Don’t Make Your Next Open House an Open Invite for Burglary

Buying forst homeReal estate agents have a potentially dangerous job in regard to their own personal safety and well-being. Not only do they often end up at locations alone for extended periods of time; they are inviting strangers in to join them.

By taking a few basic precautions, you can make your next open house a safe and secure one. Here are a few tips to consider when holding your next open house from the perspective of the agent as well as the home owner.

For real estate professionals:

  • Schedule your open house during daylight hours only
  • Ensure multiple people know your location and that you will check in and out with them
  • Walk around the exterior of the home to ensure familiarity with any places a burglar could hide
  • Keep your cell phone with you at all times and be sure it’s charged for the day of the open house
  • If you are giving a tour and think others could enter the home, bring a door chime to alert you of new visitors
  • Finally, never underestimate the power of your gut! If something doesn’t feel right, listen and explore!

If you are a home owner:

  • Only allow potential buyers to enter your home if they have an appointment
  • During the time of increased interest in your home, be vigilant about arming your home security system; even if you are home
  • Report any suspicious activity or those taking “too much of an interest” in your home. Keep a log of car and driver descriptions if necessary
  • Familiarize your neighbors with your home selling intent so they can keep an eye out for you also
  • Introducing your real estate agent to your neighbors is a great idea so there is not confusion about comings and goings

Maybe you don’t like the idea of having an open house at all. This is something that could come up between you and your new real estate client. That’s going to put you in a tough spot but there are many options for those who don’t feel comfortable holding an open house in this market with more empty homes and neighborhoods. You can definitely utilize the power of the Internet to set up specific appointments with your target buyers and, have them set up appointments with you also!

Social media is one way to do this. By enabling the message feature on your real estate page, potential buyers can message you and set up an appointment privately keeping everything safe and secure. There are also very good scheduling applications that help agents capture those wanting to set up private appointments such as Showing Suite. As long as you offer easy alternatives to the traditional open house, you safety concerns will never affect your ability to sell a home!

As a real estate professional, you first priority is to keep yourself safe and be mindful of the home you are representing. By following these simple safety tips, not only will the home owner feel better but you are also going to feel more secure with your place in the home.

Have you ever felt in danger at an open house? What proactive measures do you take to keep up a strong line of defense while at an unfamiliar location?

Tiffany McDonald is a mommy, wife, wine and coffee lover and is passionate about her family’s safety and security! She can be found blogging and creating content to spread her message all over the Interwebs.