Open houses are vital when it comes to selling a property. Potential buyers are allowed to explore the property with the help of real estate agents. But although this can be an exciting task to enhance the skills of real estate agents, it can sometimes become risky.
Depending on the area you’re working on, conducting open houses tends to attract thieves and robbers. However, this doesn’t happen all the time. But just to be sure, here are safety tips for real estate agents when conducting open houses.
1. Always Bring a Partner or Colleague
Whether you’re a beginner or have been in the real estate field for quite some time, there’s nothing wrong with bringing a partner whenever conducting an open house. Having someone who can be at the open house, even if it’s just to observe the guests, can be a great help.
Meanwhile, if the owners want to be present at the open house, then it can give you peace of mind, so inviting a colleague can be optional in this situation.
2. Screen Potential Visitors
Nowadays, it’s easier to conduct an open house with the predicted number of guests. Before the date of the open house, you can create an online registration where prospective buyers can sign up. This can give you their information and you can assess their sincerity. You can be as creative as you like in making sure of their identities.
For instance, you can create a list of the people who registered and cheque their IDs before allowing them to enter the house.
3. Keep Personal Information Private
Limit your information to the professional level. Since you’re main goal is to work, you can always divert the conversation into something related to the property when guests ask you some personal questions. Even if they’re just trying to be friendly, oversharing may not be ideal. For instance, who knows, they might be potential stalkers who just want to be on all your open houses.
Additionally, refrain from sharing too much information about the owner of the house. If they say something personal to you, it’s best not to share it unless they’re about the property
4. Notify Others of Your Location
A lot of times, real estate agents are free to go out on the field. However, letting a co-worker, a friend, or a family member know where you are is something you should always do, especially when hosting an open house. As you know, unlike in the movies, not all open houses are filled with people.
And even if there are many guests, the last few hours might not have the same number of people, especially if the neighbourhood has a few flaws.
5. Prepare an Emergency Kit
Before the start of the open house, don’t forget to prepare an emergency kit. You can place it in the living room or anywhere you can have easy access to. Specifically, you can add a flashlight, first-aid essentials, and something for self-defense (like pepper spray).
In addition, check the areas where your phone has a signal in case you need to contact emergency numbers and programme them to your phone for faster response.
6. Secure Valuables
Before the start of the open house, inform the homeowners to remove all valuables from their house. Even if you screen possible guests, it’s not guaranteed that no one’s going to steal something from the house.
At the same time, keep your belongings in a safe space. You can borrow a key from the owners and lock your belongings in one of their cabinets. However, try to bring your wallet and cell phone all the time.
7. Use Sign-in Sheets
Aside from checking their IDs, use a sign-in sheet where guests can record their information. This can be a great additional layer of security in case something unexpected happens. For instance, if someone stole something from the house, you can use the sheets to identify the people who came to the open house.
Additionally, you should include the time when guests arrive and leave.
8. Maintain Visibility
Open houses are commonly scheduled during the day. However, there are some properties that even though it’s the middle of the day, it’s still dark inside. If that’s the case, try to open all the windows so that natural light can come in.
On the other hand, avoid going to tiny parts of the house when guiding the guests. This includes the basement, attic, and secret rooms. But if it’s not possible, try to bring as many guests as possible in the said areas.
9. Trust Your Instincts
Real estate agents can sometimes feel things that make them doubt about properties or prospective clients. When you experience this kind of momentum, try to go with your instincts.
Feeling uncomfortable can be your first warning that there’s something unexpected might happen, so don’t hesitate to cancel or stop the open house. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.
10. Develop an Emergency Plan
As a real estate agent, you have a chance to get to know the entire house first before the prospective buyers. Aside from forming a marketing strategy, this can also be the right time to check the premises and create an emergency plan.
Try to find as many escape routes as possible. Whether there’s a fire, robbery, or natural calamities, you should know a couple of ways to get out.
Conducting open houses can be a great way to sell the house faster than expected. However, safety precautions should always be planned to minimise risks. Besides, various people are going to come and go to a property for the whole day so things should be planned accordingly.
We hope this article helps you get to know some of the safety tips real estate agents should try when conducting open houses. Whether you’re new or have been in the real estate field for a while, safety should be your top priority. If you want to add more to this list, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aliana Baraquio is a web content writer working for Bennett Property, a family-owned company offering a full range of property services, including Sales, Leasing, and Development in Sydney’s Northwest. As a writer, she is passionate about providing good quality articles to help readers make the right choice.