Unfortunately, crimes against REALTORS® have been on the rise. Please take some time to review this important safety tips and make them an integral part of your daily real estate life.
TAKE A QUIZ! Do you know how to practice real estate safely? Take this quiz to find out!
1) Meet in a public place – Never, ever meet a client for the first time at the property. Meet in a public place – such as your office, Starbuck’s, or even the Association headquarters. A new website – meetmeherefirst.com – can help you find locations that have signed up as “Open Door Partners” for REALTORS®.
2) Request identification – Studies have shown that if this single thing were done every time with every client, crimes against REALTORS® would decrease dramatically. It’s very easy to say during your consultation, “Thank you, I’m excited to work with you, now all I need is a copy of your Driver’s License for my file”. If they do not oblige, this is a major red flag.
3) Pre-qualify – Not only will this help you manage your time be ensuring all of your clients are qualified to purchase property, this will also help you protect yourself. Make a connection with a great lender who can help you with this. Find one of our Affiliate members on the SAAR website – just choose ‘Financing’ from the AFFILIATE Business Specialty drop-down.
4) Introduce them to people – Introducing someone to your office manager, broker or colleague is a deterrent for someone who has ill intentions.
5) Ask for multiple phone numbers – Get a work, cell and home phone number, if possible. Throughout your time working with the person, periodically call the different numbers. If one or two of the numbers they gave are “out of service” when you try calling, that’s a bad sign.
1) Make sure someone knows your itinerary – Set times with your spouse, broker or colleague to check in during showings. Make sure someone knows your route, and what client you are with. Have a set plan for what to do if you don’t check in at the assigned time, or don’t return from your appointments when expected.
2) Have your client walk in front of you – Staying behind the person or even letting them walk through a room while you wait in the hallway can ward off potential attacks.
3) Be aware at vacant homes – If a door or window of a vacant property is ajar, DO NOT go inside. Instead, call the non-emergency police line and wait outside or in your car with the doors locked.
It’s important to keep yourself safe and decrease your risk of being a victim of a “cyber crime”. Keep your electronic information safe – as well as your client’s – by following these tips:
- Always use a secure password for all websites and apps.
- Never use the same password for multiple websites.
- Be aware of hidden malware coming through emails.
- Keep data security in mind by securing paper files.
SAAR does not endorse or recommend any of these apps. We are providing them here as a resource for you.
Thank you to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the Scottsdale Police Department for their help compiling these tips!