Every year in September the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) celebrates safety week, which is a good thing. Then we go for another year and then we do it again.
Last year in the news release that the NAR put out they ask the question, "You wouldn't let a perfect stranger into your house would you?" More often than not that is exactly what we do everyday of the week. In March 2007 our association was notified that we had had a member assaulted. Then about a month ago there were two leasing agents in two different apartment complexes assaulted. Prior to the 2007 incident we had not had any such thing happen in our association.
The agent that was assaulted in 2007 had done everything that her office manager had asked her to do. That is why and how she was found alive. She met the buyer at her office, taken all of his information and had it in a file, kept a record of where she was taking the buyer, etc. On the day she was assaulted she got a call from her "buyer" asking to meet at a house that he wanted to see one more time before placing a contract on it. This is the third time she had shown this property to him, so her guard was down by now. Oh did I mention the property was new construction and vacant. When he was finally caught in Texas he was with another agent looking at another home he had about 39 business cards of other agents in his possession.
We are taught from the day we come into this business to build relationships to build a strong business. We need to remember that these perverted individuals have done their homework and know what they are doing. I believe that you can build relationships in this business and still be safe or as safe as one can be in this business.
We took a real strong look at how we were presenting safety in our new agent orientation class and totally re-structured it. We no linger took 5 minutes on the topic. We moved to a 30-45 minute presentation, depending on participation from the class. As president of the association I went in and did the presentation in session ‘A' because I felt that strong about it and I wanted the new agents to know that sentiment.
Gentlemen, please know that just because you are a male bad things can happen to you too. Don't be so macho to think that that won't happen to me, I'm to bad for that.
In this soft market we need to be more aware of safety than ever. Why, because when the phone rings and the person on the other end of the line wants to see a property our first question is "when do you want to see it?" Then we bolt out the door to show the property and don't even get their name or phone number and we hit the office door so hard getting out that we don't even tell somebody where we are going. Why? We need to meet that stranger at the office first. Ok so it is the cousin of your first aunt's niece, so what? Meet them at the office to get some information on them. Have they been pre-approved? Do they know what they want or are they just looking for decorating ideas, or do they have something more sinister in mind? Have you ask someone in the office to go with you to the showing? Do you still have all of your expensive jewelry on or all of those one hundred dollar bills in your wallet? At least remember to leave that in your desk drawer. When you get to the house where do you park? In the driveway or on the street? A little hint here, on the street. If you forgot to let someone know where you will be now would be a good time to call the office and have them call you every 10 to 15 minutes until you tell them all is well. Get to the house early so you can at least find the exits and then when they get there stand at the front door. We all know what the basement, bedrooms and a kitchen looks like.
We need to be more conscience of our safety more than once a year for just one week and then forget about the other 51 weeks. We all have someone that cares about us and we should care enough about them to stay safe. If you don't care about your safety then who will?
This REALTOR® Service Announcement (RSN) has been brought to you by Don Rogers. BE SAFE OUT THERE!
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.