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®:
- When you are introduced to new clients, meet them in your office first.
- Photocopy a client’s driver’s license, obtain the car make, and license number.
- Ask them to complete a client identification form and verify the client’s identity.
- Let your office know where you are, your schedule, and who you are meeting when going to a property.
- Limit the amount of personal information you share about yourself with a client.
- Be friendly with neighbours near the listed home and let them know when you will be showing the property.
- Program speed dial on your cell phone for 911 and use it when danger first appears.
- If you get a strange feeling about someone, pay attention to those gut feelings.
- Pre-plan escape routes from each level of a home, before you show it.
- Ask a friend to join you at a showing with a client that makes you somewhat uneasy.
- Arrive at the location in separate vehicles.
- Take a self-defense course.
- 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).
- 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.