In 2014, real estate agent Beverly Carter of Arkansas went on a call to show a house in Arkansas to a potential home buyer and was never seen alive again. As a real estate broker in South St. Louis, I’m always concerned for the safety of everyone in our industry.
Have you ever called a real estate sign in front of a house looking for more information? Does the agent ask you a bunch of questions that don’t seem related to the house before answering? That agent may be trying to determine if you are a safe person to work with.
With the age of social media upon us, our world seems to be getting smaller and smaller. The very freedoms we gain by being able to interact with such a large and diverse group can also be a gateway for those criminally inclined to take advantage of the openness of social media.
According to the bureau of labor statistics, there were 70 fatalities for the year 2017 in the real estate industry. While that doesn’t seem like a lot in an industry of more than 100,000 people, if any deaths can be prevented, that should be the path to take. Below are five relatively well known safety precautions.
- Tell another agent when you are going for a listing or other sales call.
- Screen your phone calls…when someone calls promising something too good to be true, it probably is.
- Carry your phone with you at all times.
- On first time meetings with potential clients, meet in public spaces.
- Pay attention to your surroundings.
The nature of real estate sales is one where you are often meeting with clients. It isn’t uncommon to not have all their contact information when you first meet. When you are working for commission, and someone calls to buy or sell a property, the agent knows that if they don’t meet with the potential client quickly, another agent will. This can lead to lapses in safety. When you call an agent for the first time, don’t be surprised if they want to know as much about you as you do about them. Their safety depends on it.