Real estate safety month isn’t until September, but it’s never the wrong time to talk about staying safe. Real estate can be an extremely rewarding career, but it comes with its own set of dangers. The people and even places you run across can be hazardous. Even driving in your car puts you at risk. Here are some things you should keep in mind when going about your job. We’ve also included some apps and programs you should consider investing in to make sure you are as safe as can be.
Most of the people you work with will be sincere about their interest in buying a home, but some people may not have honest intentions when they contact you. As a real estate agent, you likely publish your photo on flyers and advertisements that you post online and possibly throughout your town. Sharing your photo is a good way to start building a connection with potential leads, but it may also attract negative attention with those who would target you for less savory reasons. That’s why we recommend always meeting new leads in a public place the first time.
Open houses offer more safety challenges since you’re inviting unknown strangers into a home that you may not be 100% familiar with. Before you start allowing people into your open house, open the curtains/blinds so that passersby can see what’s going on inside the house. When your guests arrive, either stay in a main room and let your guests wander the bedrooms/bathrooms/stairways alone, or if you do show them around the house, let them enter rooms before you. You should also let someone know when you expect your open house to end and have them check on you if you don’t call them by that time. There are also a variety of apps you can use to check in with people, draw attention to your location, and contact the authorities if you start feeling uncomfortable.
A real estate career will take you places you’d never expect, and with unexpected locations come unexpected dangers. If you ask around, you’ll find plenty of real estate agents who’ve dealt with alligators in pools, booby-trapped foreclosure properties, and dilapidated buildings that were just too dangerous to enter.
Most agents won’t encounter such extreme situations, but you should still take care and pay close attention to your surroundings when showing houses. A lot of listings may have loose floorboards or banisters that can send you to the hospital if you’re not careful. You also have to be wary of territorial pets, holes in the yard, anthills, and other dangerous pests.
Wearing closed-toe shoes when you show homes can help protect your feet and ankles if you trip or fall, as well as help protect against ants, snakes, and other pests. If the current homeowner has left territorial or aggressive pets in the house, don’t try to deal with them yourself. Call the homeowner’s agent to reschedule the showing. If the structure of the home or any of the outbuildings seems unsafe, just don’t risk going in. Also, if you’re going to be alone at a new location, let someone know where you are and when you plan to leave so that if something does happen to you and you can’t call for help, someone can check in on you.
If you’re thinking of selling your home this year, the time to list is NOW! According to the National Association of Realtors, 41% of homes sold last month were on the market for less than 30 days! If you list now, you’ll have a really good chance to sell in April or May, setting yourself up for the most exposure!
If you have any questions, call me. When you are ready to invest, buy, or sell, visit my website or call me direct, Ken Couture, 702-476-0060.