Real estate isn’t the first profession people think of when they ponder dangerous jobs, but there are plenty of legitimate safety concerns that real estate agents should be prepared for. You are traveling around constantly, often in unfamiliar homes and places with people you barely know.
There are a number of simple steps agents can take to avoid dangerous situations, such as showing properties during the day and taking your own car to a showing. But in the unfortunate event that a dangerous situation presents itself, it’s reasonable to ask how you can be prepared to defend yourself. Here are a few important things to know and consider.
Personal safety apps
A plethora of new safety apps can offer some crucial protection. Apps such as “Watch Over Me,” available for IoS or Android phones, allow you to set a certain amount of time that a task will take you. If you don’t check in after the time has expired, the app will notify your designated emergency contacts. What is great about that app is it doesn’t require you to press a panic button, which may not be possible in the event of an emergency.
Self defense classes
There’s no downside to learning some basic self-defense techniques. There are a variety of different opportunities for novices to acquire skills that could come useful if you are threatened physically on the job. Even if you’re not interested in committing a big part of your life to learning extensive self-defense skills, it’s definitely worth it to go to a class or two to learn the basics. From kickboxing to Krav Maga, there’s no shortage of self-defense classes you can try in most communities.
A taser or any similar electric shock tool is an effective way to neutralize an attacker and it presents far less chance of severe injury or death than a firearm. Be sure to train yourself on its use before carrying it around.
Affordable and easy to carry around, pepper spray just like any other self-defense tool in that it is most effective if its user has training. Pepper spray does have an expiration date and you should make sure to replace it well before it expires. Different states have different laws about what types of pepper spray are legal, so make sure to read up on that before making a purchase.
Before you even think about carrying around a gun, you better know what the laws in your area are. Although concealed carry of a firearm is legal to some extent in every state except Illinois, many jurisdictions are far stricter about who can carry and what you must do before you can legally carry. In some places, you have to obtain a concealed carry license, often by attending classes, while in others a license is not necessary.
A note on guns…
Choosing to carry a gun might be your right, but it’s not a decision you should ever take lightly and without proper training. You should never carry a gun if you are not prepared to shoot it. While brandishing a firearm often is enough to make a predator go away, it can also escalate the situation, forcing you to either shoot or be shot.
Do you have experience with dealing with threats to your safety as a real estate agent? Let us know about what you learned from the situation and any advice you have on Facebook or Twitter or leave a comment below.