Are you a Real Estate Agent at risk? Here are a few smart strategies for Realtors® to stay safe while showing a property.
A career in Real Estate is an exciting job: helping people’s dreams come true while making your own hours. However, real estate agents face a frequently underestimated level of danger. Whether you’ve been on the job for decades or for just a few weeks, you often find yourself in unknown situations, since agents never know who’s going to show up to an open house.
Back in 2014, Beverly Carter, a real estate agent in Arkansas, was abducted and killed when showing a home in her small community. Sometimes, the story ends better — as in the case of Janice Tisdale, who survived an attack from a client-- but even in that case, Janice had shown the client several homes and didn’t see the attack coming. If a car full of teenagers hadn’t driven by at just the right moment, she may not have been able to survive.
"Real estate agent Janice Tisdale was this home to client Emilio Maldonado when he attacked her with a tire thumper."
One of the great allures of the realty profession is that you don’t have to be cooped up in an office all day, every day. Instead, you’re out in the world, meeting hundreds of wonderful people hoping to buy and sell their homes. You’re in every neighborhood, sometimes driving clients around in your own car.
Perhaps you didn’t realize that this profession came with increased personal risk when you first took your exams, but after a couple of incidents, you felt a little bit less than confident. Maybe it was the first time you showed a foreclosed property and encountered an unexpected guest. Or met with a new client who didn’t give you great vibes. As Realtor Mag states, “you put yourself at risk every day-- you just might not realize it.”
EASY WAYS FOR REALTORS® TO STAY SAFE ON THE JOB
Luckily, there’s much you can do to protect yourself. Here are a few tips that other agents are using.
- Common advice dictates that “using the buddy system” works well: you have the safety and security of knowing your colleagues have your back. Bring along a partner, a family member, or a banker.
- If you’re showing a home by yourself, always remember to tell a colleague or loved one the time and place of the showing, and who it is with.
- If you’re a real estate broker, check out NAR's Safety Resources for Brokers.
- Safety services that rely on family and friends such as Wearsafe can be extremely helpful for agents. Sometimes agents need emergency services, and sometimes a more nuanced response is appreciated in a work environment — Wearsafe allows for both.
- Agents at William Raveis have begun to use personal safety devices such as Wearsafe (a safety system that instantly calls for help with the press of a button).
HOW REAL ESTATE AGENTS CAN BENEFIT FROM TECHNOLOGY
Luckily for agents, technology has advanced enough that we can keep our safety network with us at every moment. The phone in your pocket has the power to call anyone in your address book within minutes of an incident, but sometimes we don’t have minutes. We might only have seconds.
Agents at renowned agency William Raveis have already begun to use the Wearsafe service and its accompanying wearable safety button when on the road with clients. This company’s real estate agents know that if they press their Wearsafe Tag it will instantly use the power of their smartphones to connect with their colleagues. Once that Tag is pressed, it discreetly sends the agent’s network their GPS location, live audio, and access to a group chat to quickly coordinate help.
Real estate agent wearing a Wearsafe Tag while showing a property
Personal safety devices have changed the way we think about safety in our daily lives. The best personal safety devices, like Wearsafe, which instantly connect you and your network without having to scramble for your phone, can give you peace of mind no matter where your work takes you. There’s no need to waste precious time finding your phone, unlocking, dialing, and waiting for a response.
Real estate agents can enjoy greater peace of mind and a safer career, using the most advanced personal safety technology. Agents at any stage of their careers can stay out of danger, and keep their support systems by their sides. With that kind of protection, they can focus on what’s really important: selling houses and making dreams come true.