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REALTOR® Security Suggestions with Tracey Hawkins

Do you know that September is Security Month at NAR? This month, we’re speaking with Tracey Hawkins about being intentional relating to security within the normal course of enterprise.

REALTORS® may be in danger when assembly strangers at empty homes, or assembly sellers at their homes alone. It’s key to be ready and use proactive options. Regardless that the chance of one thing occurring could also be small, the actual fact is the chance does exist. Our visitor will inform you of those dangers and can share some data which will shock you, together with tales of crimes towards brokers. You could not notice who nearly all of the victims are. On this episode, you will discover out and can be taught a lot extra. This episode shares essential data to maintain you protected on the job.

Disclaimer: Some matters mentioned on this episode will not be appropriate for kids.

[2:23] Monica introduces Tracey Hawkins and shares her biography.

[3:20] Monica welcomes Tracey to The Heart for Realtor® Growth Podcast to speak about security and safety.

[4:17] Tracey says that we’re extra conscious of incidents with REALTORS® due to social media and extra reporting. Incidents have at all times occurred and proceed to occur. Tracey talks about these crimes on social media. There are a lot of boards the place actual property brokers speak about these crimes, so we’re simply extra conscious of them.

[5:18] A very powerful a part of Tracey’s message is “Let’s forestall these crimes,” utilizing classes discovered. Tracey talked on the 2021 NAR Convention about classes discovered. She seems to be on the crimes towards actual property brokers, and with out blaming the sufferer, let’s be taught from what occurred in these crimes and let’s pledge to do higher.

[5:53] Within the final two-and-a-half years, there was a deal with male brokers being victimized and the query is, why? In 2017 for REALTOR® Journal, Tracey wrote an article about crimes towards male brokers. It was the most-read article of the yr. She rewrote the article for RIS Media. Within the final whereas, in nearly each crime towards REALTORS®, a male agent has been the goal.

[6:43] Most not too long ago, a male agent was murdered by his 85-year-old consumer. The agent had solely communicated with the consumer on-line. It appears the consumer had purchased the house after solely seeing it just about. After he closed on the home and moved in, he determined he did not need it and needed to “return” it. When the agent met the consumer on the house, the consumer shot and killed him after which shot and killed himself.

[7:55] Tracey talked to an agent who knew the state of affairs. The agent’s opinion is that the answer is that nobody ought to be capable to shut on a home with out seeing it in actual life. However within the pandemic, that was not sensible. Many houses have been offered just about with none issues. This was a case of a disturbed particular person. We are able to put together however we will not forestall every little thing.

[9:30] Tracey shares a narrative from California. A brother and sister had inherited a property. The sister needed to promote it however the brother did not. Two actual property brokers and a house inspector met them each on the property. The brother pulled out a gun and shot the 2 brokers and the house inspector. The brokers have been wounded and the house inspector died.

[9:57] Tracey has at all times really helpful brokers comply with the CITO (Come Into The Workplace) protocol for the primary assembly. Failing that, the primary assembly ought to be digital, on Facetime, or comparable. The pandemic made brokers extra apt to make use of digital conferences. Throughout the digital assembly, you may gauge the disposition of the consumer, akin to if there’s a battle between the sellers.

[11:06] Tracey suggests being extra productive throughout a digital assembly. Share your display and present a couple of properties just about. You may rule out properties with out driving to them.

[12:34] The tales Tracey shared weren’t random strangers exhibiting up. They have been a consumer and potential shoppers. This opens up consciousness past what we’ve got been taught. Tracey has talked to 1000’s of brokers and is lively on social media. She has conversations with brokers who assume they don’t have anything to fret about. Criminals have automobiles; there is no such factor as a protected neighborhood.

[13:45] Within the “nicer” neighborhoods, the place you assume you are protected, that is the place criminals assume that the wealthy brokers are. Tracey shares a latest story from Las Vegas of an assault towards a feminine agent in a mannequin house in broad daylight. It might probably occur anyplace, anytime. All the time be alert and conscious.

[14:27] Tracey’s job is considerably difficult. She works exhausting to get the message out to male brokers. You could not assume it’s essential hear what she has to say nevertheless it may save your life or save them some hassle.

[14:54] Monica returns to the thought of exhibiting properties just about, particularly for shoppers who can’t conveniently come into the workplace. It is an ideal first step for security and in addition for having a dialog about the place the consumer needs to stay and what sort of home they need. Earlier than getting in a automobile and driving round, the agent will get a greater vibe of what the consumer needs. It builds the connection.

[16:03] Burglaries additionally occur. An agent in Tennessee was opening the door for shoppers. A gunman approached and mentioned, “Run in your life!” The agent trusted his intestine, threw his keys, and ran. He was not shot. The gunman stole the automobile, which was later recovered by police monitoring his iPad nonetheless within the automobile.

[17:05] In Florida, a male actual property agent was in entrance of a list and a gunman approached and kidnapped the agent. They drove to 2 ATMs the place the gunman stole $500 at every ATM after which shot and killed the agent. Remember, be alert, and know that it might probably occur. The male brokers at all times inform Tracey how huge they’re, however they are often victimized, too.

