14 TIPS FOR LANDLORDS TO REDUCE CHANCES OF BEING A VICTIM WHEN SHOWING PROPERTY
This past week you may have read story or seen the news account about the Realtor who was found dead a couple days after last known to be showing a property. This story which received national attention has been a Wake-Up call for many landlords, property managers and Realtors. Many have vowed to change their business practices.. We must take precautions, stay alert and do not presume prospective customers pose no threat.
According to the suspect, the Realtor was targeted because she was “a woman that worked alone” and gave the appearance that “she was a rich broker.”
Here are tips to greatly reduce the chances that you will be a victim when showing a property”
1. Never show a house alone.
2. In some areas crime goes up after 3pm, young punks get out of school and dead beats wake up. Try to schedule showings or work before 3pm if it is a rougher area.
3. Carry something for protection, for example key chain pepper spray or a taser (state laws vary).
4. Put up signs so people to know audio and video of the encounter are being recorded (Moreso for deterrence)
5. Use a firearm only if you have training and a good amount of practice using it,
6. Self defense and situational awareness training.
7. I would also suggest driving a junker/beater and not wearing expensive clothing
8. Screen, screen, screen, BEFORE ever meeting a potential resident. For example, search the internet and Facebook before you even meet someone.
9. Always present yourself as the “manager” not the owner. Managers are working stiffs, just like everyone else. Owners are rich targets to take out frustrations.
10. Tenants, applicants, service persons do NOT know my home address. I email them applications and meet them in public places to pick up the fee, or they email me the app and deposit the rent at my bank. Invoices are emailed to me and paid online.
11. As much as possible, keep the Interaction outside on the front porch (in public view).
12. No one ever stands between you and the door / first floor window.
13, Displaying a physically fit image deters those who prey upon those they consider “weak”.
14. Only hold “open houses” with several prospective renters coming to the showing at the same time.
This was a hot topic this past week on our Q&A Forum and that is where the tips above came from. To see the complete discussion, click here.