Real estate agents enjoy working with their clients, as well as meeting new people. This is in part why many agents choose real estate as their career. In general, agents and brokers have felt safe while performing their jobs. However, in recent years agent safety has become more relevant and should be of the upmost importance to the lead broker and your agency. In light of last weeks events, we found it important to discuss agent safety and offer a refresher self defense course open to our office staff and other Lake Placid real estate offices. The course will be held in our Main Street office, October 15, at 430.
It is essential real estate firms take agent safety seriously and implement procedures to help keep their agents safe while showing properties. This not only benefits the sales agent, but also works for the buyers and sellers best interest. At Adirondack Premier Properties Inc., safety precautions are not taken lightly. Our agents and clients are always our top priority. We have initiated measures to help keep our sales agents in Lake Placid and throughout the Adirondacks safe and hope our tips will help you practice best measures in your real estate career too.
Have a fixed office safety protocol
There are a few basic steps your office can take to make safety a priority. Creating an office protocol ensures everyone follows what you have defined as essential. Once your office has implemented a safety protocol review it during your annual staff training and also with the new agents joining your sales team. In addition to preparedness, group trainings lend themselves as excellent team building activities for an office, helping to build trust among co-workers.
What to include in your plan
- Agent online profiles: Do not include personal information about yourself in your online profile. This includes specifics about where you live or your family.
- Verification: Have clients complete an in-office information form during open houses and prior to scheduling private showings. Include information like their name, copy of driver’s license, and vehicle information.
- Share your itinerary: Prior to showing properties, provide your office with a planned itinerary of the properties scheduled, including the arrival times. Check in with the office as you move down the itinerary.
- Meet in pubic: Do not meet clients you do not know at a property. Require they come to your office instead. This is also good time to have them fill out the client information form.
- Have a code: Decide together as an office a code phrase or word you can use to signal your colleagues if you are in a situation of concern. Have a defined action plan for this code, whether it means for another agent to come to the property or for them to alert the police.
- Remember what Mom always said: Never get into a car with someone you don’t know. Use your vehicle for showings or ask your client to follow you in their car.
What you can do as an agent
There are a few safety practices you can do on your own. They will not only help you in real estate, but also in every day safety.
- Be sure to always have your cell phone in a place you can reach quickly. Have it pre-programmed to dial 911, your local emergency number or use a downloaded safety app.
- Never show vacant properties by yourself unless you know your clients.
- Take a self defense class. Ask your broker to consider providing one for all of the agents.
- Allow your clients to enter the room first, while you remain by the door.
- Know the property you are showing, including all exits. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood as well.
Trust your instincts. Your instincts are always your best line of defense. Don’t be afraid to alert your broker if you have an awkward feeling about a client or situation. Your safety is much more important than a sale, and we take your concerns seriously. Taking the steps outlined above are a positive step in self defense. Often times, many of these protective measures will ward off a predator as the risk of getting caught is too high.
Although, we have not had a negative occurrence in our Lake Placid office, it’s always best to be in the know and stay informed. This ensures top notch agents and a successful real estate firm. We hope these tips have been helpful to you and invite you to join our next blog.