[18:59] Tracey teaches brokers to guide with security and be the agent who is consistently speaking about security. When a caller asks you to return to their property, inform them that firm process requires you to verify them out and get some background data earlier than you go to a property. That is for everybody’s profit.

[20:06] Do not assume that the particular person in the home is okay as a result of they personal a home. It’d even be somebody who has “jacked” the itemizing and is pretending to be the proprietor.

[20:34] Forewarn® for Actual Property is an app for REALTORS® that does a primary background verify in a couple of minutes. Tracey has interviewed them for a few her articles. If a few of the agent victims had used Forewarn®, they may by no means have met their assailants. Forewarn® studies on legal convictions, however many criminals haven’t been caught. So Forewarn® is a layer in your security course of.

[21:28] The U.S. Division of Labor considers actual property gross sales and leasing a high-risk, hazardous occupation. You meet strangers in empty homes. Construct security into your small business. Let shoppers know security requires you to verify them out earlier than going to satisfy them. Let shoppers know they need to get valuables, weapons, envelopes, and prescriptions out of sight in an open home. Be the protection agent in your shoppers.

[23:17] The agent should say out loud to the vendor, that the agent can’t be accountable for belongings in the home. The agent could make a waiver for the vendor to signal. Present a guidelines of issues for the vendor to lock away or cover to maintain them protected. Inform the vendor, nobody ought to know who lives on this home. Take down household images. You’ll characterize security to that vendor and stand out from different brokers.

[26:50] If the home is empty, you may supply to go by and verify that it’s locked and safe. However you could be taking up legal responsibility with this supply.

[28:40] Monica asks Tracey about these practices: Earlier than going to satisfy somebody at a home, on the telephone get their full identify, telephone quantity, electronic mail handle, their REALTOR® if they’ve one, and who’s coming with them to the exhibiting. Additionally, inform them you may be checking their driver’s license outdoors the home. If surprising further individuals present up, you’ve an opportunity to take heed to your intestine feeling.

[30:58] Tracey loves that Monica is listening to her intestine feeling, intuition, instinct, or no matter you need to name it. All brokers want to try this. In case your intestine is telling you you are not protected, consider it and get out of the state of affairs. Should you wouldn’t have the primary assembly in your workplace, meet at a espresso store the place you’re identified, the place if one thing occurs, it is going to be seen. Or borrow vendor assembly rooms in several components of city.

[33:59] Tracey’s sister, an agent for 34 years, solely meets new individuals at her workplace. You meet knowledgeable at their workplace. Wherever you meet, let the consumer know you’ve a security plan that features understanding whom you’re assembly and that you will want some data. Be constant for every body, so you aren’t getting into hassle with truthful housing discrimination. Make it your on a regular basis security follow.

[35:40] If you rented a film at Blockbuster, you confirmed your ID. After all, it’s affordable to point out an ID to make the biggest monetary transaction of your life. A official consumer will settle for security practices. It must be part of your security plan and it must be constant.

[36:20] Tracey’s instruments for security embody smartphones and smartwatches. You may name for assist or present your location out of your watch. Arrange the protection settings of your smartwatch and smartphone. Google Maps has a free location-sharing characteristic. Each agent wants to make use of it. Google Calendar may be shared together with your workplace in your work appointments. Google View can present a avenue view of the place you’re.

[38:30] Somebody ought to at all times know the place you’re. However, at any time when there may be Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, your data is being shared, so be on alert. You could be enjoying golf, however anyone is aware of the place you’re.

[39:55] Tracey’s strategies about carrying weapons. The primary defensive weapon brokers use is pepper spray. Subsequent are firearms, after which knives. Know the distinction between tear gasoline, Mace, and pepper spray. Mace is a model identify. You need pepper spray. Search for OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) on the label. The spray has an expiration date. Take a look at it. Know the way it may spray while you want it.

[41:17] Any security software, whether or not it is your telephone, or whether or not it is a gun, or your pepper spray, must be accessible. In some instances you need it to be seen, like pepper spray, as a deterrent. Follow and check the pepper spray each six months.

[42:24] Tracey sells pepper spray to brokers. She tells them to take it outdoors and follow with it, change into acquainted with it, and check it each six months.

[43:04] Some brokers inform Tracey their husband needs them to have a gun however they’re afraid of it. If you’re afraid of a gun, you are not going to hold it. If you’re not comfy utilizing it, it’s extra more likely to be taken from you and used towards you. If you’re comfy with a gun, handle the legalities first. NAR doesn’t have a coverage on weapons. They refer you to your regional or native affiliation.

[43:57] Should you get the clearance of your native board or affiliation, discuss to your organization and discover out if they’ve restrictions on carrying a firearm. Then, do not simply get a license and name it a day. Enroll in firearm security courses and be there frequently. Follow frequently so it turns into muscle reminiscence and when it turns into time to make use of it, you’re assured. Tracey shares a Colorado story the place an agent needed to shoot.

