Always Play it Safe

September 1, 2005

These days, we’re all asked to take more responsibility for our personal safety. When I jump on a bus in Chicago, I hear a recorded announcement asking me to report suspicious activity.

Have I become more watchful? Yes. Do I let the warnings scare me away from my daily activities? No. That would be giving in to fear, which — as President Roosevelt would have reminded us — is the only thing we have to fear.

I don’t mind the fact that I have to watch out for my personal safety; I acknowledge that police and other public safety officials can do only so much to protect me. That’s why, in addition to scoping out my bus mates, I practice various behaviors that are likely to keep me out of harm’s way — from using crosswalks to turning on an alarm system at night. I can’t guarantee I won’t be a victim, but I’m reducing the odds.

I hope you’re also doing all you can to be safe. There are reports every year of practitioners who are robbed, or worse, while simply trying to do their jobs. To heighten awareness of the on-the-job risks you face, each year the National Association of REALTORS® designates one week in September as REALTOR® Safety Week. This year, mark your calendar for Sept. 11-17, and use the time to review safety practices with your coworkers.

In July NAR mailed a REALTOR® Safety Week Kit containing presentation materials, resources, and safety tips to state and local associations. Brokers can get one of the free kits, while supplies last, by sending an e-mail to

One of the best components of the kit is an eight-minute DVD, “Don’t Be a Victim: Personal Safety for REALTORS®.” It’s a good, quick reminder of how to stay safe while conducting business. You can order “Don’t Be a Victim” in VHS format (item #V150-25) for $12 from the Store, or download it free of charge from


For more about REALTORS® Safety Week, Sept. 11-17, visit

10 seconds to safety

NAR suggests these tips to avoid dangerous situations:

  • Keep a charged cell phone with you at all times.
  • Be careful how you dress. Flashy or expensive jewelry might attract the wrong kind of attention.
  • Don’t put your home phone number on your business card.
  • Never advertise a property as vacant.
  • Always take your own car for showings. If you must take one car, you drive.
Stacey Moncrieff

Stacey is executive editor of publications for the National Association of REALTORS® and editor-in-chief of REALTOR® Magazine.

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