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realtor_safety_houseWith September comes the end of summer, the beginning of school, and of course, REALTOR® Safety Month. Sadly, this September also marks the one year anniversary of the death of Beverly Carter, a REALTOR® from Arkansas who was murdered last fall. Since her passing, the REALTOR® community has recognized the importance of safety more than ever. REALTORS® all across America are putting their personal safety at the forefront by refusing to meet strangers at unknown/vacant properties, by partnering with other agents to host open houses, and downloading safety apps that use GPS technology—even if these protocols cost a potential commission. Unfortunately, incidents continue to occur, which is why the real estate industry as a whole must keep talking about safety. We cannot be complacent.

As a broker, how often have you shared safety strategies with your agents only to be told, “It won’t happen to me” or “If I don’t meet a prospect at a property, I’ll lose the commission?” These are common excuses. So until REALTORS® become invincible, the National Association of REALTORS® will continue to share the message of safety with its members through its REALTOR® Safety Program. And, for REALTOR® Safety Month in September, we have three suggestions for how you can have the safety conversation with your agents.

1. Attend the Safety Webinar Summit. On September 9, NAR hosted its first Safety Webinar Summit, a one-day educational event featuring four webinars on a variety of safety topics—all for free. You can download the webinars here.

2. Educate the public on safety. For years, we have told REALTORS® about the importance of safety, but there is still a fear of losing a commission by not meeting the demands of prospective clients. As an industry, we need to start letting the public know about REALTOR® safety, too. NAR created a new video specifically for consumers for this very reason—to set realistic expectations by educating the public about potential safety protocols they may encounter when working with a REALTOR®. Find this and other safety videos here. If a prospect knows what’s expected of them beforehand, they’re more likely to respect the process. This video can be shared by associations, brokerages and members who can then share with clients, prospects and the general public. Safety protocols are not there to impede business; rather, they’re part of doing business safely.

3. Share advice. When it comes to giving advice on REALTOR® safety, who is the most qualified? A safety expert? A state or local association? NAR? Everyone has something important to contribute to safety, and the best piece of advice may come from the person sitting at the desk next to you: your fellow REALTOR®. NAR invited members to share their safety advice and compiled it into a booklet titled, “The Little Red Book: Safety Rules to Live By for REALTORS®. ” It contains safety tips for REALTORS® by REALTORS®.  Who better to offer your agents advice than the people who know what it’s like to be one? “The Little Red Book” is great for introducing safety to new members and reminding veteran agents the importance of being safe on the job.

However you decide to talk about safety, keep it going. We need to have these conversations, at least until REALTORS® become invincible.

For additional resources to share the message of safety, visit www.REALTOR.org/Safety.

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