Preston Taylor here, this week for REALTOR® Safety week I have decided to focus on safety at an Open House. As a realtor, a huge part of your job is to hold open houses. This means random strangers are coming to a house that you may or may not be familiar with. Here are 8 safety tips for you to keep in mind the next time your feel uneasy or threatened at an open house.
What is your Code Word?
Someone should always be expecting you. Whether its returning home from work, returning or arriving at a showing, or returning from a meeting, someone should be expecting you. Please get into the habit of having safety mechanisms in place if you’re late or don’t show. The sooner loved ones and law enforcement know you are missing the sooner an attempt to locate you can begin. A simple text, phone call or email to let those waiting know all is good is crucial. Have a code word for trouble in case you cannot speak freely.
No Cell Phone, Now What?
Before walking into the house with your client/clients check your cell coverage. What is your life line if your phone has no service where you are at?
Is Your Phone a Distraction?
Don’t fall victim to cell phone syndrome, there is a time and place for its use. Make a conscious decision to be on your phone only after you’ve determined it’s safe to do so
Are you Following or Leading?
Never have anyone at your back while showing a home. The client leads as you direct them to areas of the house. If you don’t already do this, it may take some practice to get used to, but please try to conduct business that way.
Are You Listening to Your Gut?
“If it doesn’t seem right it probably isn’t”, 99% of the time your gut instincts are correct. There is a lot of research on this subject, I recommend the following books, The Gift of Fear, The Survivors Club, and The Unthinkable. Learn to follow your gut.
Is The Driveway Clear?
Never let the client’s car park between your car and the exit. I also encourage you to back in as pulling forward generally is a lot easier than backing up in an emergency.
Do You Want to Risk Your Life?
Avoid going into the basement when showing a home or holding an open house. Your escape options are severely limited if the basement doesn’t have an egress window. If it’s a finished basement, then it is most likely insulated. Insulation along with the concrete greatly diminish the chance that your screams or yelling can be heard outside.
Do You Know Your Landmarks?
If you had to yell into your phone to a dispatcher to summon immediate help, make sure you know your exact location, landmarks, crossroads, businesses etc. If technology fails and the dispatcher doesn’t show an accurate location for you (which happens) make sure you are able to give them details as to your location.
Is it Really Worth It?
Things that “never happen”, happen somewhere all the time. No sale is worth your life. At least one person loves you beyond words, don’t let someone with evil intentions take you away from them.