The REALTOR organization has worked hard to keep safety foremost in everyone’s minds. But what about your clients? They, too, face some dangers in allowing strangers into their homes or visiting other people’s properties.
Share this valuable advice with everyone, and you’ll help them learn to protect themselves against crime:
- Remind your clients that strangers will be walking through their home during showings or open houses. Tell them to hide any valuables in a safe place. For security’s sake, remember to remove keys, credit cards, jewelry, crystal, furs and other valuables from the home or lock them away during showings. Also remove prescription drugs. Some seemingly honest people wouldn’t mind getting their hands on a bottle of Viagra, uppers or downers.
- Don’t leave personal information like mail or bills out in the open where anyone can see it. Be sure to lock down your computer and lock up your laptop and any other expensive, easy-to-pocket electronics, like iPods, before your showing.
- Tell your clients not to show their home by themselves. Alert them that not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. We tell our children not to talk to strangers. Tell your sellers not to talk to other agents or buyers, and to refer all inquiries to you.
- Instruct your clients that they are responsible for their pets. If possible, animals should be removed during showings. Make clients aware that buyers and agents are sometimes attacked, and the owner will be held liable.
- At an open house, be alert to the pattern of visitors’ arrivals, especially near the end of showing hours. In some areas, a group of thieves will show up together near the end of the open house and, while a string of “potential buyers” distracts the agent, the rest of the group walks through the house, stealing any valuables they come across.
- Finally, when you leave a client’s property, whether after an open house or a standard showing, make sure that all doors and windows are locked. Thieves commonly use open houses to scout for valuables and possible points of entry, then return after the agent leaves.
- Let your clients know that you will take all of the above safety precautions, but that when they return home, they should immediately verify that all doors are locked and all valuables accounted for.
Source: National Association of REALTORS, REALTORSafety911.com; Realty Times; ThinkGlink.com
National Association of REALTORS Associate Counsel Jessica Edgerton presents legal tips and best practices for brokerages to take into consideration when implementing safety programs and policies to help agents stay safe. (Source: National Association of REALTORS)
A throwback from a few years ago…but this video from the National Association of REALTORS offers timeless insights to help real estate professionals work smart and stay safe!
As a real estate professional, there is always a level of risk to your personal safety when meeting an unknown person. Here are a few simple steps you can take to decrease that risk.
Source: National Association of REALTORS
Developed in partnership with NAR’s REALTOR Safety Program, the Ohio Association of REALTORS Professional Development Group is offering an online, three-hour course that teaches real estate professionals how to limit risk and increase safety for themselves and their clients. Students will learn how to assess potential risks and develop safety protocols for client meetings, open houses, showings, online interactions, and other business activities. The course will guide students through strategies for data security, including protecting personal and electronic information for real estate professionals and the clients they serve. As a practical resource, this course offers easy-to-remember strategies for responding to threats and attacks and when facing potentially dangerous situations.
Click here for more details or to register for the course.