Meet Where? Sorry, I Don't Know You! Real Estate Agent Safety

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC NC# 218097
http://actvra.in/54sX

To be crystal clear because I know my family and some friends will read this, I personally have never been in danger from a client above and beyond the occasional chance to have been bored to death by an incessant chatterer or the non-communicative oxygen sucking customer.  Both examples by the way occurred when I was very new to working in real estate and before I realized my game gets uppCrime Scene Fingerprinted by pre-qualifying the prospective client first and having an interview to be sure we're compatible!  At any rate, I have been working with a number of new buyers recently and a couple have asked me to meet them at the property. Uhm...no.  You see, I don't know you and while I surely want to sell property, an agent's safety comes first so we get to live another gazillion days to sell more property.

 

Before I sat down to compose this post I googled assaults and "Murders of real estate agents in the US" and was stunned to find out that victims of these horrific crimes aren't just women!  So many men have also been targeted, some with gruesome results. The crimes aren't always physical harm or murder, more often than not the miscreants are thieves casing the property for later intrusion.

 

This post is meant to raise awareness of  safety in the workplace of any agent and to point out that our workplaces are varied. A promising trend is the emphasis on safety training of agents and how to avoid putting themselves in harm's way in the first place. The other purpose of publicizing this topic to potential real estate clients and put them on notice that it is just plain wrong to insist or bullying an agent to meet them at a property instead of the agent's office or other suitable public place but preferably the office.

 

Whenever I get a call from a new prospect asking to meet at the property, there is no coyness involved in my response.  "I'm looking forward to meeting you and showing you the property you'd like to see but I don't know you.  My agency's and my own policy for safety's sake is to always meet for the first time at our office.".  I would say better than 9 out of 10 callers will immediately respond with some surprise and something like, "I completely understand."  The minority that try to convince me that their time is sooo tight and they are positive this is THE property they want and couldn't possibly squeeze in the time to meet at the office, well the inner warning bell rings and the hair on the back of my neck raises.  Most likely they aren't anyone intent upon doing illegal or bad things but statistically speaking, they probably aren't a serious buyer either and will surely fall into the aforementioned category of someone destined to bore me to death or suck all the oxygen out of the car with incessant non-consequential chatter!

 

Sure, a buyer's schedule is important and agents do want to economize on both their client's and their own time frame.  However, we have to be very intentional and consistent about the way we safeguard our lives and conduct our business.  The reasonable response to "I don't know you, let's meet first at the office." from a reasonable and authentic buyer will be "Of course, I understand. What is your address?".

 

To learn more about safety tips for real estate agents, follow this link to a National Association of Realtors article. Please  be safe!  

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Jenniffer Lee 05/09/2017 08:27 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Industry
Groups:
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Diary of a Realtor
Advice for Buyers
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Rainmaker
1,891,907
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

A well deserved feature! If they won't meet you at the office, too bad for them! 

May 09, 2017 06:16 PM #18
Rainer
377,337
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Mona,

Definitely good to put your spidy senses on. If someone seems a little weird, stay away. Luckily, I am not a jewelry wearer & my car is an old stick shift, which has saved me from having it stolen more than once.

May 09, 2017 06:40 PM #19
Rainmaker
124,354
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

I've never had anything happen to me either. but you can never be too careful. I had a male caller ask to meet me at one of my listing. Had a bad feeling about it so I asked a male agent friend to go with me, which he did. The buyer turned out to be one of the nicest guys I know and eventually sold him a house. I also now carry pepper spray with me. Never had to use that either and I hope I never do. Great post. 

May 09, 2017 06:50 PM #20
Ambassador
1,680,042
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Mona, I work out of my home and don't have a public office. My lender has given me a key to his office but if it's the weekend, that's vacant as well. I usually meet clients in a public place. Most often a very popular local coffee house. They get to see one of the very popular spots in our area and chat with me over a cup of coffee. It works out so well. No one has ever been unhappy about our meet and greet.

May 09, 2017 07:51 PM #21
Rainmaker
3,201,711
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Mona Gersky ,

Congratulations on a well deserved featured post. This topic can't be repeated too many times. I always meet buyers at the office as a policy.  One of the reasons I like an office with staff who meets and greets and conference rooms to take my clients is for safety. People I know see them and know I'm leaving with them. Meeting in a public place is a good second choice but no one there may know who you are or have any idea when you leave with them where you are going. I always leave my office with where I'm going and who I'm with and I also text my husband. Never can be too careful!  

