REALTOR® safety at open houses and showings
Make your personal safety the number one priority!
Have you ever felt uneasy at an open house or showing? REALTOR® safety is an important area of concern for the real estate profession. You must take precautions and make your personal safety the most important consideration in your day-to-day business.
Pointers to help ensure your safety in your real estate practice
The Canadian Real Estate Association has detailed information about REALTOR® Safety on their website (member login required). Also look for The Safe Side, REALTOR® Safety Issues, a publication highlighting incidents and offering many recommendations. Here are just a few:
- When meeting clients, especially for the first time, meet in your office or a public space;
- Have more than one person at meetings and open houses;
- Always have a cell phone at your side;
- Ensure that a colleague, friend or family member knows where you are at all times and when you will be back;
- Don’t publicize your personal information; and
- Always trust your instincts.
Open house checklist
Here are the top 9 recommendations for when you are conducting an open house. We have made this information available in PDF format for you to download and print.
- When you enter the house for the first time, check all the rooms and determine several “escape routes.”
- Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to make a faster escape possible. Make sure all locks are back on once the open house or the showing is over.
- Check that you can escape from a backyard if you flee through a back door. In many areas, the high fences that surround yards with pools and hot tubs make escape difficult, if not impossible.
- Place your business card, with date and time on the back in a kitchen cupboard. Make a note on it if you were the first to arrive or if clients were waiting.
- As prospective clients arrive, jot down car descriptions, license plate numbers and physical descriptions.
- Always walk behind the prospect and show the house by directing not leading them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you. Watch what prospects are doing at all times; don’t become preoccupied with viewing the home.
- Notify someone in your office, or at your answering service, or a relative or friend that you will be calling at regular intervals (every hour on the hour; or every two hours) If you don’t call, they are to notify police immediately.
- Let a neighbour know you are showing the house and ask them to also be aware of anything out of the ordinary.
- If possible, have someone from your office, or a relative or friend stay with you during the open house.
Personal safety apps
Another thing you can do is go to this article from the Tech Hive website that provides five different safety Apps which can be downloaded (for both iOS and Android devices). There are also a number of other safety Apps that can be found under ‘Personal Safety’ in both the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Stay safe out there.