10 Tips to Not Ending Up A Dead Real Estate Agent

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

Yes that title is awful and yes you should be offended. Real estate agents often find themselves in dangerous situations. And for 20 years, I’ve been screaming this, doing something about it, and it keeps happening. And the real estate agents and industries response?

Thots and prayers. Thots and prayers. Thots and prayers. Thots and prayers.

How’s that workin’ for ya?

Sometimes you have to visit unsafe neighborhoods, you might have to come face to face with a vicious dog, or even have an unsavory character walk right into an open house.

In 2016, approximately 3% of all real estate agents reported that they were physically attacked when on the clock. Though this might seem like a small number, you have to consider that only about 2% of the entire population of the country are physically attacked each year. This means, of course, that if you are a real estate agent, your odds of assault are higher than the average person.

Remember, no one is immune to this. Here’s a brief first person account posted to Facebook about a real estate agents experience…and it could even be you:

Another reason why I like running my real estate business by referral: Went to meet a female seller today who contacted me on-line. She told me she would meet me at her property as it is an occupied rental. She was there and so were about four guys. Small, cramped house. She told me the tenant would take me around as he knew the house better than her…. immediately I knew something was off.

He takes me around the first floor then he’s showing me upstairs and another guy who wasn’t one of the four downstairs appears out of nowhere and stands behind me. I’m now seriously freaking out as instinct told me something was about to happen. I made my excuses quick and went back downstairs. I put aside my manners and took out my phone and while chatting briefly with the seller, I text my location to my team. Then I left.

My 5ft 100lb self would have been no match for them.

I realized mid-way through that 10 minute tour that no-one knew where I was, I had no idea who these people were and if this woman actually was who she said she was.

Point of the story: realtors please be extra vigilant when being in homes of strangers. I know it sounds obvious yet it’s not as we are simply doing ‘our job’ and we can’t do that if we don’t visit other people’s homes. This ended well yet it could have been a very different story for me today. Stay safe and trust your instinct.”

The seller was a female, and the seller said that she would meet the agent at the property, as it was a rental and currently occupied. When the agent arrived, she saw the seller along with four men in a small, cramped house. The seller, herself, would not give the agent a tour of this home; instead, she said one of the tenants would take her.

REG FLAG.

Almost instantly, the agent knew something was weird about this. One of the men took the agent to the second floor, and before she knew it, there was another man directly behind her…and this man was NOT one of the men she had seen downstairs.

This was a very scary situation, and though this story did not end in disaster, plenty of these situations, do. Be smart, stay vigilant, and trust your instincts when something seems off.

Here are 10 tips that you can use to keep yourself from ending up a dead real estate agent:

  1. Research – Before you meet with a potential buyer, make sure to do a little research. This might be as simple as doing a Google search on them, or you can create a questionnaire to get information from them.
  2. Get an ID – Ask for the ID of any potential buyer/seller before showing the home. You should be able to get a photo of their ID and keep it on your phone and text it to a colleague just in case. If they refuse, this is a red flag.
  3. Show During Daylight Hours – Only show a home during daylight hours.
  4. Bring a Buddy – Do you have an assistant, friend, or family member who wants to keep you safe? Bring them along. When showing a home, try to bring a buddy. Make sure the buyer/seller knows that this other person is coming.
  5. Know What You are Going Into – Do your best to get a lay of the land when going into a home for the first time. Ask if there is anyone else in the home, too.
  6. Stay Near Exits – Make sure when you are showing a home, or being shown and home, that you always have an eye on the exit. Also, don’t go into any area, such as a basement, where someone couldn’t hear you if you had to yell for help. Unless you bring a buddy, and allow the buyer to take a look on their own, if necessary.
  7. Don’t Let Your Guard Down – Any person who walks into a home is a potential “bad guy/gal.” Don’t let your guard down, even if they seem like they are an upstanding citizen.
  8. Advertise Smartly – When advertising, make sure to do so smartly. Make sure that people know that viewing the home is by appointment only and that you will be checking their ID before showing the home.
  9. Dress Appropriately – Don’t wear any expensive jewelry when showing a home, and make sure to dress in a professional manner. Wearing clothing that is revealing, for instance, can send the wrong message.
  10. Trust Your Gut – Finally, trust your gut. If something seems wrong, it probably is.

Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.

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Rainmaker
1,298,304
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Robert Siciliano - All good things to remember. Reading this does make the hair on your arms stand up.  

Mar 06, 2019 06:20 AM #1
Ambassador
4,014,014
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Robert - while I was reading this, I wanted to shout "Look out!"  It's interesting that we would never go into a house with a stranger, yet agents do it all of the time. 

Mar 06, 2019 06:24 PM #2
Ambassador
2,258,342
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

I am not offended by the title Robert - It is the truth! Too many people are willing to run out the door to meet whoever, where ever without qualifying. Safety first!

Mar 07, 2019 02:19 PM #3
Ambassador
1,672,215
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Thanks for the advice. It is good that everyone remains vigilant since anything can happen.

Mar 07, 2019 02:42 PM #4
Rainer
486,409
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Somethings are priceless, however, it's who determines what those things are, isn't it? Many agents are fearful of losing an opportunity, so they disregard any commonsense advice and suggestions to be and stay safe.

Do you think a Broker could be held liable for his agents injuries or death because of his failure to train his agents to be vigilant and use safety practices when meeting or accompanying buyers during home inspections?

Mar 07, 2019 10:06 PM #5
Rainmaker
503,244
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL
REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL

Great reminder to all of us to be safe!  I have had a couple close calls but my gut instinct kicked in and saved me!  I background check people before meeting them now - it can be a very dangerous industry

Mar 08, 2019 08:03 AM #6
Ambassador
4,014,014
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

                                       

                                                   Thank you, Robert. 

Mar 09, 2019 06:20 PM #7
Rainmaker
2,138,780
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Yeah, I'm far to paranoid to be in the business. Staging is as close as I will get and even that makes me very nervous sometimes. When I'm hired by an agent to do a consult I feel safe, but when it's the seller who contacts me it makes me nervous. I always google the name to see what I can find and to try and confirm they actually own the home I'm going to. I always make sure my husband knows the address and name. I've only had about three situations that made me suspicious and nervous. All three turned out fine, Thank God.

Mar 10, 2019 08:43 AM #8
Rainer
315,490
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

Remember Beverly Carter?   She went to show a couple a home and was abducted!

Great post as always Robert.   

Mar 10, 2019 11:19 AM #9
Rainmaker
882,105
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Great reminder to us all to stay vigilent, Robert.  Thank you.

Mar 11, 2019 02:53 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,491,789
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

These tips should be taken to heart by every agent everywhere. Thanks for the reminder.

Mar 11, 2019 03:40 AM #11
Rainmaker
2,632,684
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I've been a Realtor for 37 years now.  I work predominently with past clients or folks I know.  When I look back at my beginning years in this profession, I shake my head at the danger I put myself in without thinking about it!  Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to stay safe!

Mar 11, 2019 06:42 AM #12
Ambassador
4,105,919
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's a pretty scary story that no doubt has been repeated multiple time. Excellent tips for us all to bear in mind, at all times!

Jeff

Mar 21, 2019 06:52 AM #13
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Robert Siciliano

Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker
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