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REALTOR® Safety: A Useful Guide to Self-Protection
By Barbara Pronin
One pleasurable aspect of being a real estate professional is the opportunity to meet a lot of people. But some are more decent and trustworthy than others, and in today’s world, meeting relative strangers in isolated places should make personal safety a primary concern for every agent.
Security authorities and industry professionals agree on a simple strategy; a healthy level of mistrust and a smart approach to safety can be your best protection, and adhering strictly to ten simple rules can help keep you safe as you go about your business:
  1. Stay reachable – Let at least one person and your office know where you are and where you are going at all times.
  2. Screen clients – Before scheduling private showings, have clients complete a form including their name, address, copy of driver’s license and vehicle information – and don’t agree to a private showing with anyone you haven’t met face-to-face.
  3. Double up – There’s safety in numbers, so show homes and sit open houses with a colleague whenever possible.
  4. Know the exits – Before showing a home, identify and unlock each of the exit doors. Lock them after your client has left.
  5. Be vigilant – When showing a home, let your clients precede you through the rooms – and always keep your clients in sight, never in your blind spot.
  6. Take separate cars – Ask new or unknown clients to meet you at the home they want to see instead of driving them in the back seat of your car.
  7. Dress down – Dress professionally, but don’t wear expensive jewelry when showing a home or during an open house.
  8. Keep your cell phone ready – Buy or subscribe to a personal security app for your cell phone, and keep your phone in your hand when showing a home.
  9. Be ready to defend – Keep pepper spray in your purse, and in a handy pocket while showing a home or sitting an open house.
  10. Trust your instincts – Don’t worry about offending a client. If something doesn’t feel right, remove yourself from the situation. Your safety comes first. 
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) offers a variety of safety materials and videos and a three-hour safety course for members. Details are available at

Barbara Pronin is an award-winning writer based in Orange County, Calif. A former news editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and corporate communications, she has specialized in real estate topics for over a decade.

This material is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only.  Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, no representation is made as to its accuracy.  This material is not intended to be construed as legal, tax or investment advice.  You are encouraged to consult your legal, tax or investment professional for specific advice. 

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