Realtor Safety: The Importance Of Running A Background Check Before Meeting Clients

As a realtor, you’ll find yourself in situations where you are vulnerable, as you will often meet total strangers in unfamiliar places in the course of duty. Additionally, granted that you’re involved in transactions that run into hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, you become the perfect target for scammers. Therefore, the need to take care of your safety by running background checks on clients before meeting them, or driving them to vacant properties on sale, cannot be overemphasized.

However, the truth is that many realtors struggle when it comes to effectively running a background check on clients they’re about to meet.

realtor safety tips

The Reasons Realtors Face the Risk of Harm

They Mostly Deal With Strangers

Realtors meet all sorts of people when selling homes. Some of the clients you meet may be having a criminal background, struggling with drug abuse, or combating other mental health issues. With ID details or copies of the driving licenses of these clients, you can effortlessly run an online background check. This will give you invaluable insight into the kind of person you will be meeting.

Realtors Working Alone

Working solo makes realtors particularly vulnerable to criminals. Most realtors will single-handedly show properties, conduct client meetings, or run Open Houses. Open House events, in particular, expose realtors who work alone. That is because the events are publicly advertised, and criminals can track the exact location of the realtor. What’s more, Open House events may run for an hour or longer, giving the criminal adequate time to prepare and strike.

Properties May Be Located Anywhere

There is no telling where a property for sale will be located. It could be a house downtown or a property in an isolated neighborhood. Visiting properties that are located in dangerous and often isolated locations and running Home Model promotions pose lots of risks to realtors.

Former property owners who may be disgruntled with the foreclosure process may attempt to frustrate the process by threatening or attacking realtors.

real estate safety tips

What to Look for When Running a Client Background Check

By searching the online database at PeopleFinders, you can come up with resourceful background information about the client you’re going to meet.

Why Running a Background Check Before Meeting Clients Is Essential

Your Safety As a Realtor

If you can pick hints of violent behavior from a person’s criminal records, you can decide if it’s safe to proceed with the meeting. As a precaution, you may want to have someone else accompany you to the meeting. By searching for criminal records and checking through the sex offender registry.

The Client’s Financial History

Screening for such details as bankruptcy and the overall credit history of the client can prove crucial before you engage. Realtors are involved in financial transactions. Therefore, a financial background check information will inform the kind of engagement you decide to have.

realtor safety tips

Guarding Against Reputation Risk

Safeguarding your reputation and that of your agency is an important consideration as you venture into the property market. You’ll be well-guided when dealing with the strangers you meet by running background checks. You’ll want to keep off suspicious buyers who may have a history of financial crimes like money laundering or those who deal in illicit businesses.

Realtors need to be proactive in navigating the risks that define their job. Running background checks becomes especially important since you’ll mostly be meeting strangers out in the property market. Contact us at PeopleFinders to leverage online background search tools available to dig deep into the client’s criminal, financial, or employment background. Use IdentityWatch, the free PeopleFinders mobile app, to keep scammers and spammers at bay.

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