Real Estate Pros Reveal How They Stay Safe

September 6, 2016

Nearly 40 percent of more than 3,000 real estate professionals recently surveyed say they’ve encountered a situation where they felt unsafe on the job.

The most common situations that sparked concern: open houses, vacant homes/model homes, properties that were unlocked or unsecured, and properties in remote areas, according to the 2016 Member Safety Report, released this week by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Forty-four percent of agents say their brokerages have standard procedures in place for agent safety; 27 percent say their brokerages don’t and 28 percent aren’t sure if their brokerage does, according to the survey.

“Knowledge, awareness, and empowerment: These are the core components of REALTOR® Safety,” says the report.

September marks REALTOR® Safety Month, which is an opportunity for agents, firms and boards to review and improve their safety protocols. NAR, along with state and local associations, release resources and materials throughout the year to help guide real estate professionals on precautions they can take to stay more safe when meeting with clients.

One of them includes the award-winning “REALTORS®, Safety and You” video which educates consumers about the safety precautions agents may use during the transaction.

Here are some of the protocols agents say they’re taking to stay safe while working in real estate:

Smartphone apps: Forty-two percent of REALTORS® say they use a smartphone safety app to track whereabouts and alert colleagues in case of an emergency. The most commonly used apps were the Find My iPhone feature; GPS Phone Track for Android; Life 360; HomeSnap Pro; bSafe; Glympse; React Mobile; and Real Alert. Read more about smartphone safety apps.

Notifications of your whereabouts: Many members reported notifying a spouse, friend, or family member of their location prior to showing a home to a client.

Meet first: Most REALTORS® say they meet 50 percent of their prospective buyers and sellers they do not know in a real estate office or a neutral location before first viewing a home. 

Self-defense weapons: Some members report carrying self-defense weapons to help them feel safer while on the job. Twenty-one percent of agents say they carry pepper spray with them; 16 percent a firearm; 8 percent a pocket knife; and 5 percent a taser.

Safety classes: Forty percent of members say they have participated in a self-defense class. More males (46 percent) have done so than females (37 percent). Nineteen percent also say they have participated in a REALTOR® safety course. For those who have taken part in a course, 73 percent say they now feel more prepared for unknown situations.

By REALTOR® Magazine Daily News