Safety and Security

2017 Member Safety Report

Download (PDF 1.14 MB)

This report contains the results of a survey of REALTORS® which asked about: 

  • How safe or unsafe they feel 
  • The root causes of any unsafe feelings 
  • Steps or procedures they follow to ensure safety 
  • What methods of self-defense they use

The goal of the report is to measure and understand the scope of the problem, so that real estate professionals can develop the resources, programs, and technologies they need to keep themselves safe. 

REALTOR Safety Videos

Safety Tip

Safety Tip

10 Tips for Holding a Safe Open House

Open houses can be a great sales tool—but hosting one also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time. Take these steps to stay safe:

  1. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.
  2. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.
  3. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
  4. Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
  5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and email.
  6. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.
  7. Avoid attics, basements, and getting trapped in small rooms.
  8. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you.
  9. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.
  10. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

(Sources: Washington Real Estate Safety Council; City of Mesa, Arizona; Nevada County Board of REALTORS®; Georgia Real Estate Commission)

Visit NAR’s REALTOR® Safety website at www.nar.realtor/Safety

This article is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit.

The 10-Second Rule

One of the most common reasons that people find themselves in dangerous situations is that they weren’t paying attention. Take a few precious seconds during the course of your day to assess your surroundings.

Take 2 seconds when you arrive at your destination.

  • Is there any questionable activity in the area?
  • Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
  • Can you be blocked in the driveway by a prospect’s vehicle?

Take 2 seconds after you step out of your car.

  • Are there suspicious people around?
  • Do you know exactly where you’re going?

Take 2 seconds as you walk towards your destination.

  • Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet?
  • Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along the street?
  • Is anyone loitering in the area?

Take 2 seconds at the door.

  • Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
  • Is someone following you in?

Take 2 seconds as soon as you enter your destination.

  • Does anything seem out of place?
  • Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?

Safety in Just 10 Seconds

It takes just 10 seconds to scope out your surroundings and spot and avoid danger. Make this “ten-second scan” a habit in your everyday work as a real estate professional. Then share it with someone else.


(Source: “What You Can Do About Safety,” REALTOR® Magazine, September 2000. Courtesy Night Owl/Vector Security, Landover, MD.)

This article is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit.

Safety Tips to Share with Sellers

The National Association of REALTORS® and this organization have worked hard to keep REALTOR® Safety foremost in everyone’s minds. But what about your clients? They, too, face some dangers in allowing strangers into their homes or visiting other people’s properties. 

Share this valuable advice with everyone, and you’ll help them learn to protect themselves against crime:

  • Remind your clients that strangers will be walking through their home during showings or open houses. Tell them to hide any valuables in a safe place. For security’s sake, remember to remove keys, credit cards, jewelry, crystal, furs and other valuables from the home or lock them away during showings. Also remove prescription drugs. Some seemingly honest people wouldn't mind getting their hands on a bottle of Viagra, uppers or downers.
  • Don't leave personal information like mail or bills out in the open where anyone can see it. Be sure to lock down your computer and lock up your laptop and any other expensive, easy-to-pocket electronics, like iPods, before your showing.
  • Tell your clients not to show their home by themselves. Alert them that not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. We tell our children not to talk to strangers. Tell your sellers not to talk to other agents or buyers, and to refer all inquiries to you.
  • Instruct your clients that they are responsible for their pets. If possible, animals should be removed during showings. Make clients aware that buyers and agents are sometimes attacked, and the owner will be held liable.
  • At an open house, be alert to the pattern of visitors’ arrivals, especially near the end of showing hours. In some areas, a group of thieves will show up together near the end of the open house and, while a string of “potential buyers” distracts the agent, the rest of the group walks through the house, stealing any valuables they come across.
  • Finally, when you leave a client’s property, whether after an open house or a standard showing, make sure that all doors and windows are locked. Thieves commonly use open houses to scout for valuables and possible points of entry, then return after the agent leaves.
  • Let your clients know that you will take all of the above safety precautions, but that when they return home, they should immediately verify that all doors are locked and all valuables accounted for.

(Source: REALTORSafety911.com; Realty Times; ThinkGlink.com(link is external))

Visit NAR’s REALTOR® Safety website at www.nar.realtor/Safety

This article is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit.