Hello! I am hoping you are enjoying the summer of 2017. Our marketplace is still running on high energy and I hope you are reaping the benefits and leading yourselves towards a rewarding year. As you know it is my personal wish that you lead productive and financially-stable lives. With productivity comes many hours of behind the scenes labor, working late and getting up early.
As we head toward these goals, your personal safety is near and dear to me. I encourage you to be mindful of best practices while showing properties later into the evenings and to prospective clients. The following are some tips I hope you will encompass into your routine as you go through your days:
- Always let family or business colleagues know your schedule. The Homesnap app has a built-in program called Safety Timer where you pick your location (the property) and your “In Case of Emergency” contacts, and then select how long you expect to be at the location. You can stop the timer or add time as you go. If the timer expires, a text message will be sent to your emergency contacts. And, if a situation arises, you can send a text message to your emergency contacts in one tap.
- Double check your new/recently met prospects and clients you are showing property to. Establish their identity – look up their names on social media or Google to get some background on who they are and establish that their identity checks out.
- Bring back-up with you to suspicious showings. Have a broker, assistant, and friends who is willing to accompany you to showings outside of traditional working hours or in lesser secured buildings.
- Bring secondary assistance to all open houses so there are two of you in the property.
- If in a high-rise or doorman-stationed building, rely on them to join you if you are concerned or suspicious.
It is with heartfelt sadness and frustration that in today’s day and age we continue to see violence and crime affect our communities we work and thrive in. As REALTORS®, we are community stewards and voices that matter for our residents, our politicians and our community organizations. It is time to be stewards of the difficult discussions that must take place. I am not suggesting curing it (although a man can dream) – and these aren’t simple issues with simple solutions that can be cured overnight. Having a conversation will not change the systemic and social issues, but it is a start – and sharing of ideas and fears, having the vison and boldness to make an attempt to solve it, must be at the forefront.
Be smart. Be productive. Mostly, be safe. As always, my best wishes for your continued success!
133rd President, Chicago Association of REALTORS®