The National Association of Realtors has designated the month of September as Realtor Safety Month. That’s because a typical agent is placing themselves into a situation filled with unknowns each and every time they head out to a showing or an open house.
We don’t always know the people we are working with, and there is no telling who might show up to an open house. So in order to make sure that we all stay safe, it is important to always have our own safety top of mind. And the month of September is the time each year where we focus on that.
Here are 5 simple things you should be doing every day in order to protect yourself when you are out in the field.
Remember the Buddy System
Remember in grade school when the teacher implemented “the Buddy System” so that no one student could ever wander off by themselves? This is actually a great idea that works really well for agents too!
Whether you are heading out to meet a client, show a property, run an open house, or even just heading home for the night, you should always let someone at the office know where you are going.
If possible, take someone from the office along with you. But if that’s not possible, at least check in via text every so often so that your co-workers and loved ones can know that you are ok.
Get a Realtor Safety App
We live in a world of smartphones and technology, so if you are not using an app to make sure that you stay safe out in the field, you are putting yourself at a greater risk than necessary.
There are several personal safety apps to choose from, and some are even designed specifically for Realtors. Perhaps best of all, none of them cost more than a few bucks a month.
Or, just search for “Realtor Safety” in the App Store or on Google Play and a number of options should come up.
Many include features like a panic button that instantly calls the police and sends your location to friends and family. Some of the more advanced apps even allow you to track information about suspicious people you might encounter.
Use Wireless Cameras
Speaking of technology, wireless cameras are everywhere these days. They don’t cost nearly as much as they used to and the quality is better than ever.
At the very least, you should be setting up a few cameras every time you host an open house. However, you might also want to consider placing a few cameras at each one of your listings. Many of today’s advanced cameras can be set to only record when they detect motion, so you will know exactly who may have been lurking around a property before you arrive there.
Be Careful After Dark
This is the time of year when the days start getting shorter, and it always seems to come as a surprise when the sun starts disappearing a few hours earlier. Don’t let that cause you to end up at a showing by yourself after dark.
Keep tabs on what time the sun is going to set each day and make sure that you will be free and clear of any uncomfortable situations or bad parts of town well before that happens.
Use the 10-Second Rule
Another simple technique that can make a huge difference if you ever find yourself in a situation is the 10-second rule, which is simply getting into the habit of pausing for 10 seconds to evaluate the safety of a situation when you arrive at a property or meeting.
Taking those brief 10 seconds to check out your surroundings instead of rushing right into a meeting could allow you to notice things like a broken window or someone sneaking around back…and that could make all the difference.
Most agents will go through their entire careers without ever having a single instance where their life was in danger out in the field. But the risks are simply too great to not spend a few minutes each day thinking about how we can all keep ourselves safe out in the field.