REALTORS® play a pivotal role in facilitating property transactions, but this line of work can expose us to certain risks. From meeting unfamiliar customers and clients to visiting vacant properties, it is crucial for REALTORS® to prioritize personal safety. In this article, we will discuss critical tips that REALTORS® can follow to ensure a secure working environment while effectively serving your clients. 1. Trust Your Instincts Intuition is a powerful tool for personal safety. REALTORS® should trust their gut feelings when dealing with potential clients. If something feels off or someone’s conduct raises suspicions, it is important to exercise caution and proceed accordingly. Remember, never compromise your safety. 2. Pre-Screen Clients Before meeting clients in person, conduct thorough pre-screening. Set up a process and use it consistently. Gather basic information on a potential client such as their full name, contact details, and valid proof of identification. Utilize online resources to verify their identity and assess their credibility. This initial step helps filter out potential risks and ensures a safer working relationship. 3. Maintain Open Communication Establish clear lines of communication with colleagues, friends, or family members. Share your schedule, including client meetings and property showings, along with relevant details such as client names, contact information, and meeting locations. Having a reliable support system keeps others informed about your whereabouts and enhances personal safety. 4. Choose Daytime Appointments Whenever possible, schedule property showings and client meetings during daylight hours. Well-lit areas offer better visibility, reducing the risk of unexpected dangers. If an evening appointment is unavoidable, consider bringing a trusted colleague or arranging for an additional person to accompany you. 5. Verify Property Safety Prior to visiting a property alone, conduct a safety assessment. Research the area’s crime rates, consult local law enforcement, and visit the property during different times of day to gauge its surroundings. When you must visit a property in a high-risk neighborhood, be extra cognizant of your surroundings. 6. Utilize Safety Apps and Tools Leverage digital tools to enhance personal safety. Install safety apps on your smartphone that allow you to share your location with trusted contacts in real-time. Some apps even offer distress signal options or discreetly connect you to emergency services. Familiarize yourself with these applications and utilize them to safeguard yourself during potentially risky situations. 7. Regularly Update Colleagues Maintain open lines of communication with your office or a trusted individual while conducting business outside the office. Inform them of your estimated arrival and departure times for property showings. This practice ensures accountability and allows for prompt assistance if needed. Consider creating a code word or phrase to alert colleagues of a potentially dangerous situation. 8. Pursue Safety Training Consider attending personal safety and self-defense training sessions. These programs provide valuable skills and techniques to handle dangerous situations effectively. Learn how to assess risks, de-escalate conflicts, and protect yourself physically if necessary. Equipping yourself with this knowledge empowers you to react confidently in unforeseen circumstances. 9. Exercise Caution in Vacant Properties When visiting vacant properties, exercise additional caution. Prioritize personal safety by inspecting properties during daylight hours and bringing a colleague along or informing someone about your location. Maintain situational awareness, identify alternative exits, and avoid entering enclosed or isolated spaces alone. 10. Meet in Safe Locations Whenever possible, REALTORS® should strive to meet clients at their office or in public places. Meeting in a professional setting or a public space reduces the risk of encountering potentially unsafe situations. It provides a controlled environment where other people are present, enhancing personal safety and minimizing the chances of being isolated or vulnerable. REALTORS® face unique risks in their line of work, but by implementing these essential tips, they can better protect themselves without compromising their ability to serve clients effectively. Pre-screening clients, taking safety training, utilizing digital tools, and maintaining open communication are just a few of the practices that can significantly mitigate potential risks. But when in doubt, REALTORS® should always remember the golden rule: TRUST YOUR GUT!