Recently we were made aware of a report of a REALTOR® holding an open house alone in Moreno Valley that was confronted by an aggressor towards the end of the showing. Before the situation could escalate further, the aggressor was chased away by a family and the cops were notified. No one was severely harmed in the situation, but the incident highlights the importance of taking all necessary steps to remain safe and protected on the job. We are providing safety tips on how you can stay safe in the field.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings. When you are with a client or at an open house, always be aware of your environment and your situation. If you do not know the client, always remain behind them – gesture them ahead and follow. Have your keys and phone at the ready, and keep any protective items, such as pepper spray, on your person at all times. Before you begin the appointment, do a security check: know where the exits are, what doors or windows are locked, and walk around the neighborhood to know where to go in case escape is necessary. Preparation can make all the difference in split-second decision scenarios.
The Buddy System. If you are holding an open house or meeting a prospective client, make sure you have someone with you. If that’s not an option, have them park around the block and remain in the car for safety. If these aren’t options, make sure someone knows when and where you will be somewhere – your broker, your spouse, your best friend. Set up check-ins or code words at regular intervals so they know you’re okay.
Self Defense. Procure items of a defensive nature, such as pepper spray and alarm key chains, and bring them with you to an appointment. Many local organizations and community colleges hold self-defense classes regularly that can teach you techniques and skills to use should you need them.
There are many other resources at your disposal, including a resource guide from NAR. If you feel truly threatened in any situation or encounter, do not be afraid to involve the authorities. Remember to always stay safe in the field!