Yes, it can happen to you. You can be robbed, raped or killed while trying to make a sale - and the less cautious you are, the more vulnerable you become. If you are in this business here are some safety tips to follow:
- Never meet a strange buyer alone at any property. It is always best to meet the prospective buyer at your office. Consider it a danger signal if he or she refuses. Request to see I.D.
- Never go in the client's vehicle. It is always best to take separate vehicles. If you use your vehicle, put your purse and briefcase in the trunk.
- Never let a client get between you and the doorway - leave yourself an escape route.
- If you have any suspicions or uneasiness about a buyer, take another sales agent with you.
- Always inform your office where you are going and with whom you'll be. Make sure the person you are going with knows you've given this information to the office.
- Always make sure the office keeps information on your automobile, including make, model, color, and license plate number.
- Always be aware of the neighborhood in which you are showing.
- Always have someone else sit with you at an open house. If you must do it alone, stay near an exit while the prospect goes through the house. Have the owner put all valuables away. Check in with your office every hour. If you become suspicious, advise the client that your partner went to get coffee/lunch/is just next door and will be back any minute.
- Never put your photo in the paper, on business cards, or on your "for sale" signs.
As an agent, you travel a lot. Make sure your vehicle is in good shape. Know how to change a tire. Carry a travel kit with you that contains such items as a flashlight and shoes that you can walk in. The most important item you can have is a cell phone. If your vehicle breaks down and someone stops to help, roll your window down only a few inches to talk to them.
If you are confronted by someone who wants your purse, wallet, or vehicle let him have it. Throw the purse, wallet, or keys one direction and run the other way. Do what you have to do to survive. Remain calm and think your way through the situation. If you have to fight for survival go all out. Remember the vulnerable spots: eyes, nose, shins, and groin.
You are armed with your best weapon: good old common sense and judgment. If it doesn't feel right don't do it. Don't ignore the warning signs, such as body language. Think about the situation you are putting yourself in. Play "what if" games, "If this happens to me what will I do ?" The more you practice something, the quicker you are to react to it.
We do not recommend carrying a gun. If that is your choice then take a course in gun safety. We do recommend a whistle and pepper spray.