Realtor Safety Month: Resources for Agents & Teams

24 May, 2024 | Admin | No Comments

Realtor Safety Month: Resources for Agents & Teams

Although most client appointments are safe, sadly, in 2023, 75,000 Realtors reported being victims of a crime. National Association of Realtors (NAR) Realtor Safety Month is vital for real estate agents to learn how to stay safe and know which tools and resources can help protect them. Read on to learn more about Realtor Safety Month and some statistics, tools, and resources you can use to stay safe year-round.

The National Association of Realtors Realtor Safety Program logo
The REALTOR Safety Program logo (Source: NAR)

What Is Realtor Safety Month?

Realtor Safety Month is an annual event in September created by the NAR in 2003 to educate Realtors and reduce incidents within the industry. Realtor member associations, brokerages, agents, and teams can access resources to promote safety awareness. Although September is Realtor Safety Month, you can implement the strategies year-round. Learn to develop your resiliency and communication skills to handle a crisis, should it occur, by understanding how to implement safety.

A screenshot of the 2023 Realtor Safety Program calendar.
Use the NAR Realtor Safety Month calendar to kick-start safety habits. (Source: NAR)

Realtor Safety Month Resources

Awareness is essential. So, I’ve compiled a list of Realtor Safety Month resources to use as a quick guide and learn more about staying safe. These resources provide education for Realtor associations, brokerages, teams, and agents. In addition to the month-long Realtor Safety events, NAR has provided a 30-day plan with materials that local Realtor associations can use to mitigate risks. 

The NAR 30-day plan includes the following:

  • Social media Realtor safety tips on how and what to post throughout Safety Month
  • Member email to keep their members informed with engaging and timely information
  • A 30-day calendar with essential best practices for each day of the month
  • A two-part Realtor safety webinar to understand risks and warning signs and avoid victimization

Here are some additional real estate agent safety resources:

Screenshot of the Realtor Safety Month flyer.
September is Realtor Safety Awareness Month. (Source: NAR)

The Importance of Realtor Safety Month + Stats to Prove It

Realtor safety is important—and we can prove it! Here are some interesting realtor safety statistics illuminating the enormity of real estate agents’ risks and challenges. Use these to begin your education on real estate agent safety.

Real Estate Agent Showings

Real estate agents must plan to stay safe in open houses and showings. Check out some of these realtor safety statistics for showings and open houses. 

Realtor Cyberattacks & Deepfakes With AI

Deepfakes are when a perpetrator uses artificial intelligence (AI) to impersonate someone’s appearance or voice. They’ve been used in real estate to impersonate buyers, sellers, and agents to sell a house and pocket the money without the knowledge of the party who they’re impersonating.

Real estate agents deal with sensitive information regarding people’s finances, contracts, and legal matters. Due diligence is necessary when dealing with cyberattacks, identity theft, and deepfakes using AI to trick agents and consumers. Check out some of these realtor safety statistics on deepfakes and cybersafety. 

  • In August 2023, MLS system provider Rapattoni was a victim of a cyberattack, causing outages across the US. Rapattoni covers 5% of real estate associations in the US, particularly those with under 10,000 members.
  • There were 5.5 million reports to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2023 for identity theft, imposter scams, and credit bureau info furnishers and report users. $10.3 billion was lost to fraud.
  • According to the Identity Fraud Report from Sumsub, deepfakes increased tenfold across all industries from 2022 to 2023, including a whopping surge of 1,740% in North America.
  • According to Statista, phishing scams and personal data breaches were among the most reported cybercrimes in 2022. Over 300,000 people fell victim to phishing attacks. Data breaches were another area of fraud, costing US organizations over $9 million on average as of January 2023.
An infographic that provides data on fraud reporting.
An infographic showing widespread fraud (Source: Federal Trade Commission)

Construction & Renovation Sites

Realtors must be diligent when visiting construction sites and renovation projects since injuries can occur from falling objects or slipping. Check out these construction site stats.

Car Accidents

Real estate agents spend a lot of time in their cars, so they must also be mindful of road safety when driving to appointments. Avoid talking on the phone and texting while driving. Also, pay attention. Distracted driving can happen when you are lost in thought. 

  • In 2022, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 3,308 people were killed and around 289,310 people were injured in automobile crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28% of distracted driver fatalities were between the ages of 21 and 64, so it is not just teenagers who can become distracted. However, it is more prevalent among younger people. 

Men Are Vulnerable Too

While most Realtors are women (66% according to NAR), men are also at risk of assault and other dangers in the field.

  • The NAR Member Safety Residential Report showed that 14% of male real estate agents said they had an encounter in which they felt threatened and unsafe.
  • Residential NAR members said that they follow personal safety plans with all clients. The planning is more common among females, with 73% reporting, but 59% of males also have a safety plan that they use with their clients.

Real Estate Safety Tips

Here are some real estate agent safety tips related to the above topics that you can immediately implement.

Safety Tips for Showings & Open Houses

  • Take extra precautions in locations with fewer places. Also, don’t go alone into places that are dark and vacant.
  • Park on the street instead of in the driveway, where someone else’s car can block yours and prevent your escape
  • Swap your favorite high heels for flats, and wear practical clothing that will make fleeing danger easier.
  • Don’t enter a home’s smallest spaces, such as basements and walk-in closets, which don’t have an egress point. Instead, let your clients explore these on their own. 

Cyberattacks & Deepfakes

  • Use watermarks on documents and materials to guarantee authenticity.
  • Use encrypted email and messaging accounts for secure messaging.
  • Ask your brokerage to provide cybersecurity training.
  • Trust but verify callers. Never share personal information over the phone, text, or email.

Construction Site Safety

  • Wear a hard hat, safety goggles, and a reflective vest at construction sites.
  • Dress for safety when showing a fixer-upper or new construction. This attire includes appropriate shoes, long pants, and nothing that could get caught onto something.
  • Instruct buyers to dress appropriately when touring these sites.
  • When showing raw land, wear long pants, and don’t wander off into unmarked areas. Pay attention to weather conditions before touring large parcels.
  • Watch out for slick sidewalks and steps, and follow any posted warning signs.

Car Accident Safety Tips

  • Set your phone to Do Not Disturb while driving. If you must take a call, find a safe place to pull over.
  • Keep using hands-free or talk-to-text phone features to a minimum since it’s still easy to get distracted.
  • Preview your route before traveling to a new location. Check for road work, inclement weather, and delays.
  • Keep up with auto maintenance. You don’t want to get stranded!

Bringing It All Together

September is NAR Realtor Safety Awareness Month, but you should practice real estate agent safety throughout your career. Stay alert, be diligent, and use our articles and guides to stay safe. Do you have any unique strategies you’ve used to keep safe? Share in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

The post Realtor Safety Month: Resources for Agents & Teams appeared first on The Close.

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