When you have new clients:
- Meet them in the office
- Verify his/her identity
- Get their car mark and license number
- Photocopy/photograph their driver’s license
- Complete a client ID form
Ask prospect(s) to stop by your office and complete a personal identification form before going to a property. This should be openly obtained, preferably in the presence of an associate.
Verify their identity. This may entail calling references, his/her place of employment and verifying his/her current address. Information should be retained at your office; knowing that a name and address are known my discourage an assailant.
Get their car make and license number. It’s easy to do, and it will assist police in catching a criminal or finding you if you are abducted. If the car is stolen, your prospect will be reluctant to give you a license number.
Introduce the prospect to someone in your office. A would-be assailant does not like to be noticed or receive exposure knowing a person could pick him out of a police line-up.
Photocopy/photograph their driver’s license. Legitimate clients do not mind you copying/photographing their driver’s license. We freely show our license to the clerk at a grocery store when we write a check. We can expect identification from our client before we show a home worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Work smart and stay safe!
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