REALTORS® face unique challenges when it comes to keeping safe in the workplace. Your business plan can expose you to strangers and situations that may heighten your risk of danger every day. Being proactive in your personal safety is the greatest business investment you can make. You can be protective of yourself and still be great at your job — a little preparation can go a long way.
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." -Alexander Graham Bell
The responsibility for working safely, however, doesn't rest solely on individual REALTORS®. If you schedule a time for your office to have a safety presentation, or work on materials together, you're more likely to keep it a priority. Develop an office safety plan where there are protocols in place for meeting with clients, obtaining identification, a distress code system, a buddy system, and more. It is also vitally important for offices to have policies and documents in place to enable and encourage safe work habits. These three forms are meant to help REALTORS® develop safe work habits in their offices:
REALTOR® SAFETY PROGRAM
The National Association of Realtors® can be notified of critical Realtor®-related issues where a safety alert can be sent to membership should it fit the criteria. Criteria includes: a Realtor® or immediate family member is missing, the association's name is being used fraudulently to collect money or information improperly, and/or there is a physical threat that warrants Realtors® attention. If there is a situation that does not meet this criteria but is still a safety issue, you can notify your local board. If there is an immediate emergency, please call 9-1-1.
PARTNERS IN SAFETY
Below are companies that work with New Jersey Realtors® to provide discounts and special offers on products and services that help keep you safe.
Tell your office where you are at all times. Let your office know what house you're showing at what time. Let someone know how long you're expected to be gone so that if you don't show up within a reasonable time, someone knows to check in on you.
Stay safe at open houses. If you're showing clients a home, have them walk in front of you. Don't allow yourself to be backed into a corner. When an open house is over check all of the rooms before you lock up.
Take a look around. Know where you are, what's around you, and how to leave at all times.
Keep it professional. Whether it's your marketing materials or your online persona, be polished and businesslike. Your clients need to know you as a REALTOR®, not on a personal level. Don't feel like you need to offer up personal information and details, such as where you live or where you go after work.
Stay in touch. Your cell phone should be charged at all times, especially if you are going to be alone. Keep it on you when you walk through houses, in your car, and with clients.
Be safe on social media. It's a great tool to keep in your quiver, but remember that this is your business. Not every one of your followers needs to know you're working late at the office or that no one has showed up to your open house yet.
TOP TOOLS + TRAININGS
Learn the best information from the best instructors. Learn how keeping safe in your business encompasses everything from personal safety to technological safety—and everything inbetween.