Sales or Safety? Yes, You Can Have Both...

Sales or Safety?

Real estate sales can be one of the most dangerous careers in America. Real estate professionals typically meet strangers in vacant homes. Brokers often work alone and rarely observe significant safety procedures to thwart crime. Criminals know this and pose as clients to lure unsuspecting brokers who they then rob, assault, rape or even murder.

Despite these dangers, the nature of real estate sales won’t change. Brokers will continue to meet strangers, tour vacant homes and conduct open houses. It’s impossible to sell real estate without these activities. Rather than changing, we must learn how to balance sales with safety.

Here are five easy ways to start:

Identify before taking clients to buy.

Before taking clients to tour homes, meet them in your office and collect copies of their driver’s licenses for your records. A simple comment such as “this is our brokerage’s policy as part of our safety protocol” will fully explain this familiar practice. Be obvious in sharing their information with someone in your office—so your clients understand that someone else knows who you’re with and where you are going. If you don’t meet clients at the office, the same routine can be performed with your smartphone camera. Just make sure your clients see you email or text the file to a colleague.

When you go, let somebody know.

Give colleagues a list of the properties you plan on touring that day. Let your clients see you share a physical file or email with your team.

Stay alert, don’t get hurt.

A demonstrated level of awareness broadcasts you won’t be an easy target. Be present in your interactions. Read their body language, listen to their comments. Be aware of your surroundings and nearby exits. In any room, stand between your clients and the exit.

Listening to your gut can save your butt.

Trusting your intuition is a critical safety skill. If something seems off, then it is. Leave. Cancel or reschedule the appointment. Invent an excuse to maintain your professionalism, and leave the situation quickly. You don’t need to define what feels wrong, only that something feels wrong.

A home listed to sell should be packed very well.

An open house is an advertisement of a broker being alone on a property for 3-4 hours. Make your environment safer by touring the property with your sellers and removing anything that could be stolen or used as a weapon.

All real-estate professionals should embrace, practice and personalize these easy practices until they become second nature. They won’t hurt your productivity, and they might just save your life. For more safety tips, go to

Amit Z. Baruch
Amit Z. Baruch has 20 years of experience as a mortgage lender and is a self-defense instructor. He blends these two facets of his life to teach clock-hour classes and self-defense seminars to real estate brokers. Learn more about Amit at

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