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Real Estate

How to Shield Yourself from Danger in the Field

You may think of American Home Shield® as protecting your clients’ homes, which we do. But at AHS, your protection is important to us, too.

Real Estate Professional showing listing

Because September is REALTOR® Safety Month, your well-being is top of mind. That’s why we’re sharing these important safety precautions, self-defense tips, and a list of useful apps and products you can use to help protect yourself. Fortunately, the vast majority of meetings, showings and open houses go well, and there’s no need to be overly anxious. It’s just smart to be on the safe side and take some sensible precautions to “Shield Yourself.”

Safety Precautions To Take BEFORE a Meeting or Showing

- Keep an updated electronic calendar that others can access so they know your work schedule. Include: appointment times, the property addresses, names and contact information of people you are meeting.

- Tell a co-worker, family member or friend, when and where you are meeting people and what time you expect to be finished. Tell them you’ll touch base when you’re done.

- Try to meet new clients for the first time at your office or at a public place.*

- Make a copy or photo of their ID and/or pre-approval letter.*

- Only share your professional contact information.*

- Keep your cell phone well charged and pre-programmed with emergency numbers.

Safety Precautions To Take DURING a Meeting or Showing

- When meeting clients, drive your own car there.

- If possible, park so you don’t get boxed in.

- Take a picture of the client’s license plate and send it to your office.

- Try to restrict showings to daylight hours.

- When entering a property, unlock the door, then let clients go in first.

- As you go from room to room, try to stay behind others and let them enter rooms first.

- If possible, keep yourself between the client and an exit.

- Let clients go into attics, basements, garages or any confined spaces by themselves.

- Consider keeping your keys, a pen, a flashlight, or something in your hand that could be used as a weapon if necessary.

- Try to arrange for an assistant or colleague to be present with you at open houses.

- Have a sign-in sheet that includes contact information and ask for photo IDs.

ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If at any point during an appointment something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to end it and exit immediately.

Self-Defense Tips

Again, chances are that your appointments will be safe and uneventful. But, to be on the side of caution, be ready with these simple self-defense tips should it ever become necessary for you to shield yourself. It’s always best to choose flight over fight. But in order to flee, you may need to temporarily distract the assailant with a simple maneuver or action.

If Someone Grabs or Attacks You:

- Stomp hard on the top of the assailant’s foot.

- Take keys, a pen, a comb or brush, or whatever you have, and poke him/her in the eye.

- If you can, grab a heavy flashlight or candlestick, hit him/her on the head, around the temples, or in the rib cage.

- If you are grabbed by the wrist, pull your hand strongly toward where his/her thumb and fingers meet around your wrist. This is the weakest point in his/her grip and you may be able to break free.

- Never try to kick an assailant, because he/she could grab your leg and force you to the floor.

- If the assailant is leaning toward you, the nose may be a better target than other areas. Strike the assailant’s nose with an upward motion using the soft part of your palm.

- A hard hit with your elbow to the attacker’s solar plexus (the area where the chest meets the stomach) can knock the wind out of him/her, giving you time to escape.

- Use your forearm to hit the attacker’s throat. Put the full force of your body behind you and lean in hard when you strike. This can temporarily impair his/her ability to breathe, giving you the opportunity to run.

- Even a hard tug on an assailant’s ears, can inflict enough pain to cause the attacker to flinch, thereby disarming him/her long enough for you to get away.

DON'T HOLD BACK! Once you decide to strike an assailant, whether you use your fists, palms or an object, hit with all the force and strength you can muster.

Shield yourself with these precautions, and keep this safety guide handy so you can meet clients and build business with confidence! The National Association of REALTORS®’, REALTOR® Safety Program, offers additional information to help safeguard you in the field.

Useful Apps and Products to Help Ensure Your Safety

React Mobile

Enables you to notify others about your whereabouts and need for help. The Follow-Me function tells contacts where you’re going and for how long. React Sidekick, an added personal safety device, is available for an additional cost. REALTORS® discount available.

Agents Armor

Designed specifically for the real estate industry. Features specified Check-in Times when you’re at a property, One-Touch 911 and Agent Locator to determine your GPS location to notify others when you’re in danger.

OnGuardHelp

With this app, you can instantly call and text for help, send alerts with your GPS coordinates, call 911, use the silent alert feature for critical situations or contact first responders, such as fire or police departments.

Real Alert

With this app, you can instantly call and text for help, send alerts with your GPS coordinates, call 911, use the silent alert feature for critical situations or contact first responders, such as fire or police departments.

Cuff

Offers jewelry and accessories that can operate as a distress beacon. Responders are alerted to your location and your movement via GPS. REALTORS® discount available.

AlertID

Provides safety information on an easy-to-use map, and through emergency alerts on mobile devices, email and online. It integrates with the Computer Automated Dispatch (CAD) systems of thousands of local law enforcement agencies to deliver local crime information, weather alerts and more.

Remember, our industry-leading coverage can help protect your customers, too. Learn about adding an AHS Home Warranty to your listings. *National Association of REALTORS®, REALTOR® Safety Program www.realtor.org/safety

 


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