The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) – SentriLock’s parent company – is at the forefront of promoting agent safety in the real estate industry every day. Each September, NAR shines a spotlight on agent safety and well-being and its tenets of REALTOR® Safety: knowledge, awareness, and empowerment.
SentriLock is also committed to these tenets, most notably by leveraging technology to help protect agents, wherever they are.
7 NAR Tips for Agent Safety
We shared a wide range of safety resources earlier this month – NAR REALTOR® Safety Month – including NAR’s 56 Safety Tips for REALTORS®. While all of the tips are helpful and worth reviewing and implementing, here are seven that are especially important for personal safety when showing a home or hosting an open house.
- Check-in. When you have a new client, ask them to stop by your office and complete a Prospect Identification Form. Also, photocopy their driver’s license and retain this information at your office. Be certain to properly discard this personal information when you no longer need it.
- Plan ahead with escape routes. Upon entering an open house property for the first time, check each room and determine at least two “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked for easy access to the outside.
- Bring up the rear. When showing a home, always have your prospect walk in front of you. Don’t lead them, but rather, direct them from a position slightly behind them. You can gesture for them to go ahead of you and say, for example, “The master suite is in the back of the house.”
- Have your excuse ready. Part of being prepared to deal with a threatening situation is having “an out.” Prepare a scenario in advance so that you can leave, or you can encourage someone who makes you uncomfortable to leave. Examples: Your cell phone or pager went off, and you have to call the office; you left some important information in your car; or another agent with buyers is on the way.
- Don’t get parked-in. When showing a property or meeting someone, park your car in front of the property rather than in the driveway. You’ll avoid having your car blocked in, you’ll attract lots of attention should you need to run to your car that’s parked on the street, and you’ll have an easier time escaping in your vehicle.
- Keep it light. Show properties before dark. If you’re going to be working after hours, advise your associate or first-line supervisor of your schedule. If you must show a property after dark, turn on all lights as you go through the property, and don’t lower any shades or draw curtains or blinds.
- Agree on an office distress code. Create a voice distress code – a secret word or phrase that’s not commonly used but can be worked into any conversation for situations in which you feel that you’re in danger. Use this if the person you’re with can overhear the conversation, but you don’t want to alarm them. Example: “Hi, this is Jennifer. I’m with Mr. Henderson at the Elm Street listing. Could you email me the RED FILE?”
The SentriLock Solution: Agent Safety Feature
“Agent safety is of the utmost importance in every situation,” says Scott Fisher, SentriLock CEO and Founder. “While SentriLock is known for providing unparalleled security for access management, we’re also committed to the REALTOR® community in doing all we can to keep each real estate professional safe.
“It’s why we created the Agent Safety Feature that’s available through the SentriKey® Real Estate app,” Fisher continues. “This feature is designed to make home showings safer and more secure. It does this by automatically and discreetly alerting your designated emergency contact when you don’t feel safe or can’t confirm that you’re safe.”
Fisher encourages agents to enable this potentially life-saving option on their mobile devices. “It takes less than two minutes to activate,” he says, “and it’s one more tool to have in hand — literally — that can help provide safety and peace of mind.”
Watch this short video and follow the simple steps now to help protect yourself today:
SentriLock’s commitment to using tech solutions to safeguard agent well-being is an ongoing focus. “We’re currently working on two new features in our SentriKey Real Estate app that will provide an additional level of security for REALTORS®,” Fisher says. “We look forward to launching and sharing those soon to provide additional support.”