Realtor Safety & Security Tips
In 2014, the kidnapping and murder of Beverly Carter, an Arkansas Real Estate agent, shocked the nation. Her body was discovered buried near a home she was scheduled to show, and according to the suspect, was targeted because she was a “rich broker working on her own”.
Here on the Eastern Shore, many of our real estate professional partners were shaken as well. The Mid-Shore Board of Realtors organized a safety class for their members and we teamed up with Steve Gadow from the Talbot County Sheriff’s office to host and lead the class.
Some safety tips from our class include:
- Avoid using photos that display expensive jewelry.
- Don’t give out your home address.
- Don’t give out your home phone number.
Jodi Garvin, Alarm Engineering Systems Specialist and Steve Gadow from Talbot County Sheriff’s office presenting safety tips to the members of the MSBR.
Private Showings and Open Houses
- Always tell at one person at the office and one personal contact where you are going and when you anticipate being back.
- Have clients complete an information form (including driver’s license and vehicle information) or take a picture of them and their tag number when you meet them.
- Bring someone with you whenever possible.
- Look up your client before you meet to see if they have a criminal record and their phone number and address is valid.
- Never let a client in your blind spot – always have them in front of you.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry while showing a home.
- Be ready to defend yourself: your keys, your cell phone, a safety whistle and pepper spray are all good options.
- Investigate some personal security app solutions for your phone. Some options are listed and rated here.
- Leave your purse in the trunk of your car.
- Create a duress code for your office so you can call them if you’re in trouble and a bad guy won’t know what’s happening. For example “Tell Tammy I’m running late for our staff meeting” could be a signal to the office that you need help.
- Know the exits of the home you’re showing and make sure the doors are unlocked in case you need a quick getaway.
- If there is an alarm system in the home, urge sellers to keep the monitoring going until it’s sold. This way, you can use the panic button on the alarm system in an emergency. This also keeps an unoccupied home protected until it’s sold.
- Have the client follow you in their car – don’t invite a client into your car unless you know them well.
- Most importantly, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, get to a safe place. No sale is worth your safety or life.
These tips aren’t just for Realtors, but for any professional who works one on one with strangers outside of an office, like our Systems Specialists who conduct free onsite consultations. If your office or professional group is interested in a Security and Safety class, let us know at [email protected].
Arm yourself with information and stay safe!
About Alarm Engineering
Locally owned and operated, Alarm Engineering has been securing Delmarva since 1985. In that time, we have developed a reputation for integrity, reliability, and quality with our emphasis on superior service to our customers. We know you have many choices when it comes to your security system, so here are some things you should know about us.
Alarm Engineering is leading provider of electronic security systems and services in Delaware and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia. From integrated home security systems with home automation and video to large enterprise-level integrated systems and small business solutions, our highly trained and professional staff will get the job done right. As an Authorized Alarm.com dealer, we offer exclusive Crash and Smash technology, Geo-Fencing, Doorbell Camera and LiftMaster Garage Control as part of our Home Automation offerings.
For more about what sets us apart from the crowd, click here or give us a call at 410.546.2210. But don’t just take our word for it: check out our five star Google Reviews.