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BUYERS Agents are not legally allowed to answer certain buyer questions about crime or safety in a neighborhood. This omission can be awkward when buyers are looking to agents for guidance in finding a safe home for their family. When agents have a safety-first mindset, they can incorporate their safety training from the CSSS designation and become a resource for the buyer. The most important part is learning what crime prevention and resources are available to share. Tracey encourages agents to lead their clients to the local police department’s crime prevention unit and/or website. Most agencies have Facebook pages or a place where a crime log is located. This encourages buyers to do the research on their own to determine what risks they are or are not willing to take in a neighborhood where a potential home may be.

FOR SALE BY OWNERS (FSBO) The FSBO market is full of homeowners who don’t think they need a real estate agent. Imagine their dismay when they put their sign out and are immediately besieged by agents calling, offering to put their house in the MLS and hold it open. Granted, getting that listing is desirable for agents, but Tracey encourages interested listing agents to approach FSBOs sellers differently and offer to help them maneuver the process in a safer manner. Agents should create a safety checklist specifically for FSBOs that contains tips and suggestions that these sellers probably never thought about. FSBOs are laser focused on making more money by saving a commission. They haven’t thought about the vulnerable position they are putting themselves and their families in by opening their homes to the public.

SAFETY APPS Apps are all the rage in the technology sector. According to the 2016 Member Safety Report by the National Association of REALTORS®, over 42 percent of agents use a safety app for work. Here are a few to consider.

LIFE 360 • Location sharing among your private circles • Automatic alerts when members of your circle arrive or depart specific locations • Check-in to deliver your location update to everyone in your circle • Help alert button sends a message to everyone in your circle when you need help

GREAT AGENT • Reverse phone look up • Filters out spammers, virtual phones numbers, inactive numbers • Performs soft criminal background checks and examines various criminal databases such as public sex offender registries • Identity verification to help REALTOR® know exactly who they are going to meet • Allows for appropriate discretion before showing a property Sometimes it is not advantageous for agents to use a smartphone-based app. The phone can be taken from the agent, there may not be a cell signal available or the GPS location may not be accurate. In these cases, a wearable app is recommended.

ALERT LION’S MOBILE DEFENDER • The compact design allows the user to call for help discreetly • At the push of a button, the monitoring center is notified • Two-way communication can be initiated, not just an alarm signal • Service includes a portal for monitoring location by family, friends or even the agent's office staff • Geo fences can also be set to alert designated contacts when entering or exiting a location

YOUR BUSINESS Finally, agents who invest in the CSSS designation can implement that training into their businesses and marketing. This knowledge will give consumers confidence that the agent is careful and values safety and security. #

22  INSIGHT • May 2017

Consumer Safety and Security Specialist (CSSS) designation

SHOW THAT YOU WORK SAFELY AND CAN PROVIDE SAFETY AND SECURITY RESOURCES TO PROTECT YOUR CLIENTS! When you complete six hours of real estate agent safety continuing education training, you are not only earning CE credits and learning how to work safely as an agent, but you will be qualified to help consumers make safe and secure choices when they work with you. LEARN MORE AT SAFETYANDSECURITYSOURCE.COM

Insight | May 2017  

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