The Chicago Association of REALTORS®, the “Voice for Real Estate” in Chicago since 1883, represents over 17,000 members from all real estate specialties including commercial sales, development, property management, appraisal, auctions and residential sales.
Any smart real estate professional trusts their gut, recognizes there’s danger in an industry with significant amounts of solitude in strange places, and works hard to protect themselves physically and financially from danger. But do we really take enough necessary steps to protect ourselves? In honor of September being REALTOR® safety month, we thought of some simple safety resolutions you can make that will take your safety to the next level.
Resolution Number One: look up your internet presence.
There is no guarantee of old-fashioned privacy on the internet. The very concept of privacy has changed entirely! Default privacy settings on social media accounts are not the most secure, and database searches consolidate information. That being said, Google yourself— or Bing yourself. Look up your name and see what comes up image-wise and web-page wise. This is the most practical way to double check that your privacy settings and measures are working.
Resolution Number Two: take a self-defense class.
This goes for both men and women. Don’t let size or gender fool you into thinking you are safe from physical attack. Self-defense instructors are valuable resources for personal safety. Besides, the confidence it builds in the way you move and talk is invaluable. Self-defense classes are more than just learning how to fight off an attacker; they teach you to be street wise. Not to mention, their costs are minimal!
Resolution Number Three: Establish a contact or partner for each showing.
It goes without saying: having a colleague who knows where you are and when you should be back is reassuring. But is this something you implement consistently? Resolve to make it a constant. If you work in a large firm or have a partner in your business, let them know where you’re going and ask them to call you if you don’t check in by a certain time. Does that contact also know who you are meeting? Give them a copy of your client’s image, name and contact info as well. Then, when it’s your colleague’s turn to give a showing, offer to be their contact. The two of you can then perpetuate a smart, communicative, safe environment together.