Tip #1: Avoid Night Showings
Show properties before the sun goes down if possible. If you are going to be working after scheduled hours, make sure to share your schedule and location with a co-worker or supervisor. If you are only able to show a property after sundown, turning on all lights before the client arrives is beneficial, as well as keeping curtains, blinds, or shades open.
Tip #2: Keep a Record of New Clients
When working with a client for the first time, have them come into the office and fill out a Prospect Identification Form (Find a copy online at www.nar.realtor/Safety). Keeping a photocopy of the client’s driver’s license/passport on file at the office can also be beneficial if you need to track them down. Once you have finished working with a client, safely dispose of this personal information so that it does not fall into the wrong hands.
Tip #3: Avoid Sharing Personal Information
Keep the amount of personal information you put out into the world to a minimum. Consider advertising without using a photo of yourself and avoid using your home address or home phone number on marketing materials, instead use your office address, or, don’t include an address. Also, avoid using your full name, instead, use a nickname or shortened version if you can.
Tip #4: Keep in Touch
Make sure to let someone in the office know the location you are heading to and give them an idea on when you will be back. Leave the name and contact info of the client you are meeting with a colleague in case they cannot get ahold of you. An extra step you can take is schedule a check in call with your office to confirm everything is alright.
Tip #5: Open house Safety
When hosting an open house, never assume the property is cleared out just because the scheduled viewing time has ended. Double check every room in the home, as well as the backyard before locking all doors and windows.
Tip #6: Have Your ID Readily Available
While your client may know who you are, wearing an identification badge can be crucial to staying safe, especially during an open house. Drive a vehicle that is clearly marked with your office name and phone number to further identify yourself. These are important steps to take in a situation that requires assistance.
Tip #7: Better to Follow than Lead
When showing a property, bring up the rear and allow your clients to walk in front of you. Instead of having them follow you, direct them from behind and point out features worth noticing. A trick to establish this type of positioning is to use hand gestures signaling them to take the lead.
Tip #8: Come Up With an Office Safety Code/Expression
Create an office emergency code, whether it’s a password or a phrase that is not something that would come up organically, but can be worked into any conversation. Reserve this for emergency situations where the person you are with can hear you, but you don’t want to worry them. An example could be “Hi this is Benjamin, I’m at 123 Main St with Mr Doe. Could you email me the BLUE AGREEMENT?”
Tip #9: Keep Keys Secure
Utilize the lockbox on most properties being shown to create a safer experience for yourself. Using a lockbox can make sure keys to a property you are listing don’t end up in the wrong hands. Always make sure to lock all doors and windows on the property before exiting and securing the key in the lockbox.
Tip #10: Keep an Excuse in Your Back Pocket
When out in the field, part of being prepared for an emergency is having a way out. Come prepared with a made up scenario that can be used to excuse yourself or a client from a dangerous situation. Some examples of this include, “I’ll be right back I left some papers in the car”, “I just missed a call from my broker, would you excuse me for a second?”, or “There’s another realtor on the way with another client, they should be here shortly”.