Posted on: 12 January 2015
When most people think of dangerous jobs, they tend to think of that of a police officer or fire fighter--not a real estate agent, right? However, if you work as a real estate agent, you probably know that this particular line of work comes with its inherent risks and dangers. This is especially true when it comes to showing homes, as this often involves meeting up with strangers and taking them through vacant properties alone. Aside from taking safety risks during showings (like letting a client out of your sight), there are some other personal safety risks you'll want to be careful to avoid.
Letting a Client Ride in Your Car
It's always a good idea to conduct your first meeting with a client in your office. However, once it comes time to take a client on showings, you might be tempted to offer your client a ride to and from various properties. After all, you're both going to the same place and you want to be courteous, right? Not so fast. For your own safety, it's always best to have a client follow you in his or her own vehicle. Furthermore, when you arrive at a property, always park somewhere that'll be easy to escape from if need-be, such as alongside a curb rather than in front of your client's car in a driveway.
Entering a Vacant or Foreclosed Property
Another safety risk you might run into while working as a real estate agent is that of showing vacant or foreclosed properties. Unfortunately, when you enter such a home, you never know what you might find. There could be unexpected house guests, such as squatters or even dangerous animals. When entering a vacant property for the first time, always start with an inspection of the exterior and be on the lookout for signs of forced entry. If you notice any signs of a squatter or unwanted guest, leave immediately and call the police.
Hosting an Open House
Some real estate agents assume that an open house is a safe environment because it's quite public. However, this isn't always the case. During open houses, always be on the lookout for red flags, such as a group of people that shows up toward the end of the open house and splits off into different rooms. In advertisements for the open house, be sure to explain that government ID will be required for entry; this will help to detract would-be criminals from attending.
If you're just starting out in the business, speak with other realtors to learn what other steps you can take to ensure your safety and the safety of your clients.Share