“Awareness is the cornerstone of safety,” said Jennifer Cassetta, a self defense expert.
Cassetta suggests bringing a detective mindset to your real estate business to help protect yourself.
Background work is key. While your career as a Realtor® busy, you still have to take time to do your homework, Cassetta said.
“Google is your friend,” she said. “Check out someone’s personal profile online. Does everything check out? Are there any red flags? Look in advance so you always have the upper hand.”
Observing a person’s behavior is also important, Cassetta added. “Practice situational awareness. When we observe, we are alert. We are taking in information visually and auditorily. Our phones often block our eyes and ears, we are looking at our phones or talking on our phones instead of being aware. Ask questions and trust your intuition. We have a tendency to not ask questions because we don’t want to look too pushy or be too nosy. But it’s a great way to develop better relationships and gather more information.”
Ignoring your gut instincts is not advisable. Fear is a gift, Cassetta said.
“Women tend to override their intuition,” she added. “When it comes to safety, we can’t take that for granted. It’s better to take one more step to see why your gut sent that message. Unplug and listen for your intuition. It is constantly giving you information.”
Before a situation can make you uncomfortable, make sure you know all entrances and exits to the location you are in and create distance and space.
“Communicate your boundaries,” she said. “Most of your communication is nonverbal.”
Your body language represents 55% of your communication, while your tonality is 38%. Your vocabulary only makes up 7% of your communication. Cassetta said to fake your brain to feel more confident, even if you are not. Fix your posture and make eye contact, she said. This nonverbally communicates you are not to messed with.
If you feel your safety is threatened, Cassetta had a few suggestions. There are safety apps that will track your location and send a notice to your emergency contacts that you’re in need, as well as safety jewelry, which can alert emergency contacts or 911 with your location.
If you’re in a situation where your safety is compromised and you must defend yourself, Cassetta said to use fists, elbows and feet and go for the eyes, throat and groin of your attacker. Cassetta highly recommends taking at least one self-defense class to know how to protect yourself.