By Joe Lins
October 14, 2014
The attack on an Orange County real estate agent outside her listing this past weekend has kept safety precautions a talking point among us REALTORS®. This following the death last month of Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter was a reminder of the vulnerability agents have when they are showing property or holding an Open House.
At our firm’s sales meeting last week we reviewed the safety precautions that all agents, male and female, should take when they are meeting strangers or holding an open house. The National Association of REALTORS® has a 10 Commandments of Agent Safety that provides some great tips. Last week at the California Association of REALTORS® Expo in Anaheim they offered safety classes. Our local Pacific West Association of REALTORS® is offering a safety class in October 20th from 11:30-1:30.
All these classes and tips offer very good advice. Here are some additional recommendations I made to our agents:
- Tell someone where you are going when meeting a client
Tell an office buddy, the receptionist or a family member where you are going and how long you plan to be there.
- Have a code word to signal that you need help
Have someone call you at a certain time to simply ask “How’s it going?” How about something like: “Escrow just fell out”. Not something any agent likes to say but a phase like that would not alarm someone standing next to you.
- Take someone with you
If possible, bring along a co-worker. Maybe a younger agent you are mentoring or an older agent you want to critique your presentation skills.
- Always have an exit plan
Whether you are showing property or are at an open house always know where the closest way out is. Never walk in front of the client. Let them lead the way through the house and you can follow several steps behind.
- Trust your 6th sense
You have it…trust it! If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and get out of the situation as a soon as you can.
- Think about doing your Open Houses differently
This tip came from one of our agents at our office meeting: Get acquainted with the neighbors in the neighborhood and let them know you’re holding an Open House.
I saw some agents do this at a recent Open House: Set up a folding table with a branded tablecloth and barstools in the driveway or on the porch. Put your brochures, flyers, home protection and finance info on the table. This allows you to see who is coming into the house and the make/model/color of the car they drive.
Stand up when someone approaches or enters the room. Not only is this good etiquette but good defense as well.
The bottom line is to be aware and be safe when you’re out there. Charge on!
About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team contact Joe at 714.626.2069.