When it comes to safety, you can never be too cautious. As a REALTOR® you put yourself in potentially risky situations every day. As a part of Safety Month, Mainstreet welcomed retired Police Officer, and current firearms instructor at The Range at 355, Parry Barnes, as a speaker for a discussion on personal safety.
Barnes talked about the importance of safety, especially in the real estate industry, and the importance of being aware of your surroundings. Unlike other safety classes, this class focused on ways to prevent or predict a potential threat, rather than reacting to one that is already happening. “You don’t need to worry about what will happen if you anticipate what can happen” Barnes stated. Thinking ahead and anticipating a potential threat can make the difference in a dangerous situation, so Barnes gave his insight for staying safe.
Practicing Preventative Tactics
A reoccurring message Barnes gave the class was that you do not need to arm yourself with pepper spray, a taser, or other self-defense devices to keep yourself safe in a showing (although it never hurts to have additional layers of defense). Simply being confident and forward with yourself can make an assailant think twice about messing with you. If you are in public, firmly and confidently saying, “stop, do not come closer” can prevent an assault. By talking loudly and firmly, you are raising attention which can alert people of a potential threat. “Distance equals time equals options,” is what Barnes said, meaning if you create distance between yourself and the potential threat, you create time for yourself to think about what you will do next.
Create an Open House Checklist
Being aware of your surroundings in unfamiliar environments is an essential for staying safe. One tip Barnes gave for open houses was to create a check list to make your surrounding area is safe. Creating a list can help you make sure you are covering yourself, or your office, every way that you can. This check list can include: walking around the house, checking to make sure doors are locked, check for broken glass, etc. In addition to the physical walk around, the check list can also include what to do in the event something is wrong. This can address when you should call your managing broker or even when you should call the police.
Know Your Escape Routes
In addition to looking for potential threats, you are also looking for escape routes in the event of an unplanned exit. Is there a back patio door? How about a fence with a lock on it? Does the garage door work if you need to escape through the garage? All things to keep note of on a check list.
Barnes reiterated that your number one tool when trying to stay safe in otherwise dangerous situations is to be aware. “Bad guys are looking for you,” Barnes said, referring to predators looking for an easy target. People on their phones, hands full, and other distractions are what predators are looking for when searching for their next victim. Limiting your distractions will also limit the threats you face.
You also have to be aware that everyone is not as nice as you think. “If the other person feels bad, upset, or has hurt feelings because you don’t trust them, too bad.” Barnes added. “Safety first.” Go with your gut, because it is better to be safe than sorry."
Safety Resources from Mainstreet
In addition to safety seminars like this one with Mr. Barnes, Mainstreet also offers a safety application that is complimentary to members as a part of your member benefits! FOREWARN is a safety app that allows you to do a quick background check on potential clients. Your safety is our number one priority, so register for your complimentary account today!