Realtor® Safety in 2020

Services for Real Estate Pros with BRE# 01392374

Every once in awhile I see one of these stories and I shudder. And then I decide to take a break from talking about marketing to share, once again, about the importance of Realtor® safety.

We’ve all heard what we should do, but these stories continue to happen, again and again. All I can think is that we all take shortcuts because it’s easier, faster, and anyway, we think it could never happen to us.

But it can. And the only way to keep from being a victim is to follow these important safety rules.

Never Meet With Someone Who Isn’t Prequalified By a Lender

How do you know someone is a serious home buyer? When they are prequalified. So absolutely, positively do not meet with people who are not.

Even if they are harmless, meeting with someone who isn’t financially qualified isn’t a good use of your time. And in the worst case scenario, well… you fill in the blank.

As a professional, you need to focus your energy on the people who will become your best clients. Those people are financially prequalified before they start searching for a home.

Always Meet With Someone At Your Office First

Once someone is prequalified, it’s time to get to know them. The first place to meet them is in your office, and you should get their ID and make a copy for your files. That way, your broker has identifying information if something goes wrong.

Never, ever meet someone for the first time at a home you’re showing. When agents are assaulted, kidnapped, or killed, it almost always happens at a home showing when the agent and prospective client are alone.

If someone objects to meeting at your office or threatens to find another Realtor® if you won’t show them a home before you meet, let them go. Your life isn’t worth it.

Work in Pairs

One thing I wish I could enforce at all times is working in pairs. I know that real estate is an individual industry and no one wants to spend time on a showing or open house that they aren’t profiting from, but imagine how much would change if we found a way to work in pairs?

Find someone in your brokerage office or even a friend, and offer to pay them a bit per hour to be with you at showings, open houses, and anywhere else you’d otherwise be alone. It could avert an awful tragedy.

Create a Safety Pledge and Have Listing Clients Sign It

Do you know who ELSE wants you to identify and prequalify everyone before you show a home? The folks LISTING it!

Listing clients have no idea that Realtors® will frequently let complete strangers into their home, and are often relieved to find out that as an agent you’re different. Emphasize how important their property is to you and talk to them about the importance of safety.  

We Want You To Succeed – Safely

At PrinterBees, we love providing you with business cardsmarketing postcards, and other materials. But even more importantly, we want each and every one of you to be safe in doing your job.

Don’t blow off the safety steps you can take. Yes, they take time. Yes, a client may get mad. But you know what?

It’s not worth your life.

Comments (6)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Nadine Larder safety first....and I'm thankful for a two person team with my daughter.... they work buyers and sellers together.... safest way!

Jan 14, 2020 05:05 AM
Nadine Larder

That is so great! I'd love to see more real estate teams.

Jan 17, 2020 11:39 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Safety is of utmost importance! I must admit I don't follow all your suggestions! I  show most of the time by myself! Our market is a second home/retirement market where most buyers and sellers are older, and many are cash buyers 

Jan 14, 2020 05:34 AM
Nadine Larder

It's so, so unsafe... you could be robbed or kidnapped, or who knows what. I just saw a video of an elderly man in Vegas shooting his apartment manager over an insurance dispute. You never know. I hope you never have anything happen to you! 

Jan 17, 2020 11:40 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hello Nadine... I wrote a post on this very subject just last week. Staying safe if often following very basic precautions all the time with no exceptions.

Jan 14, 2020 06:56 AM
Nadine Larder

Yep, it's one of those things that's hard because you don't know how often those protocols save you from something that otherwise would have happened. No exceptions, you have to stay safe! 

Jan 17, 2020 11:40 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Nadine and all great points nad hope all Realtors see this article.  We can never know what we are dealing with.


Jan 14, 2020 08:07 AM
Nadine Larder

So true, for men and women alike. I just want everyone to stay safe! 

Jan 17, 2020 11:41 AM
Theresa Akin

I just don't know why we do't have more agency meetings in regards to being safe. Just recently another young agent was showing a house then abducted and murdered. Couple agents looked at me not long ago as though I had 3 extra eyes when walking out the door I said; "Be safe out there." Few years ago I was asked to co host an open house. Not a problem and I said yes. It was about 10 minutes till the open, I got to the area and saw the signs. Got a phone call from the agent statin she wouldn't be at the open house and to 'just go ahead and host it." I told her no, I would take the signs down for her but was not going tohost by myself when I was going to cohost with her. My only reason for being there was as a safety precaution. She had a scare prior to it. I advised her to call her seller and state there was an emergency and it needed to be cancelled.  I've been stood up by other agents and different vendors. It is irritating to say the least. Found out later she promised the seller the open house and thought she could pull a fast one on me. Open house was not my responsibility. I was there as a courtesy.

Jan 17, 2020 09:56 AM
Nadine Larder

Oh man, I hate when people take advantage of others. But I'm glad you were willing to be there as a safety measure, and good for you for not being willing to go it alone! There's no need to put your safety at risk.

Jan 17, 2020 11:42 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

GREAT reminder for all of us.  Realtor Safety is key in this business!  My former office asked us to keep a safe word and if we called the office or used it, they would know to alert the authorities. 

Jan 23, 2020 03:25 PM