Real estate and property management may not seem like a dangerous profession for those not involved in the industry. But dig a little deeper and it’s clear that many of the tasks agents and managers undertake every day can be classified as high risk.
The combination of visiting private properties, meeting with strangers, and working alone can leave real estate industry workers vulnerable, especially when the agent or manager needs to deliver unwanted news.
Thankfully, there is much that employers can do to protect their workers. It is now good practice for all businesses to undertake a regular risk assessment and have detailed health and safety procedures and policies in place. A key function of this is to protect workers from harm. For lone workers in the real estate industry, carrying a personal duress alarm is a highly effective way to minimise the risk of injury. These small but powerful devices are increasingly being recommended as part of the risk assessment process as a simple way to keep real estate agents and property managers safe. Read on to find out why they could be an ideal solution for your team.
Staying safe at property inspections
For those managing rental properties, conducting regular pre-planned property inspections is essential. More often than not, these inspections are attended by a lone agent or manager. While the majority are completed without incident, there has been an alarming number of cases where an agent has sustained serious injury.
From confrontations with aggressive tenants to dog attacks, agents may encounter a wide range of dangerous situations. In Western Australia, a tenant attacked a property manager during the final inspection when he discovered he would not be receiving his bond money on the day. A property manager was mauled by dogs and seriously injured after attending a booked inspection at a Central Coast home and an agent in Melbourne was left traumatised after a separate dog attack. For agents attending property inspections alone, a personal duress alarm such as the SkyTrack 4G offers a simple and effective way to communicate their location and wellbeing. Useful functions include automated check-ins, tracking updates and up to 10 different alarm settings, which means the alarm can be raised instantly if there is an incident, even if the agent is unable to make the call.
The dangers of property appraisals and valuations
To find out the value of a property, an appraisal and/or valuation may be undertaken. The appraisal involves a real estate agent attending the premises and combining their observations with their knowledge of the local market and recent sales to put forward their recommendations on how much the home should be listed for sale or rent. A valuation is different as it requires an accredited valuer to prepare a detailed written report on the property, a sworn legal document that can be used in court.
Both of these require an agent or valuer to attend the private property, and in most cases, they attend alone. They most likely do not know their potential clients and do not know who and what they will find at the house when they attend. While it is ideal to meet at the office or a neutral location first, this alone can not guarantee the safety of your team. The simple act of carrying a personal duress alarm provides an added layer of security in this case, as the location of the agent or valuer can be tracked in real-time and the alarm can be discreetly raised if something doesn’t seem right.
Open for inspection safety
Another risky situation property managers and agents face regularly is meeting potential buyers and tenants open for inspections. Both individual appointments and publicly advertised openings have the potential to be dangerous, as anyone can attend, including those who display aggressive, violent or deceitful behaviour.
Carrying a personal duress alarm gives both the agent and their employer added peace of mind during an open for inspection. Alarms such as the SkyTrack 4G have a range of useful automations and functions that are ideal as an added layer of protection for property managers and agents working on private property with members of the public.
Keep your team safe with a personal duress alarm
For real estate agents, valuers and property managers, the combination of working alone on private property with strangers can, unfortunately, lead to dangerous situations. Employers can protect their team by conducting regular risk assessments and having clear safety and security procedures in place.
A personal duress alarm is a simple but highly effective safety tool that should be part of every agent and property manager’s safety toolkit. It provides workers and employees with peace of mind that if there is trouble at an inspection or valuation, the alarm can be raised instantly and assistance can arrive sooner.
Also essential for: