Wednesday, September 1, 2021 - by Robert Backer, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors
In a few days, the National Association of Realtors will release their 2021 Member Safety Report, which surveys Realtors around the nation about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences, and their brokerage’s safety procedures and protocol. NAR publishes this report each September for Realtor Safety Month. Yet, safety is a focus for Greater Chattanooga Realtors all year long.
In previous years, a small but noticeable amount of respondents reported they experienced a situation in which they feared for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information.
Realtors understand the safety risks associated with real estate transactions, so it is imperative to create and share safety protocols with clients to learn about what they may encounter throughout a real estate transaction.
Greater Chattanooga Realtors is committed to providing consumers with the resources and education to stay safe and secure. Here are some safety protocols to expect to provide a safe experience for all parties involved.
Meet your agent at their office. Instead of meeting for the first time at a property, a realtor may set up the initial meeting at their office. Most people agree that meeting at a real estate professional’s office is much more comfortable and appropriate for the first meeting. Generally speaking, meeting a stranger at an unknown location can be an uneasy notion, and this is no different for that initial real estate transaction.
Secure your personal information. Your agent may make copies of your driver’s license and mortgage preapproval letter for their records. This allows the agent to keep a record of your information at their office to be stored in a secure place. So be sure to have these items on hand for your initial meeting. As realtors, we safeguard our clients’ data and ensure that it stays away from prying eyes. Keeping this information safe and secure is a crucial step in maintaining a safe agent and client relationship.
Stay away from carpooling. Even though more and more people are returning to a pre-COVID world where carpooling was common, don’t expect your realtor to drive you to a property. Driving separately is a safety precaution for you and your realtor – so do not feel offended. Most people don’t pick up hitchhikers, and understand the importance of not transporting strangers to a property showing. Driving separately also enables both parties to depart separately from the showing and get back to other business, such as returning to the office or picking up the kids from school.
Your agent might walk behind you. Realtors typically let buyers take the lead when exploring a home. This is a common safety protocol and also allows you to view each room on the property first and make your own impressions.
View a vacant property by day. Your realtor may only show vacant properties by day, so you can see what safety hazards exist, such as loose floorboards or any other defects. So when viewing a vacant, or even an occupied property, expect to view it during daylight hours.
Safety is our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R.