Learn More About Staying Safe as a Real Estate Agent
When you work as a real estate agent, you're going to be dealing with lots of people, and most of them will probably be people you've never met before. How do you make sure you stay safer when interacting with all these people?
Work With an Agency
A real estate agency will often make it safer for you to take on clients in general, because you have access to all the vetting tools and general information the agency provides, which often includes specific safety information and requirements for any clients you take on. If you do have a problem, it's easier to get help with it.
Plus, if you work with a real estate agency, clients are more likely to see you as an authority on the subject. That means you'll get clients who are genuinely interested in using your services in good faith, rather than ones who are trying to scam or otherwise harm you.
Get Referrals From People You Trust
Not all real estate agents can take on all jobs. A colleague of yours might have to turn down a job, not because it's shady or because the clients are dangerous, but just because the agent is too busy to take on another client. If you build a web of communication, you can get the jobs others have to turn down.
When you build friendships with other real estate agents and make it clear you're willing to take on other people's clients, you're likely to get more business from people who are overall safer. Word of mouth is a powerful thing in any business, and especially in real estate.
Trust Your Gut
If you just don't get along with someone or you feel uneasy around that person, you can always turn down the client. You want to get as much business as possible, certainly, but you should never do that at the expense of your own health and safety.
It's always better to be safe than sorry. Plus, when you have a client, you're going to be communicating with that person regularly and dealing with financial records, which can be very personal. If the two of you don't get along, you don't want to force the matter. Refer that client to another real estate agent and move on to the next client.
What Can I Do to Stay Safe With Daily Tasks?
As a real estate agent, there are certain daily tasks you do as part of your job. Though they're not usually dangerous, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you take these steps to ensure your safety every day.
Check Emails and Calls Carefully
If you facilitate home sales or purchases, you probably handle a lot of money or at least help people handle their money. Homes can easily cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. That makes you a significant target for scammers and phishers, who want to take that money from you and your clients.
To thwart these scammers, make sure you check all your emails and phone calls very carefully. Even if an email looks official, match it to a trusted source and make sure the address matches exactly. Ensure all calls come from a verified number, and don't provide sensitive information to someone if you're not 100% sure of the person's identity.
Plan Your House Tours Strategically
Whether you're helping people buy or sell, you're going to have to visit the homes in question to assess them properly. Apart from any issues with the property itself, these visits almost always go off without a hitch. But you should be prepared, and never put yourself in a dangerous position. It's important to plan them properly.
For example, if you're going to visit a home by yourself, try not to go after dark. Always go when there's plenty of daylight left in the day. Don't attend meetings that feel suspicious, and don't allow a client to intimidate you into a visit that makes you uncomfortable. You can always plan a home visit differently if you don't like what someone else is proposing.
Bring Other People With You in New Situations
The "buddy system" is actually an incredibly useful tool you can use to great effect, especially if you're in a new and unknown area. Whether that's a different part of town you haven't visited before or just a new home you've never walked through, you want to make sure you stay safe from unknowns in your life.
This applies to just about any situation you might find yourself in. Are you going to visit a home you've never been to before? Take one of your fellow realtors along with you. Do you have a first meeting with a potential client? Do it in a trusted area, not in the client's home. Are you making a house visit with just a single client? Take someone else along with you, or at least ensure someone knows where you are. It'll keep you much safer.
How Do I Use PeopleFinders Tools to Stay Safe as a Real Estate Agent?
There are plenty of ways you can use PeopleFinders tools to stay safe, some of which you may never have considered before. These tools can be especially helpful for you in your daily job requirements.
Reverse Phone Lookup
Are you getting a call from someone who claims to be the seller, asking you to send a down payment for a house your client really likes? This should immediately ping your alarm bells for a scam, but you can make sure you catch even extremely sophisticated scams with the reverse phone lookup at PeopleFinders.
Any time you get a call, you can perform a reverse phone lookup to try and see more information about the person behind the call. If that information doesn't match up with what you know about your client or the people who are interested in an offer, you can immediately hang up. After all, that's the best way to avoid a scam.
When you show a home to sell it or look at a home to buy it, you want to know a little bit about the home itself. Although a reputable client should provide you with accurate information about the home, it's still a good idea to double-check the client's information so you know the person isn't scamming you.
With a PeopleFinders address lookup, you can check previous tax records, get information about criminal activity in the area, or even make sure the property actually belongs to the person who's claiming it. Avoid scams and become a more effective agent with these tools.
Criminal Records Search
It's definitely possible that a potential client could actually be a scammer or violent individual looking for the next victim. Although you can keep yourself safe with these tips and tricks, it's important you maintain your safety in a variety of other ways as well. One of the tools you can use is the criminal records search at PeopleFinders.
A criminal records search is easy to use and effective when you need results. Before you ever take on a client, even before you make your first in-person appointment, you can perform a criminal records search and get detailed information about that person. It helps you stay safe and informed before you even meet.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can peoplefinders.com help with real estate agent safety?
PeopleFinders may be able to reveal important information about a possible client--criminal records and more--which can help agents decide whether or not to show a property to that client on their own.
Can I find agent safety information for free on peoplefinders.com?
You may be able to locate identity verification information for free. However, criminal records, bankruptcies, and other such public records require a payment to access.
How can I do research on real estate agent safety online?
Realtor and real estate sites may offer agents tips to keep themselves safe while on the job.
How do public records help with real estate agent safety?
Public records reveal historical facts about a person, some of which could imply violence or fraud. Such suggestive bits of data could help agents decide to research further or hold off on private showings.
Where else can I go to get information about real estate agent safety?
Real estate agents should always feel free to speak to their colleagues about safety issues. Another proactive approach is to take a self-defense course, just in case.