Steps to increase safety during showings.

21 Replies

For the landlords that show property to tenants, I'd like to know what steps you take to increase personal safety during showings.  I typically have success finding tenants by posting listings to craigslist. However, with the increase of violence target at Craigslist posters in my area, I could see some fool mistaking me (landlord) as an easy target. 

I personal allways conceal carry during showings and try to stay aware of my surroundings at all times. However, I'm very interested in what steps others here are taking. 

Prescreen by telephone and only show to those who are likely to qualify to rent.

Show in the daylight hours only.

Show properties as a team... my husband and I, or with our property assistant.

Schedule back to back appointments.

Photograph the prospective tenant's car when I arrive and leave their name and contact info at home and in our car.

Never carry a lethal weapon. Have a can of wasp spray handy... works better than pepper spray and shoots farther.

Always stay alert and have an exit plan if things get weird.

Someone always knows where I am at. I never turn my back on applicants..I always walk behind them, show in the during the daytime hours, get there a bit earlier than the appointment to open the door & turn on all the lights.

I rarely show a place alone. When I absolutely have to, I don't go in. I just stand at the doorway and tell them to go on in and look around. I then usually say something like, "My husband should be here any minute. Let me know if you have any questions." Even though he never shows up, they are on alert that he could at any point.

Never show a place after dark.

Always let someone know where you are and give them the contact info of the person you are meeting. You should have their cell number.

I like the idea of taking a photo of their license plate. But I am usually there before they arrive, so that I can open up the place, turn on the lights, etc. It would be weird to walk outside and take a photo.

Carry pepper spray.

I also carry when showing or working alone; one or more of my dogs is usually with me if working.  Its also in presentation/confidence; no one wants what they PERCEIVE to be a hard target.

There was a short article about safety when showing property in either the CA ***'n or National ***'n of Realtors magazine, recently. It highlighted phone apps that could be used in emergencies. Search for "personal security app" and find one for your phone; iPhone or Android.

This has become a real concern of mine.  ESPECIALLY since I own a duplex and so my residence is literally next door.  I used to tell prospective tenants that I live next door, because I found that to be a selling point; however, I will no longer be doing that.  There has been an increase in home invasions over the last couple years in my city.

My husband always joins me for showings also.

Bring your German shepherd

Some others have already said these, but I will state them again...

- My husband and I show the unit together - it would be pretty hard to take us both down without some noise

- We schedule multiple showings around the same time (say, one or 2 showings every 15-30 minutes).  This keeps a consistent flow of people coming through so we're rarely alone with one prospect, and they know that even if we're alone at the moment, we won't be for long.  My husband and I both wait out front for the first showing, then one of us goes with the first prospect to show them the unit while the other waits out front for the next prospect to show up (we tell the first prospect that's why the other is waiting out front, so they're aware that other people will show up any minute).  Scheduling multiple showings together also has the added benefits of saving us from making lots of trips to the rental, and also creating a sense of urgency to apply since they see there's a lot of demand.

Don't buy war zone properties and pre-screen over the phone correctly. 

Originally posted by @Max Tanenb

aum:

Bring your German shepherd

 Scruffy at Applebees "I have a tab and will cut you off in a heartbeat!"

Bring 2 friends with you , my buddy Smith , and his partner Wesson .

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Bring 2 friends with you , my buddy Smith , and his partner Wesson .

 Matthew, I completely agree.  I certainly see the benefit to taking photos of the car, prescreening, scheduling multiple showings, having a quick way to call for help, having an attack pet poodle, etc.  However, when all of these fail me, I know that Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson will leave me with a fighting chance.  

Originally posted by @Marcia Maynard :

Prescreen by telephone and only show to those who are likely to qualify to rent.

Show in the daylight hours only.

Show properties as a team... my husband and I, or with our property assistant.

Schedule back to back appointments.

Photograph the prospective tenant's car when I arrive and leave their name and contact info at home and in our car.

Never carry a lethal weapon. Have a can of wasp spray handy... works better than pepper spray and shoots farther.

Always stay alert and have an exit plan if things get weird.

wasp spray... Remind me to never mess with you lol. but I love your list. I'm going to implement a couple of them! thanks! 

I have a cop friend , he told me , its better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 . 

Even if I'm showing small personal things to someone on craigslist, I've always got my Ruger LCP hidden inside my waistband.  I never expect something to go wrong, especially in Eastern NoDak, but I don't want to be caught unprepared.  And what they don't know don't hurt 'em.

I'm a firm believer of the Second Amendment ! So, I carry my 9 everywhere I go.

LSouza

Hey this just happened today around lunch , I came home and backed in the drive , there was a car parked between my house and the neighbor. A guy was on his cell phone. I looked at the plate as I walked to my door , I see a guy running out between the houses up 2 doors with a pillow case , I call the cops and tru to follow , but they had 2 minutes head start . I get home , It was my house they broke into . Since I foiled them part way thru they didnt get much , except the wifes jewlery . I am sure some other things will show up missing . If I put the pieces together 45 seconds earlier I could have rammed the nissan with my ford excursion with a plow on front .

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Hey this just happened today around lunch , I came home and backed in the drive , there was a car parked between my house and the neighbor. A guy was on his cell phone. I looked at the plate as I walked to my door , I see a guy running out between the houses up 2 doors with a pillow case , I call the cops and tru to follow , but they had 2 minutes head start . I get home , It was my house they broke into . Since I foiled them part way thru they didnt get much , except the wifes jewlery . I am sure some other things will show up missing . If I put the pieces together 45 seconds earlier I could have rammed the nissan with my ford excursion with a plow on front .

 That's awful.  I'm glad they didn't get more.  As they say, when seconds count, cops are only minutes away.  A good reason you can't solely leave it to police or others for your personal safety. 

The cops said I was lucky , they usually dump the contents of the kitchen , all the clothing drawers , rifle thru closets . He said they were only in the house 5 to 10 minutes at best . The wife was a bit upset , but stuff can be replaced . They got us for about 3 grand . I will be checking the pawn shops mid week . 

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