Safety improvements, like improvements in so many other issues, often come in two stages… structural and cultural. NAR has put in place many of the structural changes needed to reach the goal of “every agent goes home safe every day.” Now the industry needs to bring about the cultural change required to ensure that actually happens.
The right place for bringing about this change is the team and brokerage; those entities have the biggest impact on agent behavior and culture. The following are efforts that can be done at those levels:
1. Spend five minutes at every sales meeting
Commit to spending five minutes out of every sales meeting on safety. By showing one safety video and giving one person in the room public kudos for something safety-related, these and similar efforts at the association will amplify each other.
An entire year’s worth of safety content for meetings can be accessed for free from the Real Safe Agent website. Additional safety information and resources including the books Aegis: A Comprehensive Agent Safety Analysis and Guide for Associations, Brokerages, and MLSs and Safe Selling: A Practical Guide to preventing crime without Sacrificing the Sale can be accessed at the Real Safe Agent website for free.
And you can watch a sample educational video below.
2. Make safety a regular part of daily interactions
Agents often ask their broker, team leader, and/or the more seasoned agents in your office for advice of all types. If the broker and the more seasoned agents at the brokerage add safety-oriented questions and comments to their regular daily interactions. The following are some examples of how safety can be added to regular interactions:
When an agent asks a question regarding a new prospect, in addition to asking if they have gotten the prospect qualified also ask if they are taking someone with them, or if they did an EAR checklist on the appointment. The EAR checklist can be found on page 50 of the book Aegis: A Comprehensive Agent Safety Analysis and Guide for Associations, Brokerages, and MLSs. This book, written by Behavioral Criminologist Lee Goldstein in 2017, is the source of many of the agent safety reforms being implemented by NAR and throughout the industry and may be downloaded.
If an agent tells a broker/leader about an upcoming showing with a new prospect the broker/leader should ask them if they have checked the safety fields and/or contacted the listing agent to find out how the cell signal is at the house, or other safety factors such as visibility (a list of features can be found in the book Aegis).
3. Create safety groups
Perhaps the most important thing a brokerage can do is to create a safety group where agents make themselves available to be accompaniments for showings and at the opening and closing of open houses. This group can also be used to provide a drop-in on a showing or open house if an agent is alone and becomes uncomfortable. Currently, Real Safe Agent is the only technology available that provides this functionality.
The brokerage has the single biggest influence on changing the behavior of agents and the industry culture as it relates to agent safety. From making safety as much a part of our daily routine as checking new listings to making good safety habits as publicly praiseworthy as closed volume numbers. As well as ensuring that no agent has to go on a showing or open house alone, and if they choose to go alone they can get a third person there when they first become uncomfortable… preventing a crime if they were in danger without sacrificing the sale if they weren’t.
Utilizing the power of teams, brokerages, and relationships with colleagues is the most effective way to prevent crime in our industry.