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Attending open houses and property showings has long been a national passion for curious “lookie-loos” as well as individuals actually in the market for a new home. Unfortunately, threats to the safety of the real estate professionals who stage these events and schedule many on-location meetings are not uncommon. In observance of REALTOR® Safety Month, Bright MLS, the multiple listing service for the Mid-Atlantic, conducted research into current REALTOR® attitudes regarding workplace security.

The report from Bright MLS found that approximately one in three REALTORS® felt unsafe while conducting business in the last year. More than one-third of respondents also personally experienced or know someone who had their safety or privacy threatened while in the workplace. The research was conducted among real estate professionals in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia in conjunction with REALTOR® Safety Month.

In addition, approximately 50 percent of respondents felt that the overall safety of agents had gotten worse in recent years. Furthermore, more than 79 percent of respondents said they have a safety protocol in place while working, showing that they recognize safety as being a concern and actively working on addressing.

REALTORS® offered several top tips to improve safety while doing their jobs to address this growing issue. Top recommendations by real estate professionals to improve safety on the job include:

1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Be acutely aware of both the physical location and the time of day when working.

2. Tell a Friend – Always tell someone else when and where you are showing a listing or conducting an open house.

3. Know Who You’re Working With – Be sure to invest the time to get to know your client well.

4. Use the Buddy System – When possible, take a colleague or friend along to meetings.

“There is no bigger priority for Bright MLS than the personal security of real estate professionals,” says Chris Finnegan, vice president of Marketing and Communications at Bright MLS. “To that end, our suite of professional tools offers multiple innovative safety resources that help REALTORS® make informed safety plans before going to work, as well as the means to alert their colleagues and loved ones in the event that anything does go awry.”

All Bright MLS subscribers have access to a free Safety Timer available in the Homesnap Pro app to help keep them safe at showings (or anywhere). The Safety Timer is cleverly hidden within the app and it can send a discreet distress message to designated emergency contacts if someone feels threatened. In addition, ShowingTime, a showing management technology provider available to all Bright MLS subscribers, allows agents to vet and register property showing attendees ahead of open houses. The mobile app boasts an electronic lockbox integration, ensuring access to the home is secure and is granted only for confirmed appointments and scheduled times.

For more information, please visit www.brightmls.com