Why Just One Month Out Of The Year
Let me start by re-stating my thank you to the National Association of REALTORS® for naming September REALTOR® Safety Awareness Month but, why only one month out of the year? As I said in part 1 of this series, 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? Because when you work at developing a relationship and are friendly by nature you will be vulnerable for such things. Our managing brokers tell us to work on developing clients for life and to work on developing referral based business. Why? Because that is the BEST kind of business, we do not have to work as hard to land listings or buyers. It is only when business begins to take a downward turn, like we are in now, do we let our guard down. Let me say, now is the time to keep your guard up.
Sarah Reinhart writes in a post titled Read and Beware.....Sickos are out there dated 3/10/08 and can be found at http://activerain.com/blogsview/416991/Read-and-Beware-Sickos about an agent that was RAPED and REPEATEDLY STABBED.
Fred Carver in his post dated 2/14/08 entitled It's A Sad Day for Realtors and A Family....a Young Female Realtor is Murdered Showing a New Home in Victoria. Writes about a young 24 year old agent that was MURDERED while showing an upscale property in Victoria, BC. You can find this post at http://activerain.com/blogsview/365150/It-s-A-Sad.
On 6/26/08 Cathleen Rodgers (no relation) wrote this alert titled REALTOR Safety Alert Texas REALTORS and can be found at http://activerain.com/blogsview/567764/REALTOR-SAFETY-ALERT-TEXAS.
Here are three more tips for you to add to your checklist:
- Have A Distress Code
- Pre arrange a code with people in your office, your family and friends to alert them that something is wrong
- The distress code should be used if you are uneasy about a situation, if you know you are in danger dial 911
For obvious reason I will not give you a definite code that could be used only a suggestion. Some people say to use something on the line of "Red File" but, the choice is yours just make sure people know what you are talking about when you call them.
2. Dress For Safety
•· Don't wear expensive jewelry
•· Always have your cell phone on you or in your hand
•· Dress appropriately for the weather
•· Carry only the cash or credit cards you need
Expensive jewelry can make you a target. It is best to save it for formal occasions. By appropriately dressing for the weather you will be prepared in the event you find yourself exposed to harsh conditions due to a stalled car or having to escape on foot. Don't wear shoes that will hamper your ability to move quickly if necessary.
3. Establish A Buddy System
•· Have a buddy who is willing to help out when you feel uncomfortable
•· Agree to help at each other's open houses or when showing property if one of you feels uncomfortable with a situation
•· Follow your instincts (gut)- if they tell you to get help or you're just a little nervous, call your buddy!
I will probably say this again but to re-state something only shows how important it is. Those that wish to do someone harm have done their homework and know when our guard is down! They have checked out different homes where they will strike. Why do you think they like vacant homes?
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.