Realtor and Home Seller Safety and why Tampa Bay Agents want to Meet at the office or neutral location



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Andrew Duncan talks about Realtor home seller and home buyer safety on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA. This was triggered by a story that went viral recently where a Realtor from Arkansas was believed to be abducted from a a vacant bank owned property she was showing in a suburban area of Little Rock around 5:30 pm CST on September 29.

He talks to Robert Johnson from his Listing team about scenarios that they encounter with some consumers. He explains the importance of meeting potential clients in a neutral location like the office. Aside from doing a check of the person's identity and if they are prequalified, etc, there is also a safety element to it.  This is the process they follow in order to protect the safety of not only the realtor but also that of the buyer or seller's. He says that there have been incidents where bad things have happened to realtors in this type of situations. No sale is really worth that risk.

Getting a push back from a consumer usually raises a red flag. As Robert highlights, based on experience people who are serious buyers understand that there is a process that they need to go through in order to see a home. One could almost tell that the buyer is not serious when they give  a lot of push back from it. Not only does it give protection to the realtor and buyer but it also gives protection to the seller. They want to make sure that these are legitimate people they are letting into their house.

This incident has become a wake up call to the real estate industry to review their company policies, how they can improve things and ensure the safety of everyone. There are measures like having a buddy in the office, they need to screen people and have them come to their office.

Andrew shares that in their new office, they have put in advanced security cameras to double their efforts in protecting their people as well as their clients.

Sean Yesner from Yesner Law shares an experience where he was at a friend's house who had a for sale sign on the yard. They had people come up to the door saying they want to come in and take a look around as they are potential buyers. He advised for them to wait for their realtor to take care of it. If the people are really serious about buying the house, have the buyers sign up with their agent and go through the proper channels to take them through the house.

Andrew says that it's difficult because some people see a for sale sign on the yard and thinks it's a guaranteed right to entry and that they could just go right up and knock on the door. They don't even consider that the seller would be inconvenienced until the sun comes down just because of that sign on the yard. He says that they advice all their seller clients that they have a process they follow before the buyers are let into the property. They need to screen them. They need to go through the electronic lock box if they work with an agent. But there are still a lot of incidents that happen despite this policy.

He says that Real Estate is one of the few industries where expectations are high and meetings are usually done on the properties instead of a neutral location like the office.

There are some clients who opt not to have a sign on the yard because of the risks involved. Andrew says that they honor their request, eliminating some of the advertising. There are some give and take between the advertising and marketing and of course the client's safety. If you are a consumer and you call their agent wanting to meet up at the property and they are hesitant, the buyers should understand they are only concerned about their safety. They don't know who you are. They haven't had the chance to meet you. They know nothing about you. You can't just expect them to have this amazing level of trust after one phone call.

His response to people who complain about their process "I'm sorry but your business is not more than someone else's life."

Andrew discusses with John from FBC Home Loans that although they essentially deal with the same people, the Real Estate industry has this stigma that it is acceptable to do business or meet ups at the properties. He asks John if they encounter such safety risks with their loan officers. John says they do encounter some scenarios and he counsels, especially their female loan officers, to make sure that somebody is around at the office when they meet up with clients even outside office hours. Andrew agrees and also mentions that some of his agents have decided to go as a group to get their concealed weapons permit and self defense classes as an extra step for their protection.

He concludes the discussion by saying that people should understand that it's not that they don't want to help them or they don't want to show them the home but they just need to go through a few steps to ensure his people's safety. No home sale is worth that kind of risk.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

Also, we were interviewed last week by Laura Harris with ABC Action News and The Now Tampa Bay at our office about the development of our relationship and endorsement by Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran. We touched on the growth of our business and a few things that have really helped us grow. You can click here to watch the video in its entirety.

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