Friday, September 16, 2011

For Safety's Sake #5: September Safety

September is REALTOR Safety Month; bringing with it the distressing news that violence in our profession is on the increase. Fifty-four percent of REALTORS nationwide report having a safety concern within the last 12 months.

This isn’t to say that we all are in danger or even that half of us are in danger, merely that we need to ratchet up our awareness of both environmental and inter-personal safety issues.

Fall is the time to think about putting some hunter orange items in your car. Vests, hats, bandanas. Enough for you, your clients and their pets. Time, also, to check your supply of lock de-icer, flashlights, batteries, and the location of your extra keys. If you’ve recently gotten a new mobile device, phone, etc., make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with it. It doesn’t do much good to be in a tense situation only to find yourself desperately swearing at your phone.

Those are the essentials.

Here is a miscellany of cautions and advice that I have heard in the last two days. All of these have put REALTORS in peril:

* Do not put your home phone number on your business cards!
* Lock your doors immediately upon getting into your car.
* Never let your gas tank get lower than ¼ full.
* Keep your vehicle well-maintained.
* Be aware of road rage and its implications.
* If you can at all afford one, get a GPS (and, yes, buy the updates) for your vehicle.
* Allow your eyes to adjust when going from a blindingly bright snow-covered landscape into a house.

Some more thoughts on foreclosures: A few years back, in what is now being referred to more and more as “the good times” of real estate, there would be one, possibly two agents in your office who handled a foreclosure--once in a while. These days you’d be hard pressed to find one or two people in your office who do not have a foreclosure among their listings.

I mentioned in an earlier blog a couple of things to be aware of in showing these properties. Here are a few more:

When setting up a showing ask if there are any safety issues that might not be mentioned on the disclosures, and do make doubly sure that when you do the disclosures for your own listings, that you make it clear what possible hazards might exist in them.

When showing or listing foreclosures watch out for tall grass, broken steps, missing flooring, mold, standing water, trash, rodents and other living (and dead) things, faulty wiring, missing light bulbs (almost goes without saying, that’s why you should carry at least one light bulb with you), freezing temperatures (inside and out), locks that refuse to work, inaccessible walkways, loose banisters, slippery floors, etc. Don’t ever rush into a foreclosed property. Be cautious. Remember, too, that conditions could have changed since the last time you were there; so don’t assume anything.

I know you have more instances of curious discoveries and experiences, and I’d love it if you’d share them with us here on the blog, and I also know that these conditions could exist in regular listings as well, but they’re far more prevalent in foreclosures.

Sorry there wasn’t more humor in this posting. Maybe next month. Halloween is coming up, you know.

Be careful!

Submitted by Mary Kuykendall. Mary is a REALTOR in Bangor and the Greater Bangor Association's 2011 REALTOR of the Year.

1 comment:

Andrew Wooten said...

What a great article, here is a report we produced this month to address the reasons crimes in our industry are at an all time high.
Again, great information, if I can provide you with additional resources please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Committed to your safety,


Committed to your safety!

Andrew Wooten
Crime Prevention Practitioner
4940 Emerson Street, Suite 103
Jacksonville, FL 32207
(904) 398-1848
(904) 398-1226 Fax