No commission is worth your well-being. Agent Safety Tips and Technology
In April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. Throughout the month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always a good idea to go back to basics with Dans homme.
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Despite the expectation of supposed trust between two parties in a business transaction, even those encountered on previous visits, real estate agents are never at risk when doing their job.
Agent safety should be an ongoing priority for all stakeholders, including sellers.
Make sure listing clients understand that you will do everything you can to sell their home, but sometimes you have to draw lines. Do not agree to show a house after or before a specific time of day.
If someone is going to be home during a screening, which isn’t typical, find out who and why they’re there. Don’t be pushed by an overly impatient customer.
What is the mobile coverage of the property you offer? As often as we look at our phones, we almost as often complain about a “lack of bars”. It’s more common than you might think, and it’s useful to know when you might not be able to make or receive a phone call.
Buyers move quickly today, moving across the country and into smaller, more rural communities. Don’t underestimate the intention of desperate people to say they are one of them.
For a full list of security tips, check out Jay Thompson’s 61 Security Tips Every Agent Should Read. After that, consider downloading and subscribing to one of the following technology products that emphasizes or includes agent security as a feature.
A product of the publicly traded Red Violet Company (RDVT), Forewarn provides nearly instant background checks using a person’s phone number.
Users can view the person’s ownership history, occupation with that particular phone number, vehicle ownership history, and of course all criminal history, from violent crimes and sex offenses to busts of drugs and crime.
Forwarn was recently selected by the South Central Kansas Realtors as a software partner for its over 2,500 members.
PeopleSmart is another quick and easy way to verify identities.
The CoStar-owned HomeSnap Pro mobile app uses a timer to help officers automatically alert friends, family, or co-workers on an emergency contact list if they aren’t turned off before the end. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Consistently the top-rated safety app across all use cases, Noonlight even integrates directly with Tinder.
The interface couldn’t be simpler. To activate the app, press and hold the single large on-screen button and wait for a PIN. On exit enter the number if you are safe, don’t if you are not. The app will notify the police and share your location.
Agents can especially benefit from its timeline feature, which uses a note, day and time to document activity, perfect to use before a scheduled screening.
Smartphones and connected watches
Don’t forget your most accessible security tool, your smartphone. (Of course, coverage issues may apply.)
On your latest model iPhone, press and hold the power and volume buttons simultaneously to bring up a slider to automatically dial 911 after a five-second countdown.
Your Apple Watch has the same functionality. Simply press the side button to see slide 911 appear.
Android phones vary but will allow location sharing through Google for specified times, which you can also do on an iPhone. On Samsung phones, swipe up to show the lock screen and enter 911 on the keypad. Also, don’t forget to add names to your emergency call list, as those people will also be listed on this screen.
Remember that no technology product can replace good judgment and experience. No commission is worth your well-being. Ask a friend to go with you, say “no” to your seller if necessary, and finally know that you can cancel.
If you’re passionate about officer safety (and why wouldn’t you be?), consider donating, volunteering, or supporting the Beverly Carter Foundation in some way. And don’t miss Inman’s Essential Guide to Agent Safety.
Email Craig Rowe