While REALTORS® like to keep our focus on our clients and the great services we provide, we know safety must come first.
As we mark the National Association of REALTORS® annual Safety Month, we are reminded that 38 percent of the nation’s 1.3 million agents have felt unsafe at some point in their real estate careers. That’s more than half a million. Undoubtedly, many of you are represented in that statistic. REALTORS®, by nature of the job, have easily accessible contact information and often place themselves in vulnerable situations. Fortunately, there are many things you can do help ensure your safety.
To start, create a safety strategy for when you are at the office, with clients and even at home. Having a plan that you, your team and even your family follow will make safety second nature.
Further, get help from technology. There are many new tools, including a number of smartphone apps that provide an extra layer of protection through:
- Alarm systems that operate by silent panic button via cell phone,
- Personal emergency transmitters that send a personalized message and your GPS location to up to 30 contacts and updates your location every 30 feet,
- Verification of your prospect’s identity and potential risks,
- And even 24/7 personal monitoring by a team of
You can learn about these and more under NAR.realtor/ Safety.
Florida REALTORS® has a promising new app as a free member benefit: SafeShowings, which combines many of the best features of other apps. It was created by a REALTOR® in Charleston, S.C.
SafeShowings lets you record a buyer’s name, automatically captures exact GPS addresses and prompts you to add a photo of each potential buyer – removing the anonymity someone seeking to do harm would want.
The app also features a preset system that calls for help, even if an agent can’t access the phone. You set the time you expect your showing to take – the app automatically selects 45 minutes – and adds emergency contacts. If you don’t respond in the time limit, your contacts are notified.
I have found a product called InvisaWear to be the perfect complement to my safety plan. This attractive charm looks like jewelry but hides a panic button that can set up to alert family and friends, text a link to your location and even, with an ADT subscription, get 911 assistance. It’s another tool that doesn’t require you to be holding a phone.
Even beyond the safety necessary for real estate interactions, please also remember that the COVID-19 virus is still a concerning part of our day-to-day lives. Retaining those simple precautions that are now part of our routine will go a long way to help.
Taking steps to protect your safety is worth the cost of a little extra time and effort.
If you do ever experience a situation that makes you feel unsafe, don’t hesitate to call for help. If you are in a life- threatening situation, call 9-1-1 and please inform the association as soon as possible. Contact Sara Parsons at Greater Tampa REALTORS® by calling 813-879-7010.
GTR cares about the safety of our members as well as the safety of our clients and colleagues. Please use September to remind yourself of all the ways you can stay safe now and throughout the year.
Greater Tampa REALTORS®