News from - Rawson Properties

KEEPING AHEAD OF THE CRIMINALS

Rawson Properties new dossier tells agents how to protect themselves and in doing so, the seller's property, it also helps ensure the safety of potential buyers when visiting show houses.

While it is now a concern in the real estate marketing sector that open day show houses can be a security risk, it would be a great pity if they were dropped, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties – because they are effective in selling property fast. The small firm with limited advertising budgets would be particularly hard hit, he says.

Clarke has drawn up three full pages of advice to Rawson agents on how to protect themselves and “keep ahead of the bad guys” in all situations, but especially at show houses. Some of the key pointers mentioned in the document are:

On entering a show house for the first time, Clarke advises, the agent should check all rooms and work out the most convenient escape routes, unlocking all deadbolt locks which might slow down an exit. Back doors, although often a handy for an escape, can lead into high walled yards, Clarke warns.

When visitors arrive, agents are advised to note their car licence place numbers and when showing them the house the agent should walk behind, not lead.

"Watch what prospects are doing at all times. Do not become preoccupied with viewing the home – and always expect the unexpected," says Clarke.

Clarke also advises agents to notify their office or a friend that they will call every hour – if they do not the colleague should contact the police at once.

“Neighbours should be asked to keep an eye on the property throughout the day. Above all, do not be in the house on your own – have a colleague or friend with you. If you become suspicious of a prospect, leave at once,” writes Clarke.

In general, he says, agents should meet prospective buyers the first time in the company offices and then should insist on identification, giving the reason that “it is company policy”. He advises them to find out as much as they can about the prospects, such as where they work, what they do, and how much they earn. "Ask many questions and be a good listener."

Clarke warns agents always to use their own car for viewings and to be familiar with the area in which the property is located.

Clarke’s document for Rawson agents also includes advice on office safety and harassment, whether by telephone, stalking or direct approach.

“It is regrettable that we have to be aware of these matters,” said Clarke, “but it is also true that crime can be prevented by adopting simple precautions. Our industry has an unusual number of women, whom criminals and psychopaths see as soft targets because in this job they have to work away from the security of their offices.”

Article by: www.rawson.co.za