Safety Tips When Hosting Showhouses

Hosting a show house is one of the best tools in a real estate agent’s arsenal. It brings out the competitor in every buyer, which can ultimately lead to higher selling prices.

Unfortunately, it also carries a certain security risk. Both salespeople and agents will need to be extra vigilant when organizing an open house.

Also read: ‘Never let anyone on your property without asking questions first’

To keep everyone safe, RE/MAX of Southern Africa has provided a few safety and security tips for hosting a show house:

• Create a cloud-based attendance register

Keep a detailed record of the names of the participants, including their contact numbers and emails, as well as the location, date and time of the show house. Share this information with the office administrator in a cloud-based file so that someone knows in real time who you were last seen with. Please ensure that you follow POPIA’s best practices in recording this information and obtain consent from attendees before using the information provided for further marketing purposes.

• Close doors behind you

As inviting as an open door may sound, it can be a security risk. Rather lock the gate behind you and put up an inviting sign telling them to knock or ring one by one to be let in. Do not allow a buyer to enter the home until he has completed the attendance list in full.

Some sellers are also uncomfortable with the idea of ​​letting everyone in their house.

Doing a show house by invitation with a smaller group is the best compromise. To ensure only serious buyers are in attendance, ask your potential buyers to share their pre-approval with you to prove that they can actually afford to buy the property.

Also read: Fake news, real estate agents and properties on the rise – real estate agency

• Enable location sharing

When showing a house, enable location sharing on your phone and broadcast your current location with an office administrator, close friend, or family member. You can always turn it off afterwards, but in the meantime it can protect you by letting people know where you are.

• Be vigilant during the screening

Instruct the homeowner to put valuables in a safe beforehand and to put away personal items, such as letters or bank statements, to avoid the risk of identity theft. Make sure you walk behind visitors when you show them the property. Not only will this allow you to point out the main features of the house without getting in the way, but it will also keep you safe as your back is never turned to the visitors and suspicious activity is noticed immediately.

• Self-defense tools and lessons

Carrying self-defense equipment, such as pepper spray and a taser, and taking self-defense classes would be a great addition to your protection. Another useful tool is a personal panic button. You could get one from a security company that comes with an app, but there are also many free apps available to download that are easy to use.

• Prepare your getaway car

As a general safety measure, your car should always be in good working order and have at least half a tank of fuel. The last thing you would want is not to be able to escape from an unsafe situation. Make sure your car is checked regularly and that maintenance is done on time. Check the water, oil and tire pressures regularly when refueling your car.

As a real estate agent, showing a home and making it inviting to potential buyers is a big part of your job. However, your own safety and the safety of your customers have the highest priority. Never put yourself at risk unnecessarily,” concludes Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX Southern Africa.

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