September is REALTOR Safety Month
September is REALTOR Safety month and a chance for agents to focus on the dangers surrounding our profession.The truth is that we need to focus on this every day and in everything we do as a real estate agents.
According to a 2015 National Association of Realtors study, 46% of Realtors said their brokerages had safety procedures for agents. Another 40% said they have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or personal information.
It’s also a good time for home buyers and sellers to read about what agents encounter. Because of the frequency of instances and as a result of initiatives behind more recent and publicized occurrences in the news; REALTORS are implementing new procedures to make dealings with the public more safe. Policies like adding additional steps to documenting who is met and when, open door policies where agents can meet prospects in the offices of cooperating brokers not just their own, and the use of technology and systems to add additional safety measures.
We must protect ourselves and we have duty to protect our clients.
As public figures we work alone in multiple locations. One day you are in abandoned row homes in the city with an investor, the next day you are showing vacant land to a builder, and the very next you may be holding an open house at a million dollar home. We carry expensive equipment, personal information, and large checks.
The environment is perfect for opportunists such as thieves, rapists, and even murderers.
There have been many times in my career that I have encountered dangerous and threatening people. Sometimes the threat comes from a stranger but sometimes it can come from your customer. In one situation two men tried to lure me into the basement at an open house that wasn’t very busy. In another we discover a squatter hiding under the kitchen cabinets in a home we had just spent an hour looking at. You never know who is hiding inside.
And it’s important to know that it’s not only weak or vulnerable agents that fall prey. All agents are vulnerable, as evidenced in this recent article.
The best advice I can give is to educate yourself and find the best resources that are available to you. Your local Association is a great place to start as well as some National Association of Realtor Links below: