How to Deal With Difficult Clients as a Realtor

Safety Tips as a Realtor

By

Matt Lyons

on

Jan 21, 2021

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It’s the month of September, which means something of importance to real estate agents everywhere. Realtor Safety Month! Realtor safety is something a lot of real estate agents find themselves concerned about. Realtors spend most of their time showing empty homes to strangers that they have never met before, which puts them at risk for becoming involved with a dangerous situation. In a Member Safety Report published by the National Association of Realtors, it was revealed that 33 percent of realtors have been in situations in which they were worried about their safety while on the job. To help spread awareness about the importance of staying prepared and safe while working as a real estate agent, the National Association of Realtors coined September as Realtor Safety Month.

Tips for Staying Safe

When faced with a dangerous situation, it can be challenging to think quickly and appropriately. Here are some main tips that can help when you come across a dangerous client.

Stay Alert at all Times

Realtors should be aware of their surroundings at all times. Most of us have a natural instinct when something feels off, so it’s important to stay aware of ourselves and the clients around us.

Here are some tips to help make yourself feel more alert while on the job:

  • Grab a cup of coffee, but don’t drink too much: Coffee can contain high amounts of caffeine that will help you a bit with feeling more alert, but overindulging often has the opposite effect which can make you feel sluggish and drowsy. To feel more alert without being too jittery or not being able to sleep, try and keep your intake at around 2 to 3 cups per day
  • Drink plenty of water: Dehydration can cause you to feel a lot more tired, especially as the day goes on without drinking enough water. You might feel groggy and less alert overall.
  • Take deep breaths: Whenever you take deep breaths, your heart rate and blood pressure are lowered so your circulation is improved as a result. This means your energy level and overall mental focus is increased so you can be more alert. Try this basic exercise you can perform anywhere. Sit up straight and place one hand on your stomach just beneath your ribs. Place your other hand on your chest. Try to inhale through your nose, you will then feel your stomach pushing your hand outwards. Try to keep your chest from moving around and pretend you are whistling. Finally, breathe out while pursing your lips. Perform 10 repetitions or however many needed.
  • Maintain good posture: If you grew up taking any ballet classes, you are probably aware of the importance of excellent posture. When you slouch and have poor posture, you are more likely to feel fatigued and less alert overall. If you are sitting down at all, make sure your shoulders are back and your eyes face straight ahead. Don’t houch over a desk or computer! 
  • Try a power nap: If you are feeling groggy and less than alert, try taking a quick power nap of between 10 and 20 minutes.  A short nap won’t impact your sleep schedule negatively that night, and you should expect to wake up feeling a lot more alert. If you have trouble napping, resting your eyes closed for a few benefits can help to still enjoy the benefits of a power nap. 
  • Chew a piece of gum: If you are having a hard time being alert, research suggests that chewing gum can help you to feel more energized and awake. 

Make Sure Someone Knows Where you Are

There are lots of tracking apps available on smart phones that will allow anyone to know where you are whenever you have your phone on you. It’s important to look at a variety of different options to find out what’s best for you, and to understand the possible privacy risks involved.

Hacking is often invisible without the culprit often being tracked down, so how are you supposed to protect yourself you might ask? 

In the past, you had to install a GPS on someone’s car to actually track their location. Nowadays, you need no more than a smartphone app or phone number. Whether you use an iPhone or Android, someone’s ability to track you without your knowledge or consent may on require a link or an app to be installed. 

It might not always be clear that you’re giving permission to share data related to your location. As a matter of fact, you can find offers across the internet that advertise tracking services. Most major cell phone carriers offer services where the location can be shared with family and friends. Some spy apps might even draw you in by offering to catch a cheating partner. Overall, any sort of spyware and tracking apps can be a cause of concern.

Life 360

Life360 app
Image courtesy of Life360, where you can create an account today and start sharing your whereabouts with others to help stay safe.

The Life 360 smartphone app allows people to track others through a designed location system. While the Life360 free app can be helpful for parents trying to look after their kids, there are some potential security risks. The Life360 terms of service agreements require permission-based tracking. To participate in mobile tracking from an employer, you must respond to the text message sent by Life360. It will then track your location and all data will be delivered to whoever is tracking you.

Those who use Life360 should be aware that the app has had a history of selling user data to different companies. Life360 has stored and sold location information, history, and driving stats to advertisers, insurance companies, and other third parties. Most users had no idea about this until it was exposed in January of 2022. It's up to the user to figure out if it’s worth it to trust a tracking app with such personal information. All it takes is one security breach for private information to become compromised. If you're looking to use the Life360 app to catch someone cheating, understand that installing tracking software on an electronic device of someone is not legal in the United States. Federal fines and jail time could come your way. 

Emergency POM Tool

POM (personal safety opportunity monitor) tools are small devices that are designed for you to click on if you find yourself in an emergency situation and need to request help as soon as possible.

The POM device consists of two main features: triple tap for emergency help and one-hold to activate particular custom features.

Feature number one:

  • Tap The POM Three times to activate an emergency alert: Talk directly to the dispatcher through the POM. The Dispatcher will see the exact GPS location and critical profile info details.
  • Help is sent directly to precise location: The dispatcher will stay on the entire call until responders arrive.

Feature number two:

  • Press and hold the POM to activate one of many customizable features: Auto text will send a pre-written message that has an exact GPS location
  • Auto call: Initiate a call to a contact you have already set. The GPS location will later be sent.
  • Fake phone call: Fake phone calls can help initiate an incoming call to your phone. This will help when trying to get out of a  threat.

Press and hold the POM to activate one of many customizable features: Auto text will send a pre-written message that has an exact GPS location

Auto call: Initiate a call to a contact you have already set. The GPS location will later be sent.

Fake phone call: Fake phone calls can help initiate an incoming call to your phone. This will help when trying to get out of a  threat.

Don’t Leave Personal Information in the Open

 

It’s important not to leave out anything in the open that contains your personal information while you’re working at a property. Information such as mail, bills, and credit card information should be left in a private spot somewhere, along with your personal computer. Any other electronics that are easy to pocket such as iPods should also be kept away when people come to visit the property.

Visa credit card
In 2020, there were over 300,000 reports of credit card fraud. Image courtesy of Visa.

Stay Safe

Working in the realtor industry has many challenges, along with different kinds of privacy and security risks. Remember some of these tips to help you stay as safe as possible!

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