Many people don’t realize it, but realtors face many hazards when it comes to personal safety at work. They frequently work alone, in empty homes, and meet clients in unfamiliar or empty locations. If you are a real estate agent, be sure to consider your personal safety when going about your work. With a little preparation and a small investment in pepper spray and other self defense products, you can ensure your safety while on the job.
The job of a realtor involves spending a lot of time alone in locations that may be new to you. Plus, there is the added danger of being lured to unoccupied homes by potential attackers pretending to be potential buyers of the property. As you arrive alone to a vacant home that you think you’re about to show to a potential buyer, you are an attractive target. Meeting strangers in these types of locations is probably the most dangerous part of being a real estate agent.
You can alleviate some of this risk by meeting the prospective buyer at your office first, before heading to the empty home. Before leaving your office to show a house, introduce your clients to colleagues. Make a copy of their driver’s license, and leave it, along with the address of the home they are interested in, in an area that is visible to anyone entering your office. Even if you think the prospective buyers look relatively normal, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Even criminals may look and act normal until they get you alone.
Do not carpool from your real estate office to the home. You don’t want to be alone in a car with someone you just met, even if it’s for business. Drive there in your own car, and have the clients follow you in their own car. Always remember that your safety is more important than a real estate commission; refuse to show a home to a prospective buyer if you don’t feel safe with them.
Once inside the home, mention that another realtor plans to meet you there, even if this isn’t true. This makes you a less attractive target for attack. Before showing a home to any clients, take your own tour. Pay special attention to the layout and exits. Once you are in the home with clients, guide them through the home in front of you to avoid being trapped in a corner or small room. If a couple is touring the home, ask them to remain together, and never lose sight of either of them.
Keep your cell phone turned on and in your pocket. All realtors should carry pepper spray, a personal alarm, or a stun gun. If showing the house becomes a potential attack, you will be able to protect yourself.
Too many realtors remain oblivious to the dangers that are associated with their line of work. Being a realtor means placing yourself in potentially dangerous situations. Be prepared by knowing what to do when showing a home and carrying pepper spray to defend yourself if necessary. This small investment is well worth your safety.
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