Meet First in the Office
Besides the issue of safety, this makes sense because you can find out about the person or couple and their interests and not waste a lot of your time driving around.
By having them come in to the office first, you get a chance to meet them in a safe environment and can get them to fill out paperwork. You can get a copy of their driver’s license and get them to fill out an Identification Form. A lot of brokers are making this a requirement for the safety of their Realtors.
If you can’t meet in the office, start someplace public and not a vacant house. Then make an electronic “paper trail” by taking a picture of their drivers license and license plate and emailing it to the office manager.
Criminals look for Realtors who where expensive jewelry and watches in their ads. Also avoid ads that shows you with expensive cars. Look classy and professional, just no bling.
Minimize Personal Information
Don’t tell clients all about your kids, yourself, where you live and other personal information. Some is fine but limit it. Likewise, in ads or on business cards, don’t use your personal address and phone number and email. Give out business email, phone and address not personal.
Put a Spotlight on Clients
Not literally of course, but if you introduce them to co-workers and make them know, they are less likely to do anything. They like to stay anonymous and inconspicuous.
Check in with Your Location
When you are meeting someone, let someone else know your schedule, and where you will be when. Plus give them the contact information for the client you are meeting. Make sure to give a return time and when you have left the client, call or text your partner to know all is OK. Some brokers also have boards or web pages where you can put that information in including the return time.
Never List Properties Vacant
That is not to say don’t list vacant properties. It means don’t put that they are vacant on the listing or in advertising. That sends a signals to criminals. Besides clients knowing that you are going to a vacant house, by advertising that fact, you could go to the house and find it occupied by squatters. That creates another whole kettle of fish.
Always Keep Your Phone
Don’t leave it in the car. Always keep it with you. Plus have a security app installed on it that lets you press a button quickly to send a distress message. Also have a safe word or code you can use if you call a friend or family member.
Park on the Street
If you park in the driveway, the client can pull up behind you and block you. Parking on the street also makes your car more visible to neighbors and if you have to leave quickly you can do so faster. In addition, put your purse and laptop in the trunk before going into the house.
Showing Strategies at the House
Let the client go first and not be behind you. You can point them in the direction of different parts of the house. Also, don’t go into the basement or attic where you could be trapped. They can go there on their own.
That doesn’t mean don’t dress provocatively although you shouldn’t do that either. It means dress appropriately for whatever the weather is. If the car breaks down or you have to go on foot, you want to have the proper clothes on.
Trust Your Instincts
If something doesn’t feel right, don’t ignore the feeling. Try to think of alternatives, have someone come with you or whatever will help.