What’s More Important than Commissions? Safety

Most Realtors know they shouldn’t meet a new client alone at a secluded location, but 35% of agents surveyed by NAR said they did so anyway.

NEW YORK – Real estate agents consistently interact with strangers during showings and open houses. That makes it essential for them to develop safety skills and build awareness, says Jeff Lichtenstein, president/broker of Echo Fine Properties.

A National Association of Realtors® (NAR) survey found that 50% of female agents say they carry a self-defense weapon or tool, such as pepper spray, firearm, pocket knife, taser, battery-operated noise maker, baton or club. While agents are urged to carry a gun in some areas of the U.S., however, not all agents feel comfortable doing so – and it’s not legal in all jurisdictions.

One of the basic Realtor safety tips – don’t meet clients at a listing or prospective listing – make sense, but 35% of Realtors still said they met a new or prospective client alone at a secluded location or property.

Whether a new or existing client, agents should always notify a colleague, relative or friend where they will be and/or use an app for them to track the agent’s location. A majority (60%) use a safety app, and women are more likely to do so compared with male agents.

In the Sunshine State, Florida Realtors® partnered with SafeShowings and offers its safety app to all members – a free benefit of membership.

Another safety strategy: Use the buddy system and never be alone with a client. This means always having someone else present at open houses, listing appointments and showings. The person can be a colleague, seller, inspector or anyone else. A prospective witness reduces vulnerability.

Most agents already know that safety matters. In 2021, 37% of Realtors hosted an open house alone, and 18% reported feeling unsafe while doing so.

Source: Inman (10/13/22) Lichtenstein, Jeff

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