I hate it when I see articles like this in the news. First of all I hate it because I hate seeing women targeted at any time, especially when they are being professionals and running a business.
Secondly, I hate it because it gives men a sense that they are not at risk as Realtors®. Yes, some criminals target women specifically, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take safety precautions as well.
It’s unfortunate we live in a world where we have to talk about preventing crime while we do our jobs, but here we are. Here are some ways you can stay safe this year – whether you’re a man or a woman.
First Meetings Should Always Be At Your Office
I’m a huge advocate of “know before you show.” Your first meeting with someone should never be alone or in a private place, no matter how urgent they insist the situation is. There is no situation in which they cannot first come to your office during business hours.
When they do come to the office, be sure you get to know their situation thoroughly, as you would do with any prospect. Pay attention to any red flags or oddness about their story.
Finally, get a copy of their photo ID before you leave the office and go to a showing. Let them know you do that for your own security. If they decline, don’t go anywhere alone with them.
Get Training in Self Defense
While this won’t solve 100% of the problem, someone who knows they can protect themselves generally presents a more confident air. You are more alert and avoid making mistakes like letting a prospect get between you and the door of a room.
If something goes wrong during a showing, you’re also much more likely to be able to defend yourself enough to get away. Remember, this isn’t the movies. You don’t need to beat up the bad guy. You only need to do enough to get free and run away.
And I can’t emphasize this enough – this applies to women AND men!
Consider a Buddy System
One of the best ideas is to never go to a showing alone at all. After all, you survive 100% of the attacks that don’t happen. If you can, work with another Realtor® on a buddy system so that neither one of you is ever alone in a private place with a client.
If this isn’t practical, at least make sure to have a buddy at an open house. Open houses are particularly dangerous because they are open to the public. If you use a buddy system, be sure not to split up, which defeats the purpose. For instance, a prospect who really wants to see the basement should not be accompanied by only one of you. There are lots of places to be out of sight and commit a crime in minutes.
Listen to Your Gut
We all have a “sixth sense” that warns us when something is wrong. It’s often something our mind can’t rationalize, so we feel silly or decide to ignore it.
That sixth sense is trying to tell you that the situation isn’t safe. It’s much better to simply decline the showing or schedule at a time you won’t be alone. If the person insists that it’s now or never, choose never.
No deal is worth your safety.
Take Safety Seriously
We love working with Realtors® to help you build your brand and improve your marketing outreach. We want all of you to stay safe!
We hope to read about you in the paper – for an award you’ve won, not for a crime you survived. Take your safety seriously and enjoy the success your business brings.
What do you do to stay safe? Share in the comments!
This post originally shared on PrinterBees' Real Estate Marketing Magazine.