Hosting an open house for a client is a common and effective way to promote, market, and eventually sell a house.  In fact according to the National Association of REALTORS® 8% of homebuyers find their eventual home at an open house.  This number has recently decreased from the rise of the internet and mobile, it is still a tried and true practice that brings value for both you and your client.  While these events             can be fun and fruitful, providing the opportunity to meet people and showcase a property, it is also very important to put safety first.  Here are 5 tips to help make your next open house a safe open house. 

1.        Get familiar with the home beforehand.

If you’ve never been in this property, arrive well ahead of time.  Check all of the rooms and closets and get familiar with the layout.  It’s a good idea to do this while on the phone with someone.  This allows you to be heard should someone be hiding, and also let’s another person know where you are.  You should also make note of the status of each door and window.  Are any doors locked, before or after the open house?  Are the hinges still intact?  Also check the windows.  Were any locked or unlocked or broken?

2.       Bring someone with you.

Law enforcement professionals attest that having someone with you is one of the biggest crime deterrents.  If you are alone you can appear as more of a target for crime.  This can be anyone; it doesn’t have to be a real estate professional.  It can be a friend, spouse, or sibling. 

3.       Be mindful of your client’s valuables.

While it’s a good idea and a best practice to clean and declutter the home before a showing or open house, it’s also very important that nothing of value that can be easily taken is left out.  Discuss with your client before the open house about removing any jewelry, guns, prescription drugs and other valuables.

4.       Always walk behind your visitors.

This is a good safety rule during a regular showing, and especially during an open house.  If you lead and direct from behind you’re able to keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior.  It also makes it easier for to avoid being confronted or confined in a room alone.

These are only a few things to keep in mind during your next open house.  The main thing is to put your safety first, as well as the safety of the home and visitors.