The very first house I ever showed...I am lucky to be alive!
I was a brand new agent in 2005. I had just sold a home and decided this was something I could do so I went and got my license. I went to the busiest office in my town and signed up for desk duty! My first call was a man who wanted to see a vacant home in a rural area...you can see where I am going with this I'm sure...and I quickly agreed to meet him on the pictured property below !
What could have turned out to be "missing person" story, became a lesson of "never meet someone on a property unless they meet you at the office first story". Thankfully I had a great boyfriend (now husband) at the time, who said you aren't going by yourself, I will drive you. We proceeded to the home and the man was there waiting. I showed him the vacant rural home while my boyfriend waited in his truck...I never heard from the man again!
I have to admit I have been lax a few times since and met a man I did not know at a property in the pouring rain, but my gut said "don't go in with him". I pretended I was talking to the office while unlocking the front door and said very loudly "okay so you are on your way over here?" so the man would think I had another agent on the way. I stayed on the porch pretending I was talking the whole time to another agent.....Never heard from him either.
We have to be so careful in this business because for one , we are all over the internet and we are easy targets for the criminal who is looking for easy targets! I still show alot of rural homes and do meet most people at the property, but I do it smartly. If I do not know them I always have a plan and follow these steps:
- I always ask this question: Who will be with you for the showing?
- If I feel uncomfortable I ask them to text me a picture of their drivers license
- I get there first, open the house and back in the drive or stay on the street. I try to notice the surroundings and make sure I can get away quick if needed
- I always put my phone inside a pocket so if needed I can use it in the house
- I also text my husband a picture of the license plate when my customer pulls up and text him their names and cell numbers
- I NEVER go in first and stay in the hallway near the bedrooms
- If I pull up and my gut says no way....I will tell the people I had an emergency , sorry! (haven't had to do this yet but I will if needed)
I was in Arkansas a few years back at a motorcycle rally when the news said an agent was killed at a vacant home. She met the man without a plan and did not know him and he killed her! It made me furious ...at her mostly! Have a plan and a person who knows where you are and who you are with. You don't want to be just lucky to be alive, plan to stay alive!!