Real Estate Safety Month: Tips for Safer Showings
Written bySeptember 22, 2016
Real Estate Agents put their lives on the line every single time they agree to meet a stranger. There’s a constant flow of sad news stories about real estate agents who were harmed or even killed! According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Member Safety Report, while 96 percent of Realtors have never been the victims of crime, 40 percent have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information.
With our variety of search methods and access to more than 12 billion records, Spokeo is a quick and easy tool to not only help Realtors® find and update contact information for sales leads (you can read more about how real estate agents are using Spokeo in this inman article), but also know if the person they’re meeting is who they say they are! A quick Spokeo search can help pacify any worries, or confirm your uneasy hunch before you decide to meet.
Because this is such an important issue, the National Association of Realtors, and many other groups, have chosen to help raise awareness for Realtor safety throughout the month of September. In addition to running a quick Spokeo search on a new prospect, here are some additional tips for staying safe and selling homes!
- Don’t make your first meeting at the home. You wouldn’t invite a stranger into your home – so why take a stranger to a private showing? Make your first encounter at your office, if possible, or a local coffee shop.
- Let the prospect walk in front of you. This allows your client to evaluate the home on their own terms while also keeping you in a position to remain aware of your surrounds and exit the space if something doesn’t feel right.
- Schedule showings during the day. As often as possible, schedule showings during the daylight hours. Well-lit areas are much less likely to harbor any surprises.
- Ask for identification. If you explain that asking for identification beforehand is a simple protocol for any new client, a prospect with good intentions should have no problem providing this. Keep a copy and be sure to share it with a colleague so someone knows who you’re meeting with.
- Always let someone know where you’re going. Share with your coworkers or family members when and where you’ll be going, approximately how long the showing should take and who you’ll be with. Be sure to check in with them when you’re done so that they know you’re safe.
- Carry a safety device. A solo realtor can never be too safe, so it’s a good idea to carry some sort of safety device – pepper spray, a personal alarm or even a safety app on your phone.
Connecting people with the home of their dreams is a wonderful thing. You love what you do or you wouldn’t be doing it! Just be sure to take an extra minute to ensure you’re safe and always follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then get out fast. Take all of the precautions above into consideration and research your prospect on Spokeo and you can be confident you’ve done all you can to enhance your safety.