Agent safety is a touchy subject. It’s tough to write about, it’s tough to talk about, but it’s a concern for agents every single day. We have all read horror stories of agents that were assaulted, abducted, or even murdered while just trying to do their job. But because agents are independent contractors, brokers mostly just encourage best practices and hope that agents follow them.
September used to be designated by NAR as Agent Safety Month. However, they decided recently the topic warrants a year-round effort. NAR’s goal is “to reduce the number of safety incidents that occur in the industry, so that every REALTOR comes home safely to his or her family every night.” They suggest creating a safety strategy and offer tips and best practices, along with a list of resources and training videos.
How Do Brokerages Keep Agents Safe?
There is no standard solution or practice for agent safety in the real estate industry. Some brokerages built systems for agents to check in or team up for first meetings. Others require first meetings to take place in the office before visiting listings. Agents may use identity apps to verify a consumer’s identity. Also, technology vendors have crafted devices to give agents an ability to summon help. However, each solution tiptoes around minimizing friction for the consumer. Often, agents compromise their safety so they don’t lose a potential deal.
Virtual Showings are Safer
While we can’t solve all safety issues, we may be able to help in one small, but important way. We realized that our virtual showing app could provide a measure of safety for agents. Hosting a virtual showing for the first meeting offers an alternative to the face-to-face appointment while still providing a chance to safely get to know a new customer.
The next time you have a new customer who insists on seeing homes before meeting you in the office, think about offering a virtual showing instead. You can follow our best practices to create a great showing experience while still giving you a chance to get to know them.
Try out the HomeRover virtual showing app by downloading it here.