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Always Make Safety Your Top Priority

The recent abduction and killing of an Arkansas REALTOR® after showing a home gives us another reason for urging all HAR members to make safety the No. 1 priority during open houses and whenever showing a home.

Remember that consumers who enter a home are strangers before potentially becoming clients, so HAR suggests you always take the following steps to ensure your safety:

  1. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.
  2. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.
  3. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
  4. Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
  5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number, and e-mail.
  6. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.
  7. Avoid attics, basements, and getting trapped in small rooms.
  8. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend ,or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you.
  9. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.
  10. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

6 thoughts on “Always Make Safety Your Top Priority

  1. To add to MoneyMan’s comment, get a CHL as well as training on how to use it. I have also studied Krav Maga. It is simple and powerful.

  2. An open house is just that, open. I always try to take someone with me, a friend, family member, anyone. I only hold homes open for 2 hours.
    When meeting clients to show them property, the best way to avoid trouble is to have them pre-qualified before you show them anything. If they say it will be cash, you have every right to ask for a bank statement, showing the cash. In the process of either, get a copy of their drivers’ license. If they hesitate to give you information. tell them you are showing a clients home and your sellers have a right to information that who you are showing homes to is a legitimate buyer.
    Finally, don’t get so hungry for a deal and the money, that you ignore your gut or take shortcuts! Things can and do happen.

  3. Ideally, meet new prospects at your office, but if that is not possible, try to get to the house early to open it, then sit in your car to wait. Once prospect pulls up, text their vehicle information (license plate, make, model, description) to a co-worker, office, or loved one. Text again once you are done with the meeting.

  4. Fellow HAR Members:
    I would highly recommend enrolling at Krav-Maga Houston. They have locations at Kirby @ 59 & I-45 @ Cypresswood. I have taken martial arts for over 20 years with multiple black-belts. I dropped all other styles I practiced over 5 years ago to solely practice Krav-Maga, it’s that good.

    I can say implicitly that Krav-Maga is the best Self-Defense system in the world. It works for everyone no matter your size, strength, etc. It is used by Special Forces worldwide including Navy SEALS, Israeli IDF, etc.

    If you are a showing realtor I suggest you check it out today.

    Krav-Maga Worldwide Houston
    713-526-2500 Central Campus
    832-370-5688 North Campus

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