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Expert to Realtors: Safety more important than sale

SARASOTA, Fla. – Nov. 3, 2015 – Realtors are extroverts who tend to be sociable, outgoing and chatty – and social media marketing is becoming an essential part of the job.
But property agents must take their personal safety into account when showing a home or holding an open house.
Sarasota County sheriff’s deputy Vince Riva, a crime-prevention specialist, tells Realtors they should keep their work and personal lives separate on outlets like Facebook and Instagram.
In addition, more and more practitioners use smartphone apps to pull in new clients and close deals, but they should also look at apps that enhance agent safety, reports Dave Clapp of RE/MAX Alliance Group. Clapp says websites such as MeetMeHereFirst.com and apps like GetBSafe, which tag the user’s location on a map when activated in an emergency, help take the risk out of meeting a potential client for the first time.
Another smartphone app, EmergenSee, alerts a user’s contacts if she or he is in danger.
“But technology doesn’t replace common sense,” Clapp adds, “and it doesn’t fix ‘stupid.'”
The first step for Realtor safety should still be getting a copy of a customer’s driver’s license and requiring completion of a prospect ID form. Another simple safety method is to take a smartphone photo of the client’s driver license and text a copy of it to the broker.
As for open houses, agents should put up a sign that says: “Videotaping in progress” – and Clapp suggests streaming video of open houses with an iPad.
“Control the open house,” Riva says. “Dictate what happens there, just like at a retail store. You are in charge.”
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) (10/29/15) Bubil, Harold
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Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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