For years now, in my training classes, I have been warning real estate agents to take particular caution when meeting new
prospective buyers to view property. This holds true for agents holding open houses as well. In my “Qualified Brokers Management” classes I have strongly encouraged Brokers to make certain showing policies mandatory. In recent years policies dealing with new prospective buyers have changed drastically. Back in the early 70’s we didn’t have this problem. We always had new prospective buyers come to our office for the first meeting. This allowed us to meet in a public place whereby we qualified the buyers, and gathered a thorough understand of exactly what the buyer wanted in a property. Today a prospect may be in front of a property when they call the agent requesting to view it. Unfortunately, so many Realtors® will jump in their car and go meet the prospect without knowing anything about them. This is very dangerous! How do you know they aren’t a serial killer or drug addict?
Dress codes have migrated so far in recent years that it has created even more problems. I came up in the real estate industry when men dressed professionally; I’m talking about wearing a three-piece suit. Women commonly wore a suit, nice dress, or skirt and blazer that also looked professional. Besides looking professional, these clothing’s totally covered the body and left a lot for the imagination. Since dress codes have changed to more relaxed apparel, an imagination is no longer required. Everything of interest is in plain view. Since my office is located at the beach, I see people that you look closely to find cloth; everything is skin. I also see agents business cards with their picture on it, but you wouldn’t recognize them before the photo is a glamour shot. Some make me wonder what they are advertising for.
This sounds like I’m getting down on women and men get a free ride. I don’t mean it that way at all. You all know what I’m saying is the truth. Whether I’m coaching, training, or teaching a class, I always encourage agents to dress professionally, act professionally, and they will become professionals. Acting professionally includes taking every precaution possible to head off potential problems. Think back on “Risk Management” and “Code of Ethics “classes; reducing unnecessary risk. When meeting prospects for the first time, we should always take someone with us, or at least have a system whereby someone knows where you are and there is regular contact with that person.
I just learned about an emergency tool that could save your life and it only cost $1.99. This is so awesome I wanted to share it with you. It is called Real Alert and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Real Alert is available for download at by clicking this link. This program has a sound alarm, save creep data, alert a friend, local hospital, and a call 911 buttons. This program works through GPS so you are protected anywhere. For example, if you were to click the hospital button, it would locate the nearest hospital to your current location. It is absolutely awesome and cost less than a box of Band-Aids.
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So very true James – it’s unfortunatley a sometimes dangerous world out there. While the internet has made our lives easier in many ways, it has also allowed less-well-intentioned people to get information about us and use it in bad ways. I would also add open houses to the list of times when a real estate agent needs to be extra vigilant. Just recently there was a real estate agent in Iowa that was killed at an open house. That app is a very nice tool – anything that allows an agent to get in touch with help quickly can be a lifesaver in a bad situation so thanks for sharing.