This dirty rock addition is very important. As we enter in to my favorite time of year, the holidays, we also enter the highest theft time of the year, plus the shortest days of the year. So, now is a great time to revisit your safety plan and or procedures. If you don’t have either, it’s a great time to put one in place. As a REALTOR we are in very vulnerable situations. Let’s look at our daily activities. We show homes to perfect strangers. (My mom always said not to go in a stranger’s home, but I do that weekly. She also said not to meet strangers at strange places, again I do that weekly). The funny thing is, we jump at the opportunity to meet a stranger at a strange place. We also meet people in the dark. We go in abandoned and vacant homes. We meet potential clients in parts of town we don’t know, at coffee bars and restaurants we don’t know. The list goes on.
Story time: I know that I have had a few close calls. The one I remember the most was back when the economy was in financial crisis. I had a home that had been vacant for months, prior to the seller deciding to list it for sale. This place was one the grossest listings I have ever had, until just recently. (That’s another story) The carpet had so much pet urine, that it was as hard as plywood. The a/c was broken, and the smell was horrible. The seller’s items were all over the house. The place was just gross. So, I listed the home. As part of my listing service, I go by all my listings weekly to make sure everything is still intact and functioning. This one I was just making sure it was locked and secure. On one of my visits, I noticed that the locks had been changed. The locks were a different color than I remembered and the key did not work. So I turn the knob, I might get lucky and it may be unlocked, was my thinking. Yes, it was! YA! No, No, No! The door opened to 6 people passing a pipe of some sort with a horrible rotten egg smell. I closed the door and left. I should say, I closed the door, and went and sat in my car to call my locksmith and the police. About 10 minutes later my locksmith pulls up. I’m still sitting in my car in front of the house. We start for the door and then the police pull up. We let the police proceed in the home. They arrested 4 of the 6 people. I found out that 4 of the 6 people had warrants out for their arrest for violent crimes. One of the policemen asked me what I was doing? I said, “checking on one of my listings” (all proud!) He went on to tell me how lucky I was that they did not assault me, or worse. He said they were very violent people, and he was surprised things did not turn out differently. He told me not to ever do that again. He said to call them first next time. Sound advice!
As I get older and wiser, I realize I need to have a plan for these situations. Here are some ideas to help you get started. Remember, no commission is worth your safety. Let’s think before we act. Plus, I have included a free gift for you to refer to. Please let me know if I can be of any help in putting your plan in to place, or if you need me to be your call buddy. Your safety is very important to me!
1. Have a call buddy. Call someone and let them know where you are, and when you leave.
2. Have a showing buddy. Someone that goes with you on the first few appointments
3. Meet new clients at the office
4. Carry pepper spray where it can be seen. By the way: by Nov 5th you can get your own Urban Settlements pepper spray.
5. Never show home in the dusk or dark.
Remember there are many areas that could use our attention. Cyber, personal, client’s safety, open house safety, etc.
I hope this helps
Have a great and safe week.