buyers often schedule one-on-one appointments with Realtors® so they can tour your homes in private rather than in an open house setting. It doesn’t matter whether this is your first or hundredth time meeting a client for a private showing—it could be dangerous. Follow these tips to stay safe when showing listings:
- Make sure your cell phone is charged prior to attending the private showing.
- If the home is vacant, look for signs of a break-in before entering the home. If you spot any signs of a break-in, call 9-1-1 and do not enter the home.
- Let your clients walk in front of you so they cannot corner you in a room.
- Do not enter a room that does not have an escape route. There’s no need for you to walk into an attic or basement, for example.
- Park on the curb instead of in the driveway so the client cannot park behind you and block you in.
- Schedule private showings as early as possible in the day so you can avoid being in a vacant home after dark.
- Leave your valuables—besides your cell phone—locked in your car.
- Establish a safe word with a friend, family member, or colleague. If you feel uncomfortable, contact this person and say the safe word. This will let your loved one know that you are in need of help.
Follow these safety tips each and every time you schedule a private showing with a client.
Stay Safe While Growing Your Real Estate Business
Realtors® can encounter a number of hidden safety hazards while working in the real estate industry. If you’re in the real estate industry, make sure you follow these personal safety tips for Realtors® so you can protect yourself while growing your business and reaching new levels of success!