September is REALTOR® Safety Month, but we want all Virginia REALTORS® to be safe every day. REALTORS® spend their days getting to know many people and are entrusted with clients’ homes during open houses and property showings. We asked our REALTOR® members to tell us the ways they stay safe while conducting business. Take precautions with these top REALTOR® safety tips:
Consider virtual tours. If you haven’t incorporated technology into your business practices, now is a great time to start learning. A virtual tour or video chat with a potential homebuyer is a great way for them to explore each room, and it’s much safer. Many REALTORS® only show houses by appointment to minimize risks.
Keep your car keys handy. While we hope an incident doesn’t occur during an open house, being able to sound your car alarm can help draw attention to what’s happening. Someone can hear it and call for help.
Park on the street. Whenever you are showing a listing, be sure to park on the curb and not the driveway. If you park in the driveway, you may be blocked in and find that you cannot get out quickly in case of an emergency. Also, practice careful car precautions. REALTORS® spend a ton of time in their cars and you can minimize something going wrong with your car if you are up to date on maintenance. Pro tip: Keep your gas at least half full at all times.
Travel in pairs. If you are hosting an open house or showing a property, it is wise to bring someone with you. Remember, there is safety in numbers, and you’re a lot less vulnerable when you’re with someone else.
Meet potential clients in a public space. When meeting potential clients, ask them out to somewhere public like a coffee shop or your office. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’re all alone with the person.
Stay away from “vacant listings”. When marketing a listing, it’s best not to advertise that the home is vacant. Criminals could see this as an opportunity to steal.
Stay alert. When walking around, whether it’s leaving an open house or going to your office, always be aware of your surroundings. Try not to look down at your phone, but stay alert to see what’s around.
Checking-in. Tell your co-workers and friends where you are at all times. REALTORS® should keep colleagues, friends, and family informed about what you’re doing, where you’re going, and who you’re with. Don’t only do this if you’re feeling nervous—try to make this a habit!
Do you have any safety tips you live by? We’d love to hear them! Stay safe!