September is Realtor Safety Month and OnCourse Learning wants to help keep you safe by offering the following tips for property showings:
Meet first-time clients in the office or some other public location like a coffee shop rather than in the field. This allows you to establish a relationship and comfort level with the client.
Establish a distress code with a friend or someone in the office. Create a secret word or phrase that is not commonly used but can be worked into any conversation for cases where you may feel threatened. Example: “Hi, this is Jane. I am at [address]. Could you send me the red file?”
Do not share your home address or phone number on any advertisement. To provide as much anonymity as possible, a business email address is also a good idea. You can always forward those emails to your personal account.
Introduce your prospect to someone when you meet them for the first time. A would-be assailant wants to stay inconspicuous so that they cannot be detected.
Do not park in the driveway. Park at the curb in front of the property. It allows more visibility to people in the neighborhood if there is a conflict, and it is much easier to escape in your vehicle if you don’t have to back out of a driveway. Also, when parked in a driveway, the perpetrator could park behind you, making it more difficult to leave.
Have a panic button and/or security app on your phone. Some are free or low cost.
Avoid attics and basements and getting trapped in small rooms. If buyers want to view those areas, you don’t need to go with them.
Dress for the weather. If your car breaks down or you need to escape a dangerous situation on foot, you will need to be dressed appropriately.
Take a self-defense class. A good course will help not only teach you proper maneuvers to physically fend off an attack, but it will also cover critical thinking skills in regards to defense strategies, assertiveness and powerful communication tactics.
Trust your instincts. If you don’t feel comfortable about a situation, figure out an alternative or ask someone to go with you.
Remember that the biggest asset to your business is you. You can’t serve your customers if you don’t protect yourself.