The very first house I ever showed...I am lucky to be alive!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs/PLATINUM PROPERTIES & MANAGEMENT 0534986

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 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 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!! 



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Russell & Tracy Lee Parker 


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Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

There are too many stories similar to yours that do not turn out so well. Thankfully yours did! Keep safe!!

Oct 07, 2016 01:54 AM #2
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Tracy, thanks for sharing your story.  And I hope you are as careful about not driving while distracted as you are about showing houses!

Oct 07, 2016 07:54 AM #3
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Throw all your "plans" out...if you really have a weirdo, none of your plans will keep you safe.  Use only one plan:

  • meet at the office
  • discuss thier home buying goals
  • learn about how they plan to buy
  • get copy their identification

If all of the above proves OK, then you show them a property.


Oct 08, 2016 12:32 AM #4
Kathryn Acciari
Century 21 Real Estate - Shrewsbury, MA
Brand Ambassador and Business Coach

A very good reminder that we must have the radar on at all times and have safety strategies in place. Excellent post!

Oct 08, 2016 07:13 AM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Tracy- I'm so glad your (now) husband said he was going with you.  Good for him!!!  And your story can't be shared too many times as a reminder not to let our guard down.  

Oct 08, 2016 10:48 AM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                               Thank you Tracy Lee Parker 

Oct 08, 2016 11:36 AM #7
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Tracy Lee Parker ,

I'm so glad Kathy Streib  featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. A good reminder to have a plan when showing property! There are becoming way too many stories similar to yours that do not turn out so well. I'm so glad for you yours did.

Oct 08, 2016 09:47 PM #8
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

this is a great post to share! Wow - i am going to tell agents in my office your plan - that is really important 

Oct 08, 2016 10:14 PM #9
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Agents, especially women, need to remember this and always always have a plan.  My husband goes with me with I have to meet a stranger at a listing.

Oct 08, 2016 11:07 PM #10
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good Morning Tracy - there are too many stories like yours.  Stay safe out there.

Oct 08, 2016 11:17 PM #11
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Tracy. I worked in NJ when an agent was murdered by the owner of her listing on closing day. He called her from the property and said there was a problem at the house she needed to see. Don't blame the never know. Good suggestions though.

Oct 08, 2016 11:48 PM #12
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

The picture you posted of the house gave me goose bumps. Following our gut instinct in situations is what we all need to do. That, and having a plan like yours.

Oct 08, 2016 11:58 PM #13
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Tracy Lee Parker - Your then boyfriend now husband was very wise to accompany you!  I have done the same.  At open houses, I call my husband every hour to check in. I also keep some pepper spray with me. Stay vigilant!

Oct 09, 2016 12:58 AM #14
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Great tips Tracy.  The most important tip is to trust your instincts.  Never let your wallet do the thinking.

Oct 09, 2016 01:05 AM #15
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

A good reminder, Tracy that we all need! When I do an open house - I check for exits. I ususally unlock a side or back door. Check the backyard, sides - where could I go if I needed to exit fast.

Go with your gut - awesome advice. Early RE days met a guy at a house - it was a "Pole house hanging out over a big drop".  My gut was screaming - so made up and excuse and didn't follow him in - just stayed outside!

Oct 09, 2016 04:29 AM #16
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

As a stager, I've only had a couple of anxious moments...all turned out just fine.  I make sure my husband has the name and address of all my "clients" before going to any home. It's not easy walking into a home and being alone with strangers....especially when it's just the man of the house you are meeting.

Oct 09, 2016 05:57 AM #17
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Wow, good thing you trusted your instincts, lest your story had turned out differently.  We cannot be too careful.

Oct 09, 2016 10:27 AM #18
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So very glad that your husband (boyfriend) went along on that first showing.  It's so important to trust your gut! 

Oct 09, 2016 01:15 PM #19
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Careful is the watch word of the day....and every day in this business...glad that was a lesson learned at the beginning of your career.

Oct 09, 2016 10:18 PM #20
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

With so many strange people out there we all have to be a little more careful.  Good that you were prepared and all was well for you

Oct 10, 2016 12:02 PM #21
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