Stay Out of Harm's Way With These Agent-Safety Technologies
We currently live in a 21st-century world that provides criminals of all expertise the technology to easily access your personal information at a moment’s notice. This could include your work schedule, pictures of your children, listed homes, and anything else that can be recorded digitally through your text messages, social media accounts, and emails. Whether you’re a prospective agent looking to get licensed or a real estate industry vet wanting more protection, instituting safety apps and technology could be the difference between life and death.
To commemorate National REALTOR® Safety Month, we break down our favorite apps and other technology tools for working safely in the real estate industry.
Whenever you have an important lead, the number one rule is to do a background check. PeopleSmart quickly provides you this information, giving you easy access and confidence that your clients are legitimate. This tool is also great for learning more important things about your client and their housing needs.
What to Look Out For: Criminals can use background checks to their advantage when impersonating what you think is a potential client. Confirming personal details upon meeting in a public space will help you determine if they are actually the potential client.
This stylish jewelry is the perfect incognito wearable tech for your safety. With the simple click of the charm’s button, you’ll be able to contact five personal contacts, providing a text alert and your exact location. They’ll also be connected with their local 9-1-1 responders, who will be able to see your location and contact the proper authorities.
What to look out for: This technology is pretty flawless. The only issue would be the delayed-time response if your emergency contact is not near their phone or out of the area.
Photo Courtesy of Invisawear.com
This non-downloadable, free website is very unique to the agent safety space. The website first asks you to create a profile, save your emergency contacts, and compose a personalized alert message. Then, when holding a showing, you text the app how many minutes you’ll be unavailable. After the time limit has passed, the app will reply back asking if you’re okay. If you don’t respond, your emergency contacts will be notified with your personalized alert message.
What to Look Out For: Two issues arise from this app. The first is the lack of context it provides to your contacts when texting. Think about it: If you received a text from a strange number saying your friend is in danger and to call them or the police, would you initially believe them? The second issue deals with timing. If you set a 45-minute window and are assaulted within the first ten minutes of the showing, there’s a very large time span between the assault and when your friends will be alerted to call the police.
We still like this app as long as you keep the check-in intervals short and text your friends ahead of time to let them know you will be using the app.
Amazon Cloud Camera
The Amazon Cloud Cam “features everything you need to help keep your home safe.” This 24/7 recording camera turns on with any movement and supports two-way audio, intelligent notifications, and infrared vision. Install a few of these around your listing and feel safe knowing you’re being watched at all times.
What to look out for: The only caveat to this safety tech is that you have to have a buddy watching you to alert the authorities in real time. Sure, you’ll be able to record and quickly report any security breaches, but when it comes to showing the house and being confidently safe, you’ll need somebody on the other end of the camera.
Relying on technology is not enough to keep you safe from criminals. We strongly urge you to take our free Agent Safety course and read our Agent Safety manual, co-created with the Beverly Carter Foundation.
Quick Tips on Staying Safe:
Follow the Buddy System: Make sure to always have a friend on-call or ready at a moment’s notice if something goes awry. Having a buddy tag along is the best option.
Self-Defense: If you’re carrying a weapon to defend yourself, make sure you know how to use it. Otherwise, you may just end up hurting yourself.
Trust Your Gut: When the situation seems fishy, assume the worst. There’s no shame in playing it safe and canceling a meeting that makes you feel uncomfortable.