September is officially REALTOR® Safety month, but safety is something we must practice year-round to ensure we make it home to our families. According to the National Association of Realtors, 38% of members report they’ve been in a situation where they feared for their safety.
When I first got into the industry, my Broker preached about REALTOR® safety at every Monday morning meeting. It wasn’t until I had my first incident, I started taking it more seriously.
One Saturday morning, I showed a property and someone started knocking on the door and jiggling the handle. Instead of opening the door, I went to the window and noticed a guy at the front. He asked to be let in as soon as he saw me because the owner sent him to fix the AC. There were many red flags I noticed right away. He did not have a uniform on, there was no vehicle out front and the AC seemed to be working fine. He finally left after I refused to let him in the home and got on the phone to call the agent.
One of my most important rules, “always lock the door once you are inside” potentially kept us safe. I am not sure what the guy’s intentions were, but I did not want to find out.
Below I have a few safety tips that I follow to keep me safe on the job.
- Stranger When you have a new client, meet them at your office to get a copy of their driver’s license.
- Glock Register to get your concealed weapons permit and purchase a handgun.
- App Download a safety app such as SafeShowings (free for members through Florida REALTORS®) to contact your emergency contact in case of an emergency.
- Suns Out. If possible, do not show homes at night.
- Partner Do not host an open house alone. Ask someone from your office or a preferred lender to join you.
There is no such thing as being “too safe”, so we must practice safety each day. Always trust your instincts and if you ever feel uncomfortable in a situation, get out! Check out The National Association of REALTORS® website for other safety resources and make safety a priority in your business.