How do you stay safe during property showings?

August 30 2018

Real estate agents often find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings with people they've just met. While only 4 percent of agents report being the victim of a crime while on the job, it's crucial for agents to know how to stay safe, especially when showing homes that are vacant or in remote areas.

What are agents doing to feel safer?

The NAR 2017 Member Safety Report shows that agents are:

  • Using smartphone safety apps (44 percent)
  • Taking a self-defense class (39 percent)
  • Carrying a self-defense weapon (57 percent of women and 52 percent of men) 
  • Participating in a NAR Realtor safety course (20 percent) 

What can you do to increase personal safety during home showings?

When meeting new or prospective clients:

  • Schedule meetings at the office or in a public setting.
  • Ask for personal identification and make copies for your records. 
  • Make sure a trusted friend or colleague knows who you're meeting, when the appointment is scheduled to end and where you'll be. 

When showing properties: 

  • Ask the client to drive separately.
  • Carry a fully charged cellphone with emergency numbers on speed dial.
  • Never deadbolt the entry doors in case you need to make a quick exit.
  • Allow the client to walk ahead of you during the tour, and let them explore basements and attics on their own.
  • Bring a colleague to open houses. Not only is there safety in numbers, but an extra agent can help answer questions from potential buyers.

What should you do if you feel unsafe?

If you feel uncomfortable in a given situation, politely excuse yourself as quickly as possible. And always choose flight over fight, even if you've taken self-defense courses.

Need a few more tips? NAR provides additional information on safety, including apps, webinars and other valuable resources for agents.