September is winding down, and soon Realtor® Safety Month will be behind us for another year. But, before it’s gone, I want to take one last opportunity to focus on safety, as this topic is vital in our profession year-round.
Earlier this month, one of our fellow Realtors was shot while at a property adjacent to one where there was an issue. While the incident was unrelated to a real estate transaction, and thankfully, this Realtor is recovering, it further shows that our industry is especially susceptible to violence. This attack is a sobering reminder of Realtors’ potentially dangerous situations each day and how we all need to be aware throughout in-person and online interactions.
With our name and reputation being our brand, Realtors need to promote themselves and maintain visibility as part of our business. But sometimes, this self-promotion can lead to dangerous situations. For example, in the recently released 2021 Member Safety Report, 14% of REALTORS® were more likely to say they had experienced a situation that made them fear their safety or personal information. However, this number is down from 2020 (23%), which is a hopeful sign that more and more Realtors are taking advantage of safety training. In fact, 72% report having personal safety protocols in place that they follow with every client, and this trend is more likely among females (75%) than among males (64%).
Realtors know first-hand how stressful the home buying process can be. However, it’s easy to get swept up in the sometimes frantic race to find that perfect home, so we mustn’t cut corners when it comes to safety. One startling statistic from the 2021 Member Safety Report is that the typical respondent meets prospective clients they’ve never met before, either at their office or in a neutral location 65% of the time. Meeting a stranger with who you’ve had no previous interaction could prove dangerous.
These types of situations show why safety training is so important. Nationally, 38% of REALTORS® said that they have participated in a self-defense class. Among those who participated in a REALTOR® safety course, 39% said they feel more prepared for unknown situations after taking a REALTOR® Safety course. Locally, we offer members complimentary self-defense classes, and to date, more than 450 members have taken the training. Greater Chattanooga Realtors believe in promoting safe business practices, creating a culture where members are committed to excellence, and educating members on safety.
One way Realtors can help homeowners have the best possible experience is to address safety and security best practices relating to real estate. That’s what our goal has been for this past month. Realtors love serving our community, and we want nothing else than to help our clients safely and professionally. Safety is our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R.