As the statistics rise in attacks against both men and woman real estate agents, there is a greater need for agent safety and self defense procedures. In our Agent Safety and Self Defense Seminar you will receive hands-on instruction on preventing and escaping an attack. The following is a basic outline that should be implemented immediately by agents and the real estate company they represent.
Meet at Your Office
Whenever possible have your new customers meet you at your office. Fill out the client identification form and introduce them to your colleagues. Have them leave their car keys with someone at the office. If someone wants to meet you at a listing and you have not pre-qualified them, do not go alone.
Stay Consistent and Pre-Qualify
Use a pre-printed Client Identification form with your company logo on it. Pre-Qualification is probably the most important part in insuring your safety. Copy your client’s driver’s license and attach it to your Client Identification Form. Record the client’s make and model of automobile and license number. Collect employer and local and home address information and phone numbers—when someone gives you a phone number confirm it is a working number. Have a procedure in place for a staff person to verify the information on the form. You can also set up an account with an online name and phone number search company.
When a potential perpetrator sees you collecting and checking their personal information, this will most likely stop them from their intention. Remember, couples often work in teams setting up an attack or robbery. Perpetrators sometimes wait for the second or third meeting to strike. Always follow the safety guidelines no matter how well you think you know your client. This is not being paranoid—this is being safe and developing a pattern of safety procedures that will eventually become a natural part of your business.
Create lines of communication with your office, your assistant, or someone at home. Have a schedule at your office or with your contact person of where you will be and who you will be with. Set up regular call-in times or have someone calling you at specific times. Set up code words with your check-in person so that you can ask for help from them without giving it away to the perpetrator. Asking your contact person to “Open the red file” will alert them that something is amiss. Set up your cell phone so that you can speed dial 911 and your check in person.
Follow Your Instincts
If you feel uncomfortable, do not go alone. If there is no cell service where you will be traveling, do not go alone. Agents are often targeted by perpetrators having the agents meet at remote locations or construction sites. If you feel unexplained fear, hesitation or apprehension, these are signals that something is not right.
Perform a Safety Check
Upon arriving at your destination make a quick visual survey of your surroundings. Recently a female suspect had lured an agent to a home. Male perpetrators were in waiting on the side of the home to attack the agent. The agent spotted the assailants, ran to her car and managed to escape. Look up and down the street, around the property and up in trees and around bushes.
A Safe Open House
Implement an open house safety plan. Go through the house and identify all your exits and escape routes. Set up a communication system with someone and stick to it. Before showing the house or letting the person in, pre-qualify them. Let them know that you are doing this as a safety system for you and the owners of the house. Take a picture of the attendees with your cell phone and send it to an agreed-upon contact person.
If the person is not willing to let you pre-qualify them, do not let them in. When showing a house, do not let your customers split up. Always stay behind the people when showing the house. Make sure there are no obvious weapons that are easy to reach within the home. Kitchen knives, fireplace pokers, swords hanging on the wall, etc. should be put out of site and out of mind.
Use a buddy system and team up on your open house. Invite a lender to join you or rent a cop for the day. There are many security companies that do this for a reasonable amount of money, not that you can put a price on your safety.
Use a Smart Dress Code
Dress for success but also for comfort and flexibility. Wear shoes that you can run in, clothes that will not restrict your movements, no expensive jewelry. Remember, you are not on a date. Dress for the weather and wear the proper clothing. If you need to escape or your car breaks down you may be exposed to the weather for an extended period of time.
Learn Basic Self Defense
Learn to defend yourself with reality based self defense techniques. When fighting for your life in a real attack situation you have to strike hard using gross motor muscle movements. Attack the eyes or throat—use the palm of your hand to strike and not a fist. Attack fast and hard while screaming, yelling, biting, tearing and moving into the person with all of your ferocity. Do not stop until you are positive that you can get away. If you feel that you might have a hard time fighting for your life, think of your kids, husband, wife, family…we call it turning on the switch.
You will find these techniques on our Science Of Street
Fighting DVD’s and by attending our Agent
Safety and Self Defense Seminar. Implement these systems into your life and business today
and you will live long and