Open House Safety Using Your FOREWARN Service

With summer approaching, many homes will be put on the market and inevitably open houses will be scheduled. As a real estate agent, it is up to you to take all the necessary precautions to protect yourself from any unforeseen dangers.

If you aren’t already actively using FOREWARN to stay safe, now is the time to put it to use.

FOREWARN offers unlimited access to a powerful mobile intelligence tool for instantly verifying a prospect’s identity and public records (criminal records, bankruptcies, liens, property records), leading to safer and more productive interactions. It may be obvious how important this added layer of due diligence is when engaging with an unknown prospect via phone or email, but this tool is also imperative in an open house scenario where your first interaction with a new prospect is face-to-face.

Here are some helpful tips for utilizing FOREWARN when hosting an open house:
  1. First and foremost, never host an open house alone! Entire chapters could be dedicated to this point alone, there are just too many risks for an individual agent to host an open house by themselves. For added safety, make sure your open house team has notified friends/family/coworkers of your location and that you have discussed a team plan for handling uncomfortable situations as well as outright emergencies. Make sure you are also prepared to activate the free Emergency SOS alert system built into every modern Android and iPhone® device.

  2. Always require visitors to display a valid photo ID. Consider that you cannot test drive a car or check into a hotel without first displaying a valid photo identification, so it is not unreasonable to expect a visitor to simply show you who they are before being allowed to tour someone else’s home. When presented as standard safety policy in a welcoming and friendly manner, most legitimate buyers will have no reason to hide their identity from you and should not mind presenting ID, especially if you provide assurance that they will not be bombarded with marketing communications as a result. Those few who do take issue with showing ID, when they are already standing at the property, are not truly interested in purchasing the home, and you must consider that predators with nefarious intentions will often try to hide their identities.

  3. Register (search) each visitor in FOREWARN using the first and last name, city, and state from the photo ID presented. If available on the ID, adding date-of-birth to the search will zero in on even the most common of names. A quick glance at their records will help verify any potential criminal or financial yellow flags to be aware of. Each searched visitor is saved and sorted by date in the ‘Recent Searches’ section of FOREWARN and can be easily referenced at any time for up to 30 days. You can also click the ‘Email PDF’ button when viewing the results for a person to have the report automatically emailed to yourself for future reference.

  4. Consider adding “Photo ID Required” to your open house signage and/or the front door. This can help ease the process as visitors will come already prepared to display their ID. Signaling that there is a formal safety protocol in place can also act as a deterrent for predators looking for an easy target.
With increased instances of attacks on real estate agents, do not take your safety for granted, use the tools you have to make informed decisions. Your life is more important than a sale.
For more information on FOREWARN, contact us online.