September is Realtor® Safety Month designated by the National Association of Realtors®. Realtors® not only have to be careful of their surroundings while showing homes or meeting with clients, they also need to monitor their online security.
NAR has laid out some valuable tips for staying safe on the job in a helpful series of blogs.
READ NAR SAFETY BLOGS
- Don’t be “too nice” for your own good. Follow your instincts and keep your guard up to potential predators. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in any situation, leave.
- Keep your eyes up, ears open and hands-free. It is important to be alert to who and what is around you. Talking on a cell phone or listening to headphones can make you an easy target for a predator.
- Be cautious of showing too many pictures of expensive items, such as artwork and other home décor on your property listings as this could attract thieves.
- If meeting a client alone, use a safety app or safety solution that lets trusted contacts know where you are going and how long you plan to be gone.
- If you are being attacked, run in the direction of other people. An assailant usually will not engage in a pursuit which could increase the possibility of detection or apprehension.
Tips from NAR Blog 2:
- Let potential buyers walk in front of you when exploring a home, and always keep the front door open in case a quick escape is needed.
- Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors.
- If you are in an unfamiliar area, make mental notes of landmarks, points of interest and intersections. And always know the exact address of where you are going.
- Be aware of your surroundings. When you arrive at a showing, check for potential dangers: Is there any questionable activity in the area? Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location? Can your car be blocked in the driveway by another vehicle?
- When showing a home, always have your prospect walk in front of you. Don’t lead them, but rather, direct them. Gesture for them to go ahead of you and say, for example, “The master suite is in the back of the house.”
Tips from NAR Blog 3:
- Beware of identity thieves. Shred all papers that contain personal information before you throw them away, including unwanted credit card applications and “convenience checks” that come in the mail, and papers containing your clients’ personal information.
- Make it difficult for hackers to crack your passwords online. Create smart passwords by incorporating capital letters, numbers, special characters and by using more than six characters.
- Computer viruses can be distributed via email. Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know, and, if you receive a strange or impersonal-sounding message from a familiar address, check with that person to make sure that they really sent it.
- Avoid posting personal information on your social media profiles, such as where you were born, birth year or mother’s maiden name. This information could be used to answer potential security questions.
- Always use a password on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. The extra step it takes to log-in could protect you and your clients in the event your device is stolen.
NAR has also scheduled two free webinars to further discuss safety precautions that you can take as Realtors®. Find out more about them by visiting the Realtor® Safety website.
REGISTER FOR WEBINARS
Safety: Do This Now Webinar - September 20, 2017 - 1:00 pm CST
Stay Safe by Building Better Business Relationships Webinar - September 27, 2017 - 1:00 pm CST