Safety is often the least of our concern during our lives. We take for granted the security and safety protocols we follow without even thinking about it. We lock our doors at night and we lock our cars when we leave them in a lot. But do you think about the threats that might be lurking during your daily life—especially when you work in an embroiled industry like real estate has been during the recession?
Agents everywhere work on the road, showing homes and doing the legwork necessary to find good homes for good people. Sometimes, though, the dangers can be very real.
There’s been an email going around recently that brings up the question of agent safety, so that’s why we’ve compiled some good tips on staying safe. We don’t want to see anyone get hurt!
Tip 1: Situational Awareness
Anyone who’s been in a disempowered situation is well aware of how this one works. Whenever you’re anywhere public, be aware of what’s going on around you. Can you answer these questions?
- Where’s the door?
- It’s of the utmost importance that your exit is planned if something gets dangerous. Not moving—or freezing up because you don’t know where to go—can severely impact your safety.
- Who’s behind you?
- It’s a bit paranoid to sit with your back to a wall or other form of block between you and the public, but at least be aware of who’s around you. While most of the people you’ll meet are normal, law-abiding folks, knowledge of threats means easier avoidance.
- Where’s the nearest group of people?
- Groups of people in public are lifesavers. If you’re in a home or place where there aren’t many people, do you know how long it’d take to get to a place with people?
If you can answer those questions, you’re on the right track to stay safe. Be vigilant!
Tip 2: Stay in Contact
If you’re going to show a home at any point, be sure to get on your phone and let someone know where you’re going and when they can expect to reach you. If you’re worried about a particular client or situation, ask that they call you during/after when you’re supposed to be free to keep them in the loop. Knowing that you’re looked after can deter attackers and, if the worst should happen, helps improve response time to an emergency.
Tip 3: Fight or Flight?
If you’re in a situation where you’re going to have to choose between those two things, you should generally flee. Getting into an altercation might mean you’ll win, but the cost of fighting and possibly getting hurt is higher than if you ran. If you can’t run, then by all means, take measures to ensure your safety. But if you can get away, do so. “He (or she) who runs away lives to fight a another day,” they say—and we think they’re right.
Don’t worry too hard about the dangers—keeping a few small pointers in mind like these can improve your safety just by awareness. If you’re showing a listing to someone you don’t know or trust yet, please, exercise caution. No listing is worth your life or health.