Many industries pose risks that require an understanding of self-defense. The nature of real estate increases the risk factors, especially for women. Be smart about your safety and invest in self-defense training.
At Real Estate Investing Women, REIW, we care about women in real estate. This doesn’t just stop at our desire to help women become better real estate investors. We want you to excel and succeed in all areas of your real estate business, this means understanding the importance of your personal safety.
The Safety Risks for Women in Real Estate
Real estate is a unique industry. Real estate investors, agents, property managers, home service providers and more often find themselves alone in a home or building with the client. Most of the time these interactions are safe and valuable for your business. However, some times the person you are dealing with does not have good intentions.
Even female buyers or renters should exercise caution when looking at a property. Anytime you are alone with someone you don’t know, be on guard. Self-defense classes are a good investment, but there are also other strategies to keep you safe.
Remember, it is never your fault if you face an assault. Don’t let fear or shame keep you from reporting the incident. Contact your local authorities and follow the correct legal protocols.
If you ever feel unsure about a potential client, take someone with you to the meeting. It is best to put your safety first.
Physical Solutions and Self-Defense Training
Taking a self-defense class is one of the best ways to feel confident about your personal safety. In fact, self-defense training is more effective than trying to call 911 or use a weapon if an attack occurs. This is because if you are surprised by an attack, it could be hard to dial or reach for a weapon.
With self-defense training, you learn how to use your body to defend yourself. This training includes both defensive and attacking moves. You learn the more vulnerable parts to attack to have the best shot at escape.
Most local areas have some type of self-defense training. Also, many local real estate organizations offer recommendations for self-defense training. In fact, look for free seminars marketed specifically for individuals in the real estate industry.
When you meet with a client in a new location, arrive early to scope out the area. Get familiar with the surroundings. Also, always locate the exits of any building in case the door you came in becomes blocked. Know your escape route plan.
Always stay alert when alone with a client. And, don’t discount your gut feelings. Instinct is a big advantage for women in real estate investing. Use this instinct when working with clients. If you see red flags or have a warning feeling in your gut, listen and act.
Also, have the client enter the home or building first and have them enter each room first. Don’t let them stand between you and the door. A trustworthy and safe client will not have a problem with this.
Record Client Information
Meet clients outside the home or building. However, ensure you arrive early to unlock the door. Before you enter a property, inform the client that you must take their picture and text it to your manager or business partner. Say this is standard procedure.
You can also ask for their driver’s license to record the information or take a picture of their vehicle license plate. Then, text the information to your partner. You should never meet a client without someone knowing where you are and who you are with.
While this may all seem overboard, your safety matters. Of course, you have working relationships with trusted people in your network. Here, we are primarily discussing clients or leads that you don’t have a relationship with.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
If someone makes you feel uneasy, listen to that feeling. Leave or refuse to enter the building. No deal is worth your safety. Also, call for backup from a partner or friend. If you want to pursue an opportunity but question your safety, bring someone with you to the meeting.
It is okay to put safety first. Especially for new real estate investors, it’s exciting to get leads and meet new clients. However, you want to be smart about your safety. It is okay to put safety protocols in place. Most clients understand and appreciate helping you feel safe.
How to Find Self-Defense Training
Invest in self-defense training targeted to women. In many cases, an attacker will be physically bigger than you. This means you need self-defense training aimed specifically to the factors faced by women in an attack.
As we said, some local real estate organizations offer self-defense training or partner with a trusted teacher. Also, consider your local martial arts studio. They often offer self-defense classes for adults. Local community centers also often host classes for the community, like self-defense for women.
REIW Values Your Safety
At REIW, we believe women benefit when we support each other. We want you to have relevant information related to women in real estate. See more of conversations like this one by joining the Real Estate Investing Women community.