Real Estate typically isn’t the first career field you think of when you think of the world’s most dangerous jobs. In fact, it’s a pretty safe (and fun, if we may add) industry to be in! However, you should always be cautious and keep safety in mind while showing homes, meeting clients, or even spending a day at the office. Below you’ll find a few tips from Michigan Institute of Real Estate to keep you and your fellow real estate agents safe!
Use the buddy system.
You’re much less likely to be the victim of a crime if you are in a group. If you’re meeting a client for the first time, take someone with you. Exchange numbers with a few fellow students in one of your Michigan Institute of Real Estate classes, so you always have a buddy to call. Feel free to say that you’re training them, or that they’re your assistant. Your client won’t think anything of it, and your mind will be more at ease.
There are several ways to defend yourself if you do end up in a dangerous situation. Ask your location police station or recreation center about signing up for self-defense classes. Many of them are offered through your city or county, and some are even offered for free!
You can also carry a few different items to protect yourself in a crisis. Amazon sells a pepper spray keychain that easily clips to your belt or purse, and this Youtube video can show you how to use it. Similar pepper spray keychains can also be found at local sporting goods stores or drug stores. If you’re comfortable carrying something with more force, Michigan allows you to carry a folding pocket knife as long as the blade is single-sided and under 3”. These can also be purchased at most sporting goods stores, and of course, should only be used in self-defense.
Some realtors elect to take advantage of Michigan’s concealed carry law, which allows you to carry a pistol after proper training and approval by the state. The application process can take up to 45 days, and does not permit you to buy a firearm. After a background check and application, you can purchase a pistol at a local sporting goods store or gun store. Before you begin carrying it, you should know everything about the weapon you’ve purchased. This includes being confident in firing it safely and accurately. Carrying a gun is a serious decision and is a heavy responsibility. Although it’s a great option in keeping you safe as a real estate agent, you should carefully consider all of the responsibilities that come with owning and carrying a gun.
With each of the above options, be sure to verify all laws and regulations with your local police department or city office.
Know your client.
Be sure that your client presents themselves as a serious buyer or seller. Are they pre-approved? Do they know what kind of home they’re looking for, or have a specific reason for selling? Make sure you ask a few qualifying questions and watch for red flags. If it seems like this may be the first thought they’ve given to buying or selling, it could be cause for concern.
Check in with coworkers, friends, or family.
When you’re working, someone should know where you are at all times. Try keeping an online schedule or calendar that you can digitally share with someone. That way, someone always knows where you are when you’re working. If you prefer a simpler method, sending a quick text is a great way to keep your loved ones in the know in case there’s an emergency.
Last, but not least, trust your gut.
If something seems fishy to you or makes you uncomfortable, trust your instinct. Never allow yourself to stay in a situation that you feel may not be safe. If your gut tells you something is off, it’s probably right!
The best way to stay safe as a real estate agent is to always keep safety in mind, whether you’re working or relaxing. If you use street smarts and stay prepared, you’re much more likely to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. We at Michigan Institute of Real Estate value the safety of our students as much as their education!
Ready to become a real estate agent? View our upcoming classes here!
Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there!