September is real estate agent safety month.
And as a real estate professional, many of your clients and prospects may come to you through word-of-mouth referrals.
If you’re constantly prospecting like you should be, you’ll be interacting with strangers on a regular basis.
Although it’s unlikely that any of these stranger interactions will put you into danger, you still have to prepare yourself against the worst.
6. Have an escape route
You know how the flight attendants tell you before takeoff to look around for the nearest exit in case of an emergency (keeping in mind that it may be behind you)?
Practice the same procedure when doing a house showing–know beforehand what the exit and entry points of the property are, just in case you get uncomfortable with a particular client.
It’s also a good practice to keep all of the doors unlocked during a showing.
7. Self defense
It’s becoming more common for real estate agents to learn self defense as a best practice when preparing to show homes.
There is nothing to lose from taking a self-defense course–you’ll feel safer not only at work as a real estate agent, but also in everyday life.
8. Make yourself identifiable
Wear your brokerage or Realtor ID badge and keep your car clearly marked with your company’s name.
If you find yourself needing assistance, you will be best served by making yourself easy to identify–you can tell somebody that you have a large name tag and you are driving a car with your company name on it, both of which combined could describe only you.
9. Follow the leader
Have your prospect walk in front of you when you enter and tour the home. This way they have less of a physical advantage if they were to attempt to corner you in the home somehow.
You can gesture them in certain directions with simple points and verbal cues, such as, “the guest bedroom is on your right down this hall.”
10. Trust your instincts
If a prospect is giving you a fishy vibe, there is nothing wrong with prematurely ending a showing.
You don’t have to tell them explicitly that’s what you’re doing, as this could lead to defensive behavior from the prospect.
Simply say that that something urgent has come up at the office and you must get back immediately.
This not only allows you to step away from the interaction, but it also creates an excuse to be on your phone looking for police assistance (when you are ostensibly messaging the office about the fake urgent event that’s pulling you away from the prospect).
Apologize as needed and tell them that someone else from the office will be in touch about rescheduling (which is not necessary to follow through on if the prospect crossed a social or professional boundary).
All in all, remember that it is your right and obligation to yourself to prioritize your safety. No potential sale is worth risking your well-being. If you feel uneasy with a client, step away as you feel appropriate.
About Larson Educational Services:
Utilizing 40 years of real estate training and professional education experience, Florida real estate school Larson Educational Services is the premier provider of Florida real estate licensing, exam preparation, post-licensing, CAM licensing, mortgage loan originator licensing, and continuing education in Southwest Florida. Classes are available in Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, and online. We are an approved Florida Real Estate School (License #ZH1002299), Florida CAM School (License #PRE31), Florida Insurance School (License # 370501) and NMLS Approved Course Provider.
Larson Educational Services
13040 Livingston Rd. #12
Naples, FL 34105