While Realtor® Safety Month has just passed, Realtor® safety should be a priority year round.
Even though most Realtors® are aware of the precautions they need to take, some have still found themselves in precarious situations. For residential Realtors®, 24% reported they were in a situation that made them fearful for their personal safety or for their personal information, according to NAR’s 2022 Member Safety Residential Report.
Commercial Realtors® had similar experiences, 26% said they were in a situation that made them fearful for their personal safety or for their personal information, according to NAR’s 2022 Member Safety Commercial Report. Commercial Realtors® were more likely to report they felt their safety was in jeopardy during a showing (29%) and after receiving a threatening message (29%), while residential Realtors® were more likely to be fearful after receiving a threatening message (33%) and then during a showing (27%). About a quarter of both commercial and residential Realtors® reported feeling unsafe when meeting a new or potential client at a secluded location.
Female Realtors® were more likely than their male counterparts to report feeling unsafe in a work situation, with commercial Realtors® at a higher rate than residential ones. Commercial Realtors® reported feeling unsafe more often in metro or urban areas, while residential Realtors® said it was more common for them in suburban areas.
Fortunately, the majority of Realtors® reported not being a victim, according to 95% of commercial agents and 98% of residential ones. Of those who reported being a victim, residential Realtors® were most likely to say it happened after receiving a threatening message (30%), while commercial Realtors® were more apt to report it happened during a showing (29%).
Despite safety concerns, 42% of commercial Realtors® and 34% of residential Realtors® said they had met a new client at a secluded area in the last year. More than 40% of residential agents said they hosted an open house alone and 18% said they felt unsafe during it. Nearly half of Realtors® confessed to meeting a client at a vacant property with no or unreliable cell service.
Some Realtors® are preparing themselves though, 40% of residential agents and 45% of commercial agents said they have taken a self-defense course. More than half of both residential (51%) and commercial Realtors® (54%) said they carry a weapon, most likely to be pepper spray, a firearm or a pocket knife. Additionally, two-thirds of commercial agents and 73% of residential agents said they follow safety procedures with every client.