Real Estate Agent Safety Tips: New Clients
October 1st, 2014
While new clients are a great thing, it is important to trust your instincts and stay on the safe side when meeting someone for the first time. Real estate agents have been tricked and hurt because they walked into dangerous situations, thinking it was a simple showing of a property to a new client.
THE RISK: Meeting with people you don’t know can put your safety at risk. You don’t know whether this person could potentially be a criminal, stalker, thief, or worse.
- Meet at the office first. Get them on your territory before you visit any property with them so you can learn more about them and collect personal information about them for your files.
- Ask for identification. The public is used to having their identification checked, so don’t be reluctant to ask because you’re scared you’ll offend someone, Siciliano says. Tell clients it’s company policy that all clients’ driver’s licenses are photocopied. “This will significantly reduce your risk because the bad guys don’t want to give you their I.D. or get their picture taken,” Siciliano says.
- Have all clients fill out a customer identification form. You can find an example of this at REALTOR.org. Click on “Prospect Identification Form” under the Office Safety Forms heading. The form asks for car make and license number, contact information, and employer information, and also requests a photocopy of the driver’s license.
- Introduce them to a coworker. When you meet them at the office, introduce them to at least one other person in your office. Criminals won’t like that others have seen them for identification purposes, according to tip sheets provided by the Washington Real Estate Safety Council.