Realtor Personal Safety Tips | Mace® Brand
Personal Safety First: A Realtor’s Guide to Staying Safe on the Job
September marks REALTOR® Safety Month, which has the team at Mace thinking about all the hard-working realtors providing value for their communities and families.
The reality is that a career in real estate involves a lot of moving around town and interacting with strangers. And while the vast majority of the time, realtors are safe on the job, they still face greater risks than say the average retail worker. That’s why realtors should consider taking a few steps to safeguard their personal safety.
Let’s explore the realities of working in real estate and what agents can do to keep themselves safe on the job.
Before we go any further…
To celebrate REALTOR® Safety Month, Mace® Brand is partnering with U.S. LawShield® to give realtors FREE safety kits. This is an opportunity for agents to stock up on personal safety supplies and learn how to use them legally. Visit U.S. LawShield to become a member and receive the FREE Mace® Brand Real Estate Agent Safety Kit.
Risks in the typical realtor schedule
While the number of hours a realtor works varies greatly, generally a full-time agent spends 40+ hours a week on the job, with a substantial amount of those hours occurring on weekends during out-of-office showings. In most cases, the agent is alone during interactions with prospective buyers, and the showing may happen after standard business hours or in the evening.
According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 25% of realtors say they have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety. The good news is that realtors can take a few steps to keep themselves safe, especially when working with new prospects.
Realtor-approved advice to stay safe
When a realtor opens the door, how do they determine whether this is a prospect or predator? We’re glad you asked!
We connected with Renata Esmeralda, a realtor who is all about staying safe while she’s showing multi-million dollar listings in Miami. She confirmed that even agents for elite clients have to think twice about who they let in the door.
Check out these realtor-approved safety tips to safeguard your security at showings.
- Promoting ID verification before showings. Discourage criminals ahead of time by explicitly promoting that identification is required at the front door and video surveillance will be in use.
- Keep your personal information private. Get to know your clients and prospective buyers, but there is no need to disclose information about your children, where you live, or other aspects of your personal life.
- Be aware of communication limitations. When showing properties, especially commercial ones, remember dense walls and remote locations may interfere with your cell phone's signal or Wi-Fi connection. Test your phone, tablet, and all hardware around the property before showings. Know your dead spots!
- Direct prospects, don’t lead them. Predators often pick isolated areas in the property that lack an exit, specifically bathrooms, bedrooms, basements, and attics. Remember to walk behind your prospect, leaving plenty of space to exit first.
- Use active listening during your initial meeting. Focus on the prospect and ask questions to help identify red flags. Such questions could be: Does the prospect have a family size that matches the property? Was the prospect in a rush to see the property? What method did the prospect use to get in contact with you?
What else does Renata recommend? Trust your instincts. Like any seasoned pro, Ranata says to listen to what your gut is telling you. If you have a funny or uncomfortable feeling, exit immediately and get to safety.
Whether it's practicing situational awareness, testing wireless signals, background checks, or even interviewing your prospect, always remember to have a personal safety device on hand.
Mace® Brand’s real estate safety kit includes our palm stun device, pocket-size alarm keychain, and our iconic personal pocket pepper spray—all easily concealed, so you’re ready if you encounter a scary situation.