Working as a Realtor or real estate agent can be a very rewarding career. However, since a large part of the job involves showing vacant homes to perfect strangers, there are some inherent dangers that can come along with this line of work. Unfortunately, it isn't unheard of for Realtors and real estate agents to be assaulted, robbed, or even killed during private showings by criminals posing as interested buyers. This is why it's so important for real estate agents to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves while on the job.
Deter Criminal Actions
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself as a real estate agent is to know how to talk to your clients in a way that deters criminal activity. For example, when a client arrives for a showing, you might mention that you have another showing scheduled immediately after his or hers--even if you don't. This little white lie is harmless, but may deter a would-be criminal from trying to rob or assault you, as they won't want to risk being walked in on by your next appointment.
Always Ask for Identification
While self-defense techniques may save your life in the event of an attack, you may be able to prevent criminals from scheduling showings with you in the first place by simply asking for some basic identification before a showing. If somebody calls to schedule a showing, for example, ask for his or her name and search for the person on social media. If the client claims to be traveling from out-of-town, ask what hotel he or she is staying at and then call the hotel's front desk to confirm this. Furthermore, always make a copy of a client's state-issued ID before taking him or her on a showing.
Keep Clients in Sight at All Times
Finally, when you're showing the client around the property, always keep him or her in your sight. This means never walking in front of the client; instead, let him or her lead the way. The last thing you want is to have your back turned to somebody you don't know personally. And if you ever get a bad gut feeling about a client, cancel the showing or call a friend/co-worker to accompany you. It's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your personal safety on the job, so don't worry about hurting your client's feelings.