May 10, 2017 04:14 AM #22
Rainmaker
261,872
Keji Ogunleye
Fairfax Realty, Inc - Greenbelt, MD
GRI, SFR, KejiYour Realtor

A very good advise that all agents need to follow and adhere to..No sales is more important than my safety.I never meet anyone in a property first,if you are not able to meet at my office or a coffee shop then I don't need to meet with you.

May 10, 2017 04:26 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,066,753
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Yes, that's a great process to use when meeting new people. You can't be too careful.

May 10, 2017 04:27 AM #24
Rainmaker
494,749
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Good blog, Mona. Taking  a few precautionary measures will stop most predators in their tracks but it's still good to know how to defend yourself if ever attacked. Thanks for sharing!

May 10, 2017 04:57 AM #25
Ambassador
631,477
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Hello Everyone!

In years past I've seen similar posts to mine about safety (of course, mine is my favorite lol).  In the past, there has been push back in the comments that agents didn't need to be so cautious.  I'm so glad to see that trend change!  Thank you so much for your attention and comments.

May 10, 2017 04:59 AM #26
Rainer
370,018
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

Mona, thankfully in "our neck of the woods" we don't have to worry about this to much, but it certainly has become a thought on every agent's mind in our office.  As you know some of these houses around here can be a long way from nowhere.

Personally, I haven't had a problem, but a couple of the ladies here have come back after a showing and expressed their feelings of "real creepy."

Hope you are having a good Spring!

May 10, 2017 06:42 AM #27
Rainmaker
173,485
Abby Stiller
Premier Realty Homes of SWFL - Cape Coral, FL
Real Estate Agent Serving Southwest Florida

Thank you for talking about this very important subject Mona, and great advise on meeting clients first at the office.

May 10, 2017 08:56 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,416,763
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

This is probably the biggest threat to a real estate agent. Trust no one....

May 10, 2017 12:47 PM #35
Rainmaker
786,586
Elyse Berman, PA, CRS
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Pet-Friendly Realtor, 561-716-7824

Mona Gersky This is such an important topic and a great reminder to us all.  Congrats on the feature!

 

May 10, 2017 03:21 PM #36
Rainmaker
287,908
John Wiley
Jones & Co. Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

This is such good advice for your safety.

I have read similar posts before and seen agents respond that they won't take steps like these because they don't want to run the buyer off.

Thanks for taking steps and encouraging us all to be safe.

May 10, 2017 04:47 PM #37
Ambassador
3,577,260
Praful Thakkar
eXp Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

One of the benefits I found when I work by referral is - never meet a stranger at a property, Mona Gersky ...

May 10, 2017 10:47 PM #38
Rainmaker
566,701
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

I like that you are so up front with your request. And yes, when it is explained I wouldthink most buyers would respond correctly and understand. However, as our techy world moves ahaed more and more people expect everything to happen at warp speed and we will need to hold our ground more often.

May 11, 2017 07:49 AM #39
Rainmaker
130,417
Peter Lavelle REALTOR®, GRI SRES, ABR
Home Solutions Realty Group, LLC - Philadelphia, PA
SOLD@100%Market Value,or I Pay You the Difference

May 12, 2017 09:00 AM #40
Rainer
55,383
The Romero Team
Re/Max Elite - Albuquerque, NM
Re/Max Elite

Great Post!

May 23, 2017 07:52 AM #41
Rainmaker
174,949
Cheryl Dukes . . . . . Intown Atlanta
Solid Source Realty, Inc. - Atlanta, GA

I am much more afraid of those who talk incessantly and bore me to death. I need to start being more afraid of the others. Come to think of it, every time I've heard something similar to THIS is THE ONE PROPERTY for me -- it's never ended up being THE ONE.

Jun 07, 2017 03:15 PM #42
Rainmaker
1,308,771
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

When I think back on some of the times I thoughtlessly proceeded to show properties, I cringe.  So lucky nothing bad happened.  It helps to live in a small market where everyone knows everyone.

Jun 13, 2017 02:31 PM #43
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