Reports of real estate agents being attacked or robbed have been in the news a lot in the past few years. In answer to the rash of incidents, technology companies have created a number of mobile apps that provide a level of safety for agents when showing properties or meeting potential clients for the first time.
These apps are great for protecting agents, but what about protection for other aspects of real estate?
“Beyond the physical safety issues, there is also a huge concern for the safety of your confidential information,” Glenn Felson wrote in an Inman.com article published June 17.
In the post “The overlooked weak link in real estate safety,” Felson, who is president and general manager of Kastle Systems, a security services management company, suggested that brokerage offices should have a level of protection as well.
According to Felson, agents who become privy to personal information by way of employment may pose a threat to the brokerage and its clients upon parting ways with the agency.
“When an agent or employee can enter the office at any time they want without any way of tracking who is coming or going, there is a constant fear that someone is looking at things (or taking things) that don’t belong to them and that could have serious consequences on your financial livelihood,” Felson wrote. “No company is going to change the locks every time an agent leaves the firm…”
Here are five simple tactics Felson suggested brokerages can use to help ensure the physical safety of their agents and the digital safety of clients’ information:
1. Never work after-hours alone — Always have trusted colleague or someone you know with you
2. Don’t save your passwords on shared devices — Opt out of the “save information” feature on browsers.
3. Set up secure meetings — Have clients meet you at your office during business hours only and be sure to tell them to bring ID.
4. Keep confidential information locked up — Agencies that don’t have a lock up cabinet at home should keep confidential information at home.
5. Trust your gut — If you feel threatened at all while at the office alone, lock up and leave, Felson suggested.
“Even if your gut was wrong and you lose a lead, I believe it’s a fair trade-off to the alternative,” he wrote.