Remember these 4 things when it comes to physical safety in real estate
We often use this space to talk about digital security, but we also care about everyone’s physical safety too! That’s why this piece focuses on precautions our REALTOR® friends, and others, can take when showing homes or meeting someone new.
Yes, each September is REALTOR® Safety Month, but with open house season in full swing, we thought it would be a great topic to talk about sooner, rather than later. We love working with our customers and partners and know we serve some of the best communities in the country, but it’s important to be aware.
Open house safety is important. You can take precautions before, during, and after the event. Before an Open House starts, make sure each room has “escape routes” and move furniture to create a clearer path if needed. Consider limiting the number of people inside a home at a time too. Finally, when the public showing is finished, have a friend or colleague check all the rooms (and the backyard) for stragglers.
Don’t be too public. All of us know much of real estate is about making connections and building a brand. However, that doesn’t mean just throwing caution to the wind. Be careful when it comes to promotional information, social media platforms, and even in conversations with others. Consider not using your cell phone number in your advertisements, and certainly list your office address over your home address in your information. When talking to clients and leads, avoid too many specifics about where you live, your vacation plans, or similar details, unless you know you can trust them.
Gather as much information as possible about people. Many of the NAR tips were about confirming identity (making copies of a client’s driver’s license) and making sure to rely on caller ID. This is both to ward off bad actors, and people trying to impersonate a good client to scam you.
Always try to stay in control of the situation. This means driving your car to showings and appointments whenever possible, ensuring you have cell service beforehand if a property is in an unknown area, and only showing properties when there’s light outside. We know the last one is easier done now than in November and December, but we wanted to mention it in this list. In addition, advise sellers never to show their house unless you are present.
Most of these tips were adapted from this comprehensive list from our friends over at NAR. One of our favorite tips that didn’t fit into any of these four buckets was to never use the word “vacant” in a property listing or around a prospective buyer you haven’t vetted yet. Why? Because that’s a buzzword for both criminals and squatters. Want to know more about the topic? Check out these “safety myths.”
Thank you for trusting our teams to do the job for you. Security is always one of our top priorities, whether we’re talking about our transactions, or the physical safety of our customers and partners. Our teams always have your back whenever you need us.