Working in real estate can be dangerous. There has been increasing number of attacks on real estate agents in America. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the industry has seen an average of 77 work-related deaths per year from 2011 to 2014. You can arm yourself with a healthy dose of skepticism and mistrust.
As an agent you might be an easy target and here’s why:
- You are expected to meet anyone at any time potentially alone.
Real estate is the only business that publicly announces, “Hey come on in! I am going to be alone in an empty house all day!”
Real estate agents have a certain reputation including an image of wealth.
Now is a great time to consider what your social media profiles look like. Making changes to the following three items can add to your safety.
Avoid using photos that display expensive items like jewelry.
Remove your private home address.
Remove your home phone number.
Agents are often at their most vulnerable during private showings and open houses. Protect yourself while showing properties with these tactics:
Employ Smoke and Mirrors
Although it is best to bring someone with you whenever you can, bluffing that they are on their way also works. Perception is a powerful tool. Informing the client that you and “your partner” will arrive gives potential criminals notice that you’re not alone. A simple fact that can change everything. Never let the client enter your blind spots. Let them walk in front of you during all showings.
Trust Your Instincts
Be suspect of everyone. Follow you gut feelings. If something seems off, remove yourself from the situation. Your safety is more important than potentially offending a client.
Communication is Key
Stay in communication with your office. Always let at least one personal contact and your office know where you are at all times. Use predetermined code words to alert your office or personal friends of distress.
Use the Buddy System
Get yourself a partner. A co-worker that you can bring along to showings and reciprocate. They can wait in the car with cell phone for support or in case of an emergency. Ultimately, this can keep both of you safe.
Have a Plan – Be Prepared
As a rule of thumb, you should always ask clients to meet at your office first and then proceed to the showing. This allows you the perfect opportunity to have the clients complete an information form that includes their name, copies of their driver’s licenses, vehicle information and other identifying information prior to any private showings.
Seek out Formal Self-Defense Training
Learning how to defend yourself in a hand-to-hand combat situation increases your safety that much more. Here are a few places in northern Utah that teach self-defense techniques and offer classes:
Close Combat Utah
1558 N Hill Field Rd. #5
Krav Mega Utah
1220 W 450 N #4, 2nd Floor
Additional locations in Sandy, Brigham City and Lehi
Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios
3965 Washington Blvd. #300