Realtor Murders at Open House
How many times do you have to be reminded before you’ll protect yourself?
Read on! It’s short!
In light of the recent murders of REALTORS® in Ohio here’s a short primer on how to be safe at Open Houses. And keep in mind these horror stories have occurred in all states over the years to both men and women.
I know most agents don't do things this way and it's nice to know a lot of people have showed up for their funerals.
1. Always have another adult with you.*
2. Schedule open times for just ONE HOUR in duration. Your signs can say Open Sunday 1-2. This is easier for everyone’s schedule and it affords less time for bad guys to appear. If someone is interested they’ll either get there in time or they’ll call for a showing.
3. Stay posted by the OPEN FRONT DOOR. This can facilitate a quick exit and you should refuse to leave your spot. Don’t be lured to interior rooms if they have questions. And don’t be fooled by seemingly innocent couples and families.
4. The best option is to wait for nice weather and stay seated OUTSIDE the front door. Maybe have a chair and folding table and flyers? Let visitors go in without you; you’re not an armed, trained security guard! When you close up for the day double check all windows and doors to ensure someone didn’t unlock one for a later burglary. Explain to visitors it’s a personal safety policy not to be inside with strangers.
5. Leave your purse locked in your car trunk and park on the street for an easy getaway. Keep your keys, cell phone and pepper spray in your hand at all times. Or hold the seller’s cordless phone so you can dial 911 and the call can be traced to your location. Some cell phones have this capability, too. Don’t be afraid to just plain run down the street if you feel weird. The second someone seems odd or gets too close to you, just run and ignore about how it might appear to someone innocent.
6. Never advertise (or state in MLS) that a property is vacant.
7. Never enter a vacant property alone.
8. As for sign or ad or sign calls ... meet them in your office first and get them pre-approved before showing.
9. Another option is NOT to do open houses at all. If you don't have a buddy and the other proper safety measures in place, it might be wiser to postpone the open house.
(*Some agents who have a trained dog with them at all times.)
Stay safe! And happy sales to you until we meet again.
Posted on Sat, June 23, 2012
by Jan Pringle