In my last blog entry, I mentioned that I don't hold open houses for properties in rural areas. One member raised an important issue when she responded by saying that if "no one can hear me scream", she won't hold the house open. The issue of safety is always in the forefront for members of the real estate profession and is especially relevant for those who work in rural areas.
There are a few basic rules to follow to protect yourself:
First, try to have a second person in the house with you.
Two, ABSOLUTELY have your cell phone on, charged, and readily available. This is important even if you have someone else in the home.
Three, make sure someone in your office or at home knows where you are and check in with that person regularly.
Four, follow office protocol in the event that a situation arises. In our office, we are supposed to call in as as the receptionist for the RED file for the house we are holding open. The receptionist is then to contact the police and send help from the office.
Five, be aware of unusual reports from other real estate professionals with regard to people showing up regularly at open houses. You should also report any unusual occurrences to your managers and to your local board so that everyone can be informed of any potential problems.
In the end, we have to take care of ourselves. If you have other recommendations, please let me know!
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