200 real estate agents have been murdered while on the job over the last 20 years.
This statistics were brought to national attention last week when a predator rapist was caught being driven around by a real estate agent who did not know his true identity.
As landladies and female [tag-tec]real estate agents[/tag-tec] many of us have already dealt with at least one incident where we have felt uncomfortable with a prospective client or tenant while showing a property.
My sister-in-law who is a succesful [tag-ice]real estate agent[/tag-ice] in Brentwood, TN has stated to me there are many things we can do to protect ourselves so that we can gain the confidence we need while staying safe on the job.
Here are three tips recommended by security experts.
1. Pre-qualify clients before showing a property
This involves getting the proper identification.
Meet the client at the office. Get his name and driver’s license. Run off a copy of the person’s driver’s license. A legitimate client will view this as standard paperwork.
If you are a [tag-self]landlord[/tag-self] you can pre-qualify a prospective tenant over the phone.
Ask questions. Get information. Find out where the person works or will be going to school.
If answers don’t exactly sound right arrange to take another person along.
Or you can contact other tenants who may be nearby and let them know you will coming to show a unit. Ask them to keep a look-out for you and your car.
If you don’t have other tenants, keep up good relationships with neighbors so you can ask them to watch out for you.
2. Don’t ever turn your back on a client or prospective tenant
This means avoid getting into tight corners such as closets and bathrooms where the client will be blocking the door.
Always have a way of escape out of the property. Be aware of how to get out quickly if you feel threatened.
Never allow your car to get hemmed in by a client’s. Always park your car where you can drive out quickly if necessary.
3. Visibly display your cell phone.
You’re reminding the client there are other people who looking out for you. You can even make a point of receiving or making a call in front of him.
“Yes, I’m here at the Wentworth property now and I’ll be working with Mr. Smith for the next few moments. I’ll call you back shortly.”
That’s not an in-your-face over the top reaction but it’s a gentle reminder others will be checking up on you, and they’re expecting a call from you.
3. Have a code
Experts strongly recommend you have a word or number that really means “help.” Dial or text message the code back at the office for assistance if needed.
Also, you might look into buying a service such as Mobile Callback that can monitor your location.
Working in real estate is exciting and fun. Don’t let fear keep you from reaching your potential.