Some of things that make being a REALTOR® a rewarding, fulfilling career, are also some of the things that pose potential safety risks. Meeting new people and visiting new places are all major parts of the job, and being prepared for these situations is vital, not only to your professional success, but to your personal well-being. There are three concepts that can help to keep you safe in any scenario. Situational awareness, safety, and self-defense. Let’s take a closer look at these, and ways you can incorporate them in your daily routine to avoid unsafe situations.
Whenever possible try and meet with a client before a showing. Invite them to meet at your office or in a public place. Ideally this would be a good time to get a copy of their pre-approval letter. However if they don’t have one, use this meeting to collect some basic information from them, including: their full name, driver’s license, and vehicle information.
It’s also a good idea to arrive early before a showing. Drive through the neighborhood and familiarize yourself with the streets routes in and out of the area. Also walk through the house so that you understand the layout. Unlock all doors, and consider a potential escape plan, should the need arise. Also, park your car in the street as opposed to the driveway, this can prevent you from possibly being blocked in.
Safety sounds like a general term, but creating and following a specific safety plan is good idea. Your safety plan should take into account:
· How you communicate with your office
· How you interact with clients
· How you approach neighborhoods and properties
· How you show a property
· How you present yourself
Useful self-defense skills don’t require a black belt. Keep these simple tips in mind for effective self-defense should you ever need it.
· Use your gross motor skills. This means focus on using an open hand to strike your attacker as opposed to punching or using a weapon like pepper spray.
· Try and create distance to escape.
· Use anything you have access to as a tool for escape. If you have your car keys, press your car’s panic button.
Unfortunately the potential for danger can occur at any time. However, having a sound safety plan, being aware of your surroundings, and knowing how to defend yourself are all very important skills to have as a REALTOR®.