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The Importance of Safety in the Model Home

By Taylor Holop 4 min read

Firefighters, pilots, deep-sea fishers, police officers, and roofers may top many people’s lists of dangerous professions, but that doesn’t mean that safety shouldn’t be top-of-mind for real estate agents, who expose themselves to safety risks every day doing the job they love. This sentiment on safety rings true to real estate sales and marketing firm, New Home Star, especially when coupled with the fact that nearly 40% of realtors have been in a situation that made them afraid for their safety while on the job, according to a report published by the National Association of Realtors. With local and national news instantly at our fingertips and more accessible than ever before, high-profile stories seem to be highlighting the dangers of the job more than ever.

Technology and times have changed, and so have the best practices to keep Sales Associates safe in open houses, showings, and model homes. New Home Star loves its people, so it is one of our utmost priorities to help sales agents stay safe on the job and routinely offer training, hotlines, safety kits, and other resources to them. Below are safety guidelines, tips, and resources to begin implementing in your everyday sales practices if you are a new home sales agent or one of our sales rockstars.

General Practices

  • Use the buddy system. Before you leave, check in and tell your coworkers, family, or a friend where you are, whom you are with, where you are going, and when you expect to return.
  • Gather prospect information. When a person comes through the office to view a model home, have them complete a guest registration card that includes their full name, address, phone number, email, and vehicle information.
  • Walk behind anyone that enters the model. Allow the prospective client to lead the way; never turn your back on the prospect. Women faced with a ‘ladies first’ insistence can fall back on demurring that the client should really walk through the home and experience it without someone in front of him or her.
  • Trust your gut instincts. Keep your head up, look around to watch for anything suspicious, & stay out of arm’s reach.
  • Prepare an out. Always be aware of and position yourself close to a quick exit. Keep your space well-lit. Show your model home during daylight. Be sure to turn on the lights and open the curtains while you’re walking through the house with clients — this will showcase the model in its best light anyway!
  • Check and double-check! Never assume that the home is vacant. Check the interior of the house before locking the doors, working from the top floor to the bottom, back of the house to the front, locking the doors behind you. Be familiar enough with each home to know the exits. Be aware of your surroundings and always be prepared to protect yourself.
  • Sharpen up on self-defense practices. Consider carrying a self-defense weapon like pepper spray or a deterrent such as a flashlight with you to keep yourself safe. Please be sure you are comprehensively trained in its use and do not reveal it to anyone unless you are prepared to use it on them. Wear clothes that you can move around in. New Home Star provides every one of its people with a complimentary keychain flashlight and keyring pepper spray to promote safety in the model home.
  • Document and report any safety concerns to the appropriate authority— whether that’s your broker, manager, or the police.

On the Go

  • Lock your car doors, always buckle up, and never use your phone while driving in the car. Keep your cell phone and your car keys with you at all times and ensure that your handbag or technology hardware is locked in the trunk of your vehicle.
  • When driving with a prospective customer is necessary, consider asking new clients to take separate cars to a showing.
  • Park under a light where you can see your car clearly from the door. Do your best to park somewhere you won’t get blocked in (on the curb instead of in a driveway, for example).
  • Keep your gas tank at least half-full and in good working condition.

Digital Presence/Phone Use

  • Try not to be too “public” when posting on your social media platforms. Don’t pose in front of your car or your personal residence. What can you discover about yourself using Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other places where your digital presence might be public? Open an “incognito” tab or sign in to a public computer and do some recon on yourself. Plug any holes that reveal more than you are comfortable sharing.
  • Definitively bring your mobile device. Keep your phone charged and with you at all times.
  • Don’t walk around with your nose in your phone or juggling a bunch of items. Walk with purpose and look alert.
  • Install a locator app on your phone, such as Find My iPhone.

As you continue to perform the job you love as a new home sales agent, you will meet a wide variety of wonderful individuals. However, please always ensure that you keep these tips and guidelines in mind when encountering anyone on the job site and beyond; your safety is the number one priority! As always, happy (and safe) selling, NHS rockstars.

Originally published Jun 19, 2019 under Explore the latest topics, updated February 21, 2022

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