Don't be a Statistic..Protect Yourself!

By
Real Estate Agent

There's alot of talk these days about agent safety. I've noticed that as the economic crunch goes on, crime is on the rise. Being near the metro Atlanta area, the daily news is full of tales of robbery, home invasions and the like. Recently, a couple in the metro Atlanta area robbed three different real estate agents within 2-3 days. Why? Agents are not being as safe as they should be.

I know there are many 'macho' men reading this and thinking that "This is for the women." Did you know that statistics show that more MEN are actually killed in robberies than women? So Listen Up!

Living and working in Dawsonville, GA is not like "the big city". Crime here is very low, and I could easily forget to be a safe agent. However, crime can occur anywhere at any time and you should always practice personal safety.

 Here are some tips I learned at a recent safety class:

  • Be alert! Know what's around you, and if you feel uncomfortable in a situation you should get out! I always say you should 'go with your gut'. If it feels like the twilight zone, it very well may be!

 

  • Always, and I say ALWAYS, meet potential buyers at your office. Introduce them to someone else, make a copy of their ID, and have them fill out a Customer Information Sheet. You could take this opportunity to go over the Buyers Brokerage Agreement with them and ask them to take it home and bring it back to you signed upon your next meeting.

  • Don't hold an Open House alone. In what other line of business do we advertise to the general public that we will be alone at a certain address, at a certain time? It's like saying to criminals.."I'm here, come get me!". Find someone to sit the open house with you. If your seller pressures you, just tell them it's company policy for an agent NOT to sit an open house alone. They will have to wait until you are able to schedule someone to be with you.

 

  • Develop a code distress signal with someone in your office or a family member. If you feel scared or intimidated, simply inform your customer that you need to make a quick call and say to your contact person " I'm at such and such address and I forgot the red folder. "  

 

  • Always drive your own car, and let the customers follow you. A man, a woman or even a couple can be a threat to you once you have them in your car, and they can control you. Remember to NEVER park in front of their car. Let them pull into the drive ahead of you. Park on the street if you must.

 

  • When showing the home, don't lead them. Stay behind them, and let them explore the home in front of you. Always keep yourself between them and the exit door.

 

  • Avoid going into areas where you could become trapped such as basements, attics, or small rooms.

 

  • Most importantly, have a plan for personal safety and be prepared to use it!

Personally, I do not feel comfortable carrying a gun. And if you do, make sure you have a license to do so and that you know how to use it! I have always carried a stun gun in my pocket, but I realize that to use such a device requires the perpetrator to be right upon you. It's safer to have something that reaches out at least 8-12 feet.

 I recommend Pepper Spray. NOT MACE! Studies have shown that mace is not effective on people under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. The chemical agent of Pepper Spray will automatically close the eyes of someone, even if they did not feel the pain. So, even if they still want to come after you, they will not be able to see. You can purchase large or small canisters of Pepper Spray. The one I use goes on my keychain, which usually remains in my hand when I am out of my car. The canister types come with clips that you can easily attach to your belt or pants. These also come  in handy when walking or running. Pepper spray is effective on dogs and other animals. If you are unsure about which Pepper Spray you should purchase, check with your local Sheriff's Department Safety Officer for a recommendation.

Don't take chances, no sale is worth risking your life!

Kimberly Wilson, Your Available Dawsonville Real Estate Agent! Looking Out For Your Safety! 

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Ambassador
842,543
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

We have codes we use with each other i the event of trouble and pre screen as much as possible. Yes I am a big guy but hey a gunb equalizes all

Jan 13, 2009 11:12 PM #1
Rainer
126,444
Tony Grego, 317-663-4173 #1 Trade Association for Alternative Inv
REISA - 317-663-4173 - Indianapolis, IN

Safety is the first rule. As a person that was kidnapped on a test drive when I was in the car business I have some first had experience with this.

Thanks for your post

Tony

Jan 13, 2009 11:16 PM #2
Rainmaker
111,108
Steven Wright
Home Real Estate - Aurora, CO
CRS - Home Real Estate - 720-989-5283

Good Post Kimberly, you are right that both men and women should consider safety issues.

Jan 13, 2009 11:20 PM #3
Rainmaker
647,836
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker
https://teamcoker.robertpaul.com - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Berkshire Hathaway HS Robert Paul Prop

Our local police department held a seminar on this topic with many of your points.

Jan 13, 2009 11:56 PM #4
Rainmaker
302,174
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

Great post Kimberly. I am a big safety person and all of us need to be cautious as real estate puts us in dangerous situations. In a class we took a long time ago, I remember learning to keep many doors to the outside unlocked while holding an open house so if someone blocked one entrance, you could still get out of another.

Also, we were told to either park our cars in the street or pull in backwards so we could get out of the driveway easier. There are a lot of tips that we should all use when holding an open house or working with clients. I am a national champion black belt and am still very cautious.

Jan 14, 2009 12:03 AM #5
Rainer
5,684
Terry Cooksey
Keller Williams Realty Community Partners - Dawsonville, GA
Associate Broker

Hey Kimberly,

Excellent post and timely subject matter. Having had a previous carreer in the Safety Field, I am just sorry that I didn't write this Blog! Once again, setting the proverbial bar higher.

Jan 14, 2009 12:48 PM #6
Rainer
48,957
Kimberly Luna
Panama City Beach, FL

Charlie, Tony, Steven, Heath, Dan, and my friend Terry: WOW! All guy comments.  YOu have restored my faith in my ability to communicate with the opposite sex.

Thanks Guys!

Jan 14, 2009 09:43 PM #7
Rainmaker
194,059
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

You make many good points... as we rush off to meet another stanger, we are at risk more than most.

Jan 17, 2009 12:50 AM #8
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Rainer
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Kimberly Luna

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