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The Washington-Greene Association of REALTORS® has proudly served the real estate professionals of Washington and Greene counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania and the public since 1925.
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12 Quick Tips to Keep You Safe
Keep it light
Show properties before dark. If you are going to be working after hours, advise your associate or first-line supervisor of your schedule. If you must show a property after dark, turn on all lights as you go through, and don’t lower any shades or draw curtains or blinds.
When you have a new client, ask him/her to stop by your office and complete a Prospect Identification Form (Find a copy online at www.nar.realtor/Safety). Also, photocopy their driver’s license and retain this information at your office. Be certain to properly discard this personal information when you no longer need it.
Don’t be too public
Limit the amount of personal information you share. Consider advertising without using your photograph, home phone number and/or home address in the newspaper or on business cards. Don’t use your full name with middle name or initial. Use your office address—or list no address at all. Giving out too much of the wrong information can make you a target.
Always let someone know where you are going and when you will be back; leave the name and phone number of the client you are meeting and schedule a time for your office to call you to check in.
Open house safety
Open house: it ain’t over till it’s over. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.
Tell your clients not to show their home by themselves. Alert them that not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. We tell our children not to talk to strangers. Tell your sellers not to talk to other agents or buyers, and to refer all inquiries to you.
Sturdy doors are key to home safety
Make sure that all your home’s doors to the outside are metal or solid, 1 ¾” hardwood, and have good, sturdy locks.
Block identity theft
Contact the fraud department of any of the three consumer reporting companies— Equifax®, ExperianSM and Trans Union®—to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert automatically lets credit card companies and other creditors know they must contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts.
Keep track of colleagues
Have a check-out employee board at your office, listing your name, destination, customer name, date and expected return time.
Wear your REALTOR® ID
Always wear visible company identification such as a badge. It is also best to drive a vehicle clearly marked with your company name. These will be invaluable for identification if you need to get assistance.
Bring up the rear
When showing a home, always have your prospect walk in front of you. Don’t lead them, but rather, direct them from a position slightly behind them. You can gesture for them to go ahead of you and say, for example, “The master suite is in the back of the house.”
Pick up some self-defense skills
The best way to find a good self-defense class is to learn what is available, and then make a decision. Many health clubs, martial arts studios and community colleges offer some type of class. You can also ask your peers, friends and family if they have taken a self-defense class that they would recommend.