September is REALTOR® Safety Month. Because this business has inherent dangers, it’s important you take proactive measures to stay safe on the job. Here are several tips to follow, taught in KWU’s “Safety by Choice, Not by Chance” course. Remember, your life is more important than ANY transaction!
Meet on neutral territory: Always try to meet potential clients at a public place first, preferably at the market center. Your office is an ideal spot to meet during business hours for several reasons: access to a photo copier, access to your files, witnesses.
Ask for photo identification: The bottom line is that you need to know who you are doing business with. Asking to see a potential client’s photo ID should be a baseline for ensuring that you have that information. When you ask your prospect to see their ID, make a photocopy of it and keep it in their file.
If you need to make a copy of the client’s photo ID, say: It is our policy to include a copy of your photo ID in our files with your completed Customer Identification Form. If I could have your photo ID, I’ll be right back with a copy!
When working with driver’s licenses and other private information, make sure you are complying with your local, state, and federal privacy laws.
Use Keller Williams’ Customer Identification Form: The Customer Identification Form isn’t just a way to gather information about your prospect; it’s a primary way to ensure you’re not putting yourself in jeopardy by working with people that haven’t been properly vetted.
Taking the time to have your prospect complete this form accomplishes three key goals:
- It identifies the person you are working with
- It helps qualify the prospect
- It aids police if something were to happen to you
Use a public calendar: Using a public calendar to document your whereabouts will ensure your coworkers, friends, and family always have an idea of where you’ll be in case of emergency. Note that you may need to change your calendar settings to give your coworkers, friends, and family access.
As you add appointments and meetings to your calendar, document:
- What time the appointment begins
- When you expect to return
- Client names and contact information
- The exact location of your appointment.
Showings: Use the buddy system – If you can, take someone with you! Ask a coworker, friend, or family member.
Showings: Walk the perimeter of the house first – Giving the exterior of the house a quick inspection will give you peace of mind that squatters haven’t entered a vacant property. If you see any signs of disturbance, don’t enter.
Showings: Drive in separate vehicles – Whenever you’re showing homes, always ask your clients to follow you in their own car. If that isn’t possible, then you should drive.