Agent Safety Month hits a little different this year, doesn’t it? Not only must you contend with the usual hazards of your job, but the coronavirus pandemic has brought an additional set of health and wellbeing worries. To say it’s been a tough, tough stretch is an understatement.
While we look forward to better days on the horizon, we’d like to offer some tips as well as highlight some features available on the Homesnap Pro app that can help keep you safe today.
Take precautions to reduce your chances of exposure to COVID-19
At this point, six months from the start of the pandemic, offering tips on washing hands, wearing masks, or social distancing would be redundant. Instead, here’s a comprehensive guide, published by the National Association of Realtors, on protecting yourself while hosting in-person events and interacting with clients during the pandemic.
Meet your clients in a public (or virtual) space
Though normally routine to the experienced agent, this year, you might be tempted to skip this precaution, as many places ideally suited to a pre-showing meet-and-greet are closed and many clients might hesitate to be around crowds. Still, don’t.
Instead, consider meeting up in a public park or having a video chat beforehand. It’s worlds safer than going anywhere with a stranger alone, and any serious client will understand.
Separate your personal info from your professional life
Keep professional phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts for your clients separate from your personal ones. Services like Google Voice allow you to have different phone numbers on the same phone, so there’s no reason any prospect or client should ever need your personal info. The same applies to any pre-meeting video chat; don’t give away your personal Skype or Zoom info. Remember, even though you have a public-facing job, you’re entitled to your privacy.
Consider how you park
When you’re busy (and what agent isn’t) parking might be something of an unconscious decision. But we urge you to pay close attention to what you’re doing. Don’t let yourself be put in a position to be blocked in—high up on a driveway, for instance. Keep your valuables out of sight, safely in the trunk. And if you must attend a showing after dark, park in a well-lit area.
Use the Homesnap Safety Timer in the Homesnap Pro app
Homesnap designed this easy-to-use feature with agent safety in mind. Simply add your emergency contacts and set a timer for a specific length of time when you get to a showing. If you don’t stop the timer before it goes off, your emergency contacts will get an alert. Once you have left the property, turn the timer off.
It’s always good to let people know where you’re headed, and this safety feature in the Homesnap Pro app lets you quickly and discreetly do that.
Plan ahead with escape routes
Hope for the best; plan for the worst. When you enter an open house for the first time, check every room and make sure you’ve decided upon a few different methods of quick exit. Also, make sure to move any obstacle that could be blocking your path, from oversized furniture to deadbolts on doors.
Make sure everyone has left an open house
Don’t assume everyone has left at the end of the open house. Try to keep a mental note of who has entered and who has exited, and make sure you take the time to do a thorough once-over of the property prior to locking up. If you encounter anyone who seems to be lingering, be prepared to be firm but polite in asking them to leave. If they push back, don’t argue; get somewhere safe and call the police.
Get to know the neighbors
Have a hunch a property might be on the market for a while? It’s not a bad idea to introduce yourself to the neighbors. If something ever does go sideways, there’s the potential to turn to someone who can help.
As always, stay safe out there!