Discuss safety procedures with clients

By Kim Shindle | Sept. 22, 2014 | 3 min. read

The nature of being a Realtor® puts them at risk, according to Tracey Hawkins, founder of Safety and Security Source.

“The nature of the job – meeting strangers in empty houses, standing for hours in an empty house – puts Realtors® at risk,” Hawkins says. “My goal is to help agents deal with the situations by giving them realistic ways to avoid these situations or how to get out of them.”

She says Realtors® often assume it’s only female agents who are at risk – that’s not the case. “There have been six reported crimes against Realtors® this year. One male agent was beaten while doing a routine check on a property,” she says.

Systems to screen potential clients is one suggestion she makes to keep Realtors® and the office staff safe. “The ideal situation is to screen potential clients in the real estate office,” she says. “But even then, we’re inviting strangers into the office and we don’t know who they are. When new clients come into the office, there should be a sign explaining that the real estate company requires identification from all new clients.”

Hawkins, who specializes in Realtor® safety, says realistically, agents will host open houses alone. “I try to outline some steps to keep them safe. Find a partner who will host with you and invite the neighbors. There’s safety in numbers and the neighbors will notice if something is going on.

“Use technology – apps that someone can listen in if you’re not feeling safe,” she adds. “So many homes don’t have land lines anymore so it’s important to have back up plans.”

You can also use Facetime and Skype to capture people’s image. “Talk about where you’re going and let the client know you’re capturing their image as part of your safety procedure. It’s a deterrent because criminals are cowards. They want to commit crimes when no one can witness the crime. If you take their photo, they know their image can be given to law enforcement.”

“Many Realtors® are finding it beneficial to discuss safety procedures with their clients as well,” Hawkins says. “It makes you stand out when you’re explaining to your client how to use locks and lights to keep their property safe and how to protect their valuables while the house is on the market. You’ll stand out from the other agents because you’re offering a special service to your client.”

Learn more about Realtor® safety during Hawkins’ presentations at the Triple Play Realtors® Convention in Atlantic City, December 8-11. She will present three sessions: “Why You Need to Create a Workplace Safety Plan TODAY!”, “Protecting Your Business, Employees and Property” and “Work and Grow your Business Safely Online: Social Media, Internet, Tech and Smart Phone Safety.”


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