Uncategorized March 9, 2015

Safety & Technology

Real estate professionals are engaged in an interesting profession. We interact all the time with individuals unfamiliar to us. We go out, most often alone, to show homes and properties to people we may have never met (not wise, I know, but true). And the majority of the time we are safe. But on occasion we are not, and with all the advances in technology it is good to see some of the options coming available to help us feel and be more secure.

First of all, we should ALL require new clients to come into our offices to meet face-to-face before going out to preview properties. But we don’t always do that. And we should also always require prospects to leave a copy of their driver’s license and their license plate number with our office staff. But we don’t. And most often we don’t do these things because requiring them is inconvenient for the client, but that’s another topic of conversation. Even if we take these basic steps, we may still be at risk. So what else can we do?

One of the newer options available to us is wearable technology, alarm systems or distress beacons built into jewelry that can be activated discreetly and easily. Cuff links, necklaces/pendants, bracelets, and more are available that are both stylish and functional. The companies Cuff, First Sign, and Stiletto are all actively engaged in this market with products that can deliver distress signals as well as do more, and I encourage you to visit their websites to learn more about them.

Another option is using an app to remotely verify the identity of the individual you are planning on meeting. This can be done via cell phone, but the turnaround time for verification can be 30 minutes or more, so using this app needs to be done in advance of an actual meeting. You can find more information through the company Secure Show.

In addition, there are applications that can alert others when you are in distress and they include those from Guardly, SOS-StaySafe, bSafe, Emergensee, Watch Over Me, and Agents Armor among others. These apps work in a variety of ways – some by shaking your phone, some by pressing a single button, some that allow audio or video feed, some that provide GPS tracking, and more. The wide range of options should provide everyone with a solution that will work for them.

It’s good to know we have options for personal safety, and it’s even better when we can share what we know with others who can benefit. These companies and their products benefit not only realtors but they can also benefit children, students, people working odd hours or those working in risky neighborhoods. If you know someone who might be able to use one of these technologies, will you please share?