In light of a recent terrifying REALTOR shooting, we thought it was time to again share some safety advice for you to keep in mind in your daily practice in real estate. Please read and adhere to these 10 Tips to Open House Safety:
1. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Be hyper-vigilant about your surroundings and a way out.
2. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape. Be certain there are no obstacles in front of exits.
3. Check to see that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that have swimming pools or hot tubs. Find the door in the fence, or locate another way out.
4. Leave one of your business cards, with the data and time on the back, in a kitchen cupboard. Note on it if you were the first to arrive or if clients were waiting.
5. When prospects begin to arrive, jot down their car description, license number, and physical description.
6. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them, don’t lead them.
7. Watch what the prospects are doing at all times. Do not become preoccupied with viewing the home, and expect the unexpected.
8. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, or a friend or relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour, and that if you don’t call, they are to notify the police immediately.
9. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he would keep an ear open for anything out of the ordinary.
10. Don’t show alone—have someone from your office, a relative, or friend stay with you.
Source: Washington Real Estate Safety Council
REALTOR® Magazine provides a lot of resources to help real estate professionals be safe in not only their open houses, but throughout their career. Read their 6 Dangers in Real Estate to further protect yourself in common REALTOR situations.