Why Just One Month Out Of The Year?
Let me start by saying thank you to the National Association of REALTORS® for naming September REALTOR® Safety Awareness Month but, why only one month out of the year? When I last looked things like assaults, robbery, theft and murder don't take a holiday they are happening everyday of the year. REALTORS® are very vulnerable to any or all of these types of crimes. Why? I believe that it is because we are taught from the first day we come into the profession to build relationships in order to build our business. Then when business does not grow as we would like it to we become for lack of a better word lazy. Then we stop paying attention to detail and our personal safety.
I have taken the time to go back and check Active Rain for posts that will emphasize my point. And that point is recognizing the need for your personal safety.
Look at what Rob Stevens had to say in his post titled Texas Murder Raises Concerns For Real Estate Agent Safety at http://activerain.com/blogsview/Texas-Murder-Raises-Concerns-for-Real-Estate-Agent-Safety?2053.
Then on 5/26/07 Greg Maley did a post titled REALTOR Found Murdered In Maryland and can be found at http://activerain.com/blogsview/108104/REALTOR-Found-Murdered-in.
Then if this is not enough Anne Hurst did a post entitled Realtor Killed In Wisconsin dated 3/23/08 and can be found at http://activerain.com/blogsview/435961/Realtor-Killed-in-Wisconsin.
All three of the above posts should be read and the one common thread that runs thru them is that all these agents were KILLED while working. So how can we be safer both at work and at home? Over the next several weeks I will be addressing this issue.
To begin here are three points that you can begin with:
- When Dealing With New Clients & Customers
•· Meet them at your office and introduce them to others if possible (people that wish to do you harm don't like to be noticed)
•· Complete a client/customer identification form (if you would like one let me know and I will be glad to send one to you)
•· Photocopy their driver's license
It is always a good idea to let people in your office know where you will be and who you will be meeting. At a minimum leave a note on your desk with your plans and time frame for showing property. If you meet someone at a property be sure when they arrive, jot down their care license number along with the make, model and color of the car. Use your cell phone to call your office and leave them the information.
- Always Have A Cell Phone With You
•· Program emergency numbers into speed dial, including 911, emergency road service, your office, a friend and your family members
•· When showing property keep the cell phone in your hand not on your belt or in a purse
•· Keep a cell phone charging adaptor in your car for emergencies
•· Call your office hourly to let people know where you are
•· If you have an emergency situation call 911, stay on the line and do not hang up
I have suggested when I have taught new agent orientation classes that you look at the #5 on your cell phone for storing 91. Can you tell me why I would suggest that number?
3. Hold a safe open house
•· Arrive at the open house early and determine escape routes from each level
•· Check the backyard to be sure you can get past the fence if necessary
•· Always have prospects proceed you into rooms and the basement*, you should stay close to the door
•· Do not advertise the house as vacant
•· Keep your keys and cell phone with you
•· Notify neighbors in advance by note or in person that you will be holding the house open and the hours you will be there
•· When prospects arrive jot down their care description, license plate number and a physical description of each person. This will also assist you in remembering their name as well
•· Call a buddy hourly to check in
My personal suggestion is do not go into the basement. We all know what one looks like and if it is finished, check it out before folks come in.
The one thing that I believe that we forget is that there is someone at home that cares about us. They depend on us to keep ourselves safe, we have our significant others, children, brokers, friends, peers and family not to mention our expanded sphere of influence.
PLEASE BE SAFE OUT THERE IN YOUR DAY TO DAY BUSINESS.
Don Rogers is a licensed REALTOR® in Missouri. I specialize in St. Charles County Missouri and have called O Fallon MO my home since 1993. If you are looking to buy or sell or you are relocating to the area and would like information about the St Charles County MO area do not hesitate to give me a call at 314-954-6775 or if you would prefer to send me an email.