Last month, the attack on a real estate agent in Encino, California, was brought to light as the incident was caught on camera. While we have all heard stories regarding the increase in attacks on agents, seeing it happen live on video made it very real for many and greatly impacted the agent community. No one wants to go to work afraid, not knowing who they will encounter each day.
The real estate industry needs to make it standard policy for agents to verify the identity of anyone that they do business with.
Many industries have taken precautions for safety reasons and real estate should be no exception. In order to get on an airplane, you are required to show proper identification which is automatically checked against a database. To visit someone at a hospital, you must present identification in order to receive a visitor badge. In order to test drive a car, you normally must show your driver’s license.
The FOREWARN app helps accomplish this, assisting with the verification of someone’s identity in seconds from just a phone number and/or name. The app also allows you to check potentially relevant public records such as criminal, property, bankruptcies, and liens. If a prospect is lying about who they are or giving false information, you can be on the alert and make an informed decision on how to proceed safely. While any single tool or action should not be relied on as the sole precautionary step in mitigating risk, having this added layer of safety is not only critical for agents, but also an essential benefit for your listing homeowners who would not normally let a stranger roam their house.
Agents across the country are now using FOREWARN to be better prepared for interactions with prospects. Fox2Now in St. Louis recently shared the story of one agent from the Greater Gateway Association of REALTORS® who uses the app regularly after a close call and what it has done for her. You can watch the video by clicking here.