[45:18] If you will take martial arts or self-defense courses, it’s essential be dedicated. It’s worthwhile to do it. Tracey shares a Virginia story the place an agent was hit 10 to 12 occasions within the head space with a wrench. She was a black belt. She put up a struggle. She survived, with a protracted street to restoration. Enroll in self-defense courses, take a couple of class, and take them frequently. Get muscle reminiscence.

[45:59] All of these items are layers in your security plan. First, be proactive. Then have weapons of pepper spray or firearms. Take self-defense courses. Tracey needs proactive security training was mandated. Monica believes proactive security training is working for a few of us and shares a narrative of an alert agent who protected herself from a possible assault from somebody lurking round an open home.

[47:54] Tracey says that 71% of REALTORS® surveyed haven’t taken a security class. Tracey needs to vary that. In the meantime, she tells brokers to depend on their intestine, but in addition to not choose a e book by its cowl. Take a look at images of Sam Walton and Ted Bundy. You wouldn’t know from seems to be which was the richest man on the earth and which was a serial killer. Take a look at habits. Judging wrongly may price you your life.

[50:30] Monica recommends a e book, Verbal Judo, and asks for Tracey’s suggestions on de-escalation. Tracey tells of an agent who confirmed up for a list appointment and walked right into a sibling dispute. She mentioned she would return to her automobile and once they reached a call they may come out and invite her again in. Tracey additionally suggests a faux telephone name to retreat from an uncomfortable state of affairs.

[52:29] Having an implied witness to no matter might occur is useful. Tracey has group discussions and role-plays in her courses. Brokers be taught from one another once they hear the totally different tales and the strategies others have used. Position-playing prepares you for conditions that may take you off-guard when it is exhausting to assume in your toes.

[53:54] Security training must be part of new agent orientation. New brokers don’t have any clue what they do not even know.

[54:54] Tracey’s final phrases for the episode: Brokers are concerned with placing video content material on social media. Use these platforms to speak about security! Be the protection agent in your space. Publish security ideas. Be a useful resource. Present security content material for individuals to repeat as a substitute of sending out the identical electronic mail each different agent is sending. Lead with security. Use expert-created content material that Tracey and others have curated.

[56:25] Monica thanks Tracey for caring about us and sharing this vital security data.

[58:14] Monica invitations the listener to take heed to Donny Allen’s episode on security, Episode 44. He discusses various things than Tracey mentioned. Monica invitations you to share Tracey’s episode with your pals to assist them be safer in these loopy occasions.

[58:52] Take a look at the brand new Heart for REALTOR® Growth web site at Studying.REALTOR.


“I stay and breathe actual property security.” — Tracey

“I feel one of many causes there should not extra [crimes against REALTORS®] is the proactive preparation that brokers are making.” — Monica

“There are issues that we are able to do however we will not forestall every little thing.” — Tracey

“Use that digital alternative to be extra productive. … Take that point in your first assembly to share your display and present a couple of properties and you may rule out properties that simply should not a match, proper there just about, so that you’re extra productive and also you’re working safely. So the 2 go collectively.” — Tracey

“My job, with out inducing concern, is to let brokers know that it occurs all over the place. It occurs always. And if yet one more particular person says something to me about ‘I solely go to good neighborhoods,’ I’ll scream!” — Tracey

“Ask the police about ‘good neighborhoods’ and what number of occasions they go there for home violence!” — Monica

“The nicer neighborhoods, … that is the place the great things is and that is the place criminals assume that the wealthy brokers are. So once I look again at crimes towards actual property brokers, I see them occurring in mannequin houses. … It might probably occur anyplace, anytime. It’s worthwhile to at all times be alert and conscious.” — Tracey

“My job is at all times difficult. Folks do not assume they should hear what I’ve to say when what I’ve to say may save their lives.” — Tracey

“If you hear that the U.S. Division of Labor considers actual property gross sales and leasing a high-risk, hazardous occupation, then that makes you listen. You make a residing sitting in empty homes ready for strangers to stroll in. You make a residing assembly strangers in empty homes.” — Tracey

“Somebody ought to at all times know the place you’re if you end up working, no ifs ands or buts about it. Meaning open homes.” — Tracey

“Any security software, whether or not it is your telephone, or whether or not it is a gun, or your pepper spray, must be accessible. In some instances you need it to be seen, just like the pepper spray as a deterrent.” — Tracey

“Enroll in [firearm safety] courses and be there frequently in order that it turns into muscle reminiscence; when it is time to use it, you’re assured.” — Tracey

“If you will take a martial arts or self-defense class, it’s essential be dedicated. It’s worthwhile to do it.” — Tracey

“That is one of many issues about proactive training, that when persons are making use of it, we do not know what we have thwarted. So, we’ve got to only consider that it is working though we do not understand it and that is the excellent news is we consider that it is working for a few of us.” — Monica

“It simple to place [safety] off. Till it is not. We do not need any of you to be a statistic. So if you do not have a coverage already, I’d encourage you to set it this week. Put that in your aim record. And attend a category this month.” — Monica

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