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Personal Safety – Complacency Can Kill

Good Morning Professionals,

With the news on the front page of the Victoria Times Colonist this morning about the murder of 24-year-old Lindsay Buziak while showing a house, I’m sure we’re all thinking about our own experiences with clients that just didn’t feel right. Remember, if in doubt, get out. That sale isn’t worth it. You might anger a legitimate client, but anyone worth dealing with would understand your need to take care of your personal safety. You might save yourself a headache from a difficult client or even worse, your life.

I never met Lindsay, but [edit for clarity: she had paged me to show one of my listings on Saturday].

Here are a few safety tips for REALTORS®:

  1. When you are introduced to new clients, meet them in your office first.
  2. Photocopy a client’s driver’s license, obtain the car make, and license number.
  3. Ask them to complete a client identification form and verify the client’s identity.
  4. Let your office know where you are, your schedule, and who you are meeting when going to a property.
  5. Limit the amount of personal information you share about yourself with a client.
  6. Be friendly with neighbours near the listed home and let them know when you will be showing the property.
  7. Program speed dial on your cell phone for 911 and use it when danger first appears.
  8. If you get a strange feeling about someone, pay attention to those gut feelings.
  9. Pre-plan escape routes from each level of a home, before you show it.
  10. Ask a friend to join you at a showing with a client that makes you somewhat uneasy.
  11. Arrive at the location in separate vehicles.
  12. Take a self-defense course.
  13. If you’re showing several properties, phone your office occasionally to check in (if you’re suspicious or fearful of someone, use these calls as a reason to return to the office immediately — BE CREATIVE).
  14. Never put yourself at risk to avoid social awkwardness. You have every right to be cautious. When in doubt—don’t.

The REALTOR® safety guide can be found here.

The real estate community in Victoria extends its deepest sympathies to Lindsay’s family.

Be careful out there.

EDIT: I’d love to hear your comments on safety. Any personal stories or suggestions? Use the comments form/link below.

Tim Ayres


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