Open House Safety: How to Increase Security
Holding an open house is often a necessity in trying to sell a home; but it is also rewarding as it can help Realtors gage the success of the home and their career. Hearing feedback on the listing and marketing techniques can help a Realtor see where their listings is at; showing them what is and isn’t working. Unfortunately there are down sides to holding an open house – and I’m not talking about a lack in interest, or negative feedback. Rather I’m talking about the potential dangers that can occur during and after an open house. Follow along as I discuss safety protocols that you and your clients should take when holding an open house.
Protect the Valuables
Become aware of the valuable items that your clients have in their home, and instruct them to remove as many as possible. Large valuables may be difficult to remove, both for your client and a potential theft, but small items can easily be removed or stolen. Advise clients to place these items in a safe, or removed from the home altogether.
Remove Personal Items
In addition to your clients valuables, make sure that items with personal information are hidden or removed from the home during an open house. Photos of children, calendars with dates and places of events, and mail with credit card information/bills should be hidden – as not all visitors will be interested in your home.
Keep Track of Visitors
Whether you’re expecting a hefty amount of visitors, or just a handful, it is beneficial to keep track of who enters and leaves the home. Create a list in your head, or providing physical list for visitors to write down their name and number on will help keep them accountable for what they do in this home.
Know What’s Open and Closed
Before you begin the open house do a walk through with the home owners, taking note of open windows and doors. Once the open house is finished, repeat the walk through. It is not unpopular for potential burglars to open unsuspected windows in basements and bathrooms for future use.
Follow-up Showings: Be Careful
It is important to be safe during any showing, but in this case it is good to remember to be safe during follow up showings. A visitor to your listing may randomly call you up one day, asking to see a house in a desolate area – be weary. Ensure someone, whether a friend, family member, or coworker, know where you are in case of an emergency.