September is Realtor Safety Month so here are 10 tips to keep you alert as you work with clients. These days it is not uncommon for real estate agents to fall victim to criminal activities. Criminals are aware that most agents are women that work alone. Each year, agents are robbed of their handbags, laptops, cell/smart phones and jewelry. They are also at risk of more serious crimes such as rape and/or murder. Safety is always your primary concern. You can help achieve this goal by following these ten safety tips:
1) Always carry a cell phone on you with 911 as a quick dial option.
2) Be aware of all exits. In case of an emergency you should be able to direct everyone, including yourself to safety.
3) Keep prospective buyers in a group while showing a property.
4) Do not conduct an open house into late hours.
5) Allow the client to enter a room while you wait by the entrance.
6) Utilize your vehicle for showing properties or ask your customer to follow you in their own car. Never allow a complete stranger in your vehicle.
7) Provide a colleague or supervisor your itinerary beforehand so someone is aware of your whereabouts.
8) Guard yourself with pepper spray and keep it handy.
9) Do not wear or carry expensive accessories (jewelry, handbags, etc.). Also limit the amount of cash and credit cards you have in your possession.
10) Trust your intuition. Remember, if your gut tells you that something is wrong immediately leave. It is certainly better to be safe than sorry.