Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 11, 2020

Safety protocols for Realtors and our clients

Every year, our industry recognizes September as Realtor Safety Month. With COVID-19, we’ve all learned there are risks – seen and unseen – we face every day.

Last week, the National Association of Realtors released its 2020 Member Safety Report, which surveys Realtors around the nation about their personal safety experiences, how safe they feel while on the job and the safety procedures and materials provided by their real estate brokerage.

Although this report is released each September during Realtor Safety Month, safety is a focus for Greater Chattanooga Realtors throughout the year. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to explore different aspects of safety – for our members and their clients.

In 2020, 23% of Realtors surveyed nationally reported they experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or safety of their personal information. Realtors understand better than most the safety risks associated with real estate transactions, so it’s imperative to create and share certain safety protocols with buyers so they can anticipate what they might encounter.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is committed to protecting buyers and sellers and their personal items by making sure they have the resources and education to stay safe and secure.

In addition to the COVID-19 mandates, there are some safety protocols and guidelines potential buyers should expect and keep in mind to ensure a safe experience for every party involved.

Meeting at the office

Instead of meeting for the first time at a property, a Realtor might set up the initial meeting at their office. Most people agree that meeting at a real estate professional’s office is much more comfortable and appropriate for the first meeting.

Generally speaking, meeting a stranger at an unknown location can be an uneasy notion; the same holds true for the initial real estate session.

Avoid carpooling

When viewing a property, your agent might ask you to drive separately. This is a safety precaution for you and your Realtor, so don’t feel offended.

Most people don’t pick up hitchhikers, so you can understand the importance of not transporting strangers to a property showing. Driving separately is also important because you or the agent might have an appointment to go to afterward.

Secure personal information

Your agent might make copies of your driver’s license and financing preapproval letter for their records. This step allows the agent to keep your information at their office and stored in a secure place. So, be sure to have these items on hand for your initial meeting.

The 2020 Member Safety Report finds 67% of real estate offices have standard procedures for safeguarding client data and information. Keeping this information safe and secure is a crucial step in maintaining a safe agent and client relationship.

After you

Realtors typically let buyers take the lead when exploring a property. This is a common safety protocol and also allows you to view each room on the property first and make your own impressions.

View vacant property by day

Your Realtor might only show vacant properties by day so you can see safety hazards such as loose floorboards or any other defects. So, expect to view vacant, and even occupied, properties during daylight hours.

Safety is our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,000 members, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is one of 300 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors. Greater Chattanooga Realtors service Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. For more information, visit www.gcar.net or call 423 698-8001.