Real estate agents face enormous risk while showing property. In 2014 the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 63 deaths in the industry, 25 of which were homicides. This is up from 47 deaths in 2013. The risks are real and there are few resources available for the real estate industry from an overall strategy standpoint for reducing deaths - especially homicides.
This safety strategy developed by Real Agent Guard is a comprehensive guide for agents and industry leaders. This safety strategy has three core components:
These components, provide a plan for layered protection with redundant, integrated components. In other words, it shows how to reduce the impact on a real estate agent (layered protection) and uses more than one security component (redundant), with each of these components working together (integrated) for a highly effective real estate agent safety strategy.
At the center of safety is deterring crime before it starts. Real estate agents have a significant challenge in changing the perception of the general public from viewing agents as lone workers. Commitment to deterrence starts at the top of the industry because it requires a collaborative effort for associations, organizations, and agencies to broadcast a consistent message that “we are safer together as a community of professionals.”
Deterrence requires a combination of technology, marketing, policies, and buy-in from the top levels of the industry through each agent. Find out more about deterrence in Early Deterrence Methods for Agents in the Field.
Activities an agent can do while showing a property are tactics. Our position on tactics is to balance the need for agents to be professional salespeople who also need practical activities they can incorporate into their daily activities to safely sell.
Examples of tactics include using technology (Real Agent Guard apps), keeping the client in front of you while showing, parking in a location that allows for quickly leaving, and other simple activities discussed in Top Safety Tactics for Agents. Or you can read about our Safety Tactics in the Field: A Step-by-Step Guide.
In the event of a client attacking the agent, survival means getting home safe. Hand-to-hand combat, staying calm to stall for time, understanding how to leverage technology or other resources are examples of survival activities. Read more in Survival Tips: What to Do in a Crisis Situation.
Deterrence, tactics, and survival each have specific elements that every member of the real estate community must embrace. From senior association and agency board members to agents – it will take the entire industry getting on board with a cohesive, practical plan for improving the safety of agents.