You meet lots of people in the
real estate business--some nice and some not so nice. Learn how to protect
yourself at open houses and in the car. Get safety tips, handouts and
posters from The National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR®
Safety Videos and Webinars
More Safety Tips for Real Estate
Real Estate Agent Careers
Real estate agents enjoy working with the public and have historically
felt safe while performing their jobs, but the trend has shifted in recent
years, with a number of agents raped, robbed and murdered while showing
homes and other properties.
Real estate firms have responded to the violence by implementing
procedures to help keep their agents safe. If your office has developed
agent safety policies, follow them. If it hasn't, there are several things
you can do to help minimize your risks of an attack.
Verify Customer Information
Ask your customer for work, phone and cell phone numbers and a physical
address. Ty to verify the information by calling the customer at one or
more numbers. If you cannot do that, enter the customer's home phone
number or name, city and state on Google
to see if you get a match.
Do not meet unknown customers at a property. Require that they come to
your office and make sure someone writes down their license plate number
and notes the type of car they are driving. It isn't out of line to ask to
make a copy of customer driver's license.
Give someone in your office an itinerary of properties you plan to show
and check in as often as possible by cell phone — or ask someone at the
office to call you occasionally. Work with others in your office to come
up with a code phrase that alerts them when you are uncomfortable about a
showing and a second phrase for emergency situations. If you call and say
those words, they'll know that someone should either head out to accompany
you or call the police.
Never get into a car with someone you don't know. Use your vehicle for
showings or ask your customer to follow you in another car. If you
encounter a threatening situation while in your vehicle, hit the brakes to
startle your attacker. An alternative that some agent advocates recommend
is to create a minor, slow speed accident in a public place by brushing up
against a fixed object — then open your door and run. If that's not
possible, pull the car very close to an object on the right side so that
your passenger cannot easily get out, then run. Be noisy — create as
much attention as possible to frighten your attacker.
More Real Esate Agent Safety Tips
- Carry a cell phone in your pocket and program it to dial 911 at the
touch of a button
- Never work at a public open house by yourself
- Do not show vacant properties by yourself unless you know your
- Carry pepper spray or mace in your pocket, but be sure to get the
type that can be aimed at a specific target (some are general and
might affect you as much as they do your attacker)
- Let your customers enter a room while you stay by the door
- Pay attention to exits
Trust your instincts. Ask someone else to accompany you to show or list
property if you feel uncomfortable about the people you are working with.
Don't assume that women are safer customers, because they are as capable
of armed robbery as a man and sometimes work with a partner who waits at
the house for the two of you to arrive.
If your office doesn't have safety procedures, ask your broker in
charge to conduct a meeting where agents can work together to devise and
implement a plan that keeps you all a safe as possible while you're
showing real estate.