Today we learned that Beverly Carter Real Estate Agent from Arkansas was killed. After searching for her and finally arresting the suspected kidnapper, the police were able to find where she was located. Her body was found in a shallow grave 25 miles from her last known location, where her car and purse were found. It's a terrible tragedy and I feel so bad for her husband. She told him where she would be and when she didn't come home he reported it and the police started their search. I try to think about what I do when showing homes. I think about how many times I may have put myself in dangerous situations? How many times have I walked into a home first? How many times have I not told anyone where I would be? How many times have I not brought my gun with me? How many times have a met a client at a property before actually meeting them? How many of my clients know where my home is? What am I doing to protect myself? What am I doing to protect my clients? These are all the things I need to review in my head to remind myself to be more diligent. To remind myself that not everyone in the world is genuine. As Real Estate Professionals we are just thinking about what we want to do to help someone find their dream home. Or sell their home. We are not thinking about the fact that we don't really know who we are working with sometimes. In the moment where someone is calling you excited about purchasing a home, you're not thinking about "what if this person wants to kill me?" You're thinking about everything that needs to be done to make the purchase run smoothly. I've been making my mental list this morning and writing things down to try to come up with a better plan to make sure, even though I'm there to find everyone their dream home, that I am ready and willing to protect myself.
1) Pre-qualify them with a lender: then you know their credit has been ran and you have that lender looking out for your safety as well. AND you have SOMEONE who has their name, social, address and everything about them. 2) Leave the addresses of homes you are showing with at least 2 people plus someone in the office: This allows 2 different people the opportunity to check on you throughout you showing day. 3) Text/Call my 2 people when leaving each home headed to the next: They can track your movement that way. 4) Keep my cell phone at the ready to be able to hit that emergency button: Automatically connects to 911 so at least the line is open and they can dispatch police. 5) NEVER SHOW A STRANGER HOMES: Face to face office meets are necessary so that someone else has seen the face of the person you are showing homes to. 6) If you absolutely must show a home without an office meet (like one of your own listings someone called off the sign) it's a texting day in age: at least have them text a copy of their DL so you can have it and leave it with your 2 people. 7) SELF DEFENSE COURSES RETAKE THEM!!! 8) Concealed CARRY IS A MUST!!! No matter if it makes the client uncomfortable. Find them a new real estate agent. 9) YOU ARE FIRST!! THEY ARE SECOND!!! Show homes only during the day. Set your hours, if they can't work with you during those hours YOU DO NOT NEED THAT CLIENT!! You cannot possibly help everyone. 10) Know your surroundings! Look for every possible exit and retreat from the property before you show it. Never walk in the home first. 11) THIS IS YOUR LIFE AND YOUR BUSINESS MAKE IT SO! Do it your way. Or don't do it!!
Food for thought and I'm going to keep revising my plan and perfecting it. Stay alert stay alive. Now I'm not saying this is the norm because it isn't every one of my clients has been amazing. However, my gut NEVER lies to me. There's been a couple times in my real estate career I have given showings and clients to men in my office or a team because I didn't feel comfortable taking that client out. And when my gut says "Bran, this is not a good idea, something is not right" I LISTEN.