Realtors often work alone in unfamiliar spaces, at unusual hours and with customers they may not necessarily know.
Those circumstances often make their work risky, at best, and potentially dangerous.
September is Realtor Safety Month, so the Las Cruces Police Department is providing safety tips for realtors and those who work alone in places that are frequented by unknown individuals.
- Use common sense when utilizing social media. Refrain from posting personal or identifiable information you would not want a stranger to know or see.
- Always keep your cellphone and vehicle keys with you. Both might be needed in a critical incident.
- Ensure you have cellphone service at the property or space you’re showing, and always have your phone and keys with you when showing.
- Avoid draining your cell phone battery if using the device for ambient noise or as a link for a Bluetooth speaker.
- Leave your purse and other valuables – including expensive jewelry and watches – at home or properly secured in a vehicle.
- If possible, do not show homes or spaces alone. Take a spouse or trusted friend when meeting with unknown individuals.
- Let a coworker or trusted friend know your schedule and where you will be. If you haven’t returned home on time, they should check in and verify your safety.
- Be friendly, but not personal. Avoid disclosing personal details such as work schedules, home addresses, work schedules, client timelines and living arrangements, etc.
- Ensure personal and financial information is not easily attainable. Have clients secure keys, mail, bills, checkbooks, electronics, etc. before the property is shown.
- Always stay aware and alert of your surroundings. Take note of each person who enters your environment.
- Plan an escape route when showing a home or working in a solo office environment. Never get boxed into a room that you cannot safely escape, if needed.
- Keep distance between you and unknown individuals. Use a barrier (kitchen island) to create distance between you and unknown individuals and avoid being lured into an uncomfortable situation.
- Avoid distractions or loud music when working. Do not wear headphones or earbuds as they could limit your ability to hear danger approaching.
- A high-lumen flashlight can be used to light your way when it’s dark and to fend off an unwanted intruder.
- Set up an office distress code, a word or phrase, that can be used to signal an uncomfortable situation.
- Report suspicious activity by calling 575/526-0795 and immediately call 911 in an emergency. Do not call the office or friend to report an emergency.