Safety Tips

September 18, 2013realtor_safety_tips.jpg
Updated September 2017
By Amy Robey

Getting home safely each and every day should be of utmost importance to  all REALTORS®.  For managing brokers, educating agents about safety precautions while instituting an office safety action plan can help agents build awareness of how to stay safe while they work. The National Association of REALTORS® has an online safety precautions guideline presentation that managing brokers and office managers can use to help educate REALTORS®.
An article on authored by Tracey Hawkins, a real estate safety instructor, outlines several key documents agents should have that very well could save their lives or help in an emergency situation. In the article, REALTOR Safety Forms: More Than Space Filler, Hawkins outlines that every sales office should review their Office Safety Action Plan with new agents and on a regular basis with the entire staff:

  • First time meeting with clients: Agents should arrange to meet prospects and clients whom they have never met in the office rather than at properties, out of doors, or at home.
  • All first time clients should provide a driver's license, state ID or other official photo ID. The office should make and retain a copy of this ID for security purposes.
  • All employees, including office personnel, will be educated on a single "distress code" to be used by agents calling in if they feel threatened.
  • Agents who are uncomfortable meeting with clients alone or hosting open houses alone can request a "buddy" agent or employee to go with them.
Chris Koffenberger has been teaching martial arts for 11 years and is the owner and trainer at Kyuki-Do Martial Arts of Geneva. He advises REALTORS®, male or female, to learn basic self defense. When you learn basic self-defense it can show in how you walk and present yourself with confidence.

Koffenberger offers basic tips on good safety:

  • Have your phone with you at all times
  • Do not go to an open house alone.  Practice these safety tips before proceeding to an open house.
  • Have someone check in on you consistently--be sure to always answer your phone, even if you are with a client. It is a safety check. If you don't answer the phone, that is a signal something is wrong. Showing Properties the Ssafe Way (NAR)
  • Trust your instinct. There may be a reason you feel uncomfortable with someone. Be in-tune to your gut reactions on people you are showing homes to. If you get a bad vibe from somebody trust your instincts, don't give them a second chance. If something doesn't feel right, it might save your life. Practice the 10-second rule (NAR)
  • If someone comes in to an open house and you are uncomfortable have your phone set and ready to text someone and have them call you or follow the distress signal of your office.
  • When showing a home, make sure the customer goes in the room before you. If it is a small room don't go in the room with them. Never go into the bathroom or walk-in closet with a customer. You don't want to be in a confined space.
  • Never yell "help"... Know how to trigger your car alarm. If it doesn't stop going off people will start paying attention especially if there is an open house sign in the yard.
  • Remember, when carrying pepper spray or mace it is usually in your purse or on a key chain. Calculate the amount of time it would take to get the strip off and turn and point to spray. Having it is going to make you feel more comfortable and confident and would come in most handy when you are walking to your car. Keep your finger on the trigger.
  • If someone tells you about a seminar you can go to that guarantees your safety don't waste your money or time. I cannot teach someone techniques to save their lives in a three hour, six hour or six week period. You have to create muscle memory over time. No matter how intense someone says training is, you won't be able to do what you need to do under stress and duress unless training for years.
  • I would recommend martial arts training to any REALTOR®. If more people knew martial arts there would be less attacks in society.
  • If you are looking at training, interview various martial arts schools. 
  • If you are going to train understand it does take a long time to develop skills. Your instincts will start to come through more and you will start to trust that instinct.
  • Through martial arts training you set goals, achieve those goals and train to build your safety defense mechanisms.
  • Find a qualified, professional school.  Ask if the martial arts instructor currently trains or just teaches. How often do they train and what do they train in. It is important they are still training.
  • There are different types of martial arts training. It all depends on what goals you are trying to accomplish and able and capable of doing. How is the school going to work with you so you can develop your skills over time?
For more safety tips go to REALTOR® Safety | 

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