While it may not seem like a dangerous profession, the safety of real estate agents is often at risk. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2017 Member Safety Survey, 44% of female agents and one in four male agents have experienced a situation in the past year that made them fear for their safety or the safety of their personal information.
An agent’s job entails meeting strangers and showing properties alone in remote locations. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many real estate professionals feel unsafe while on the job.
Technology, however, plays a crucial role in helping to keep agents safe when they’re on location visiting properties with strangers. Numerous apps and wearables are available for their protection.
Here’s a look at six technologies agents can use to help keep them safe.
1. Bsafe provides a sense of security
Real estate agents often travel alone. With the Bsafe app, they can get peace of mind everywhere they go.
The app allows agents to assign emergency contacts as guardians. If there’s an emergency, they can send an SOS signal to all guardians by pressing a button or saying a key phrase. When agents activate the SOS, Bsafe streams live video and audio to guardians and also stores the recording. Their friends and family will know their exact location and what’s happening.
Agents can sign up for an annual premium subscription of Bsafe for $72 per year.
2. V.ALRT wearable button offers discrete protection
V.ALRT is an ergonomically designed device that real estate agents can carry discreetly in their pocket or handbag or wear as a bracelet or pendant. Once they press the button, V.ALRT sends personalized texts to three emergency contacts indicating that help is needed, followed by phone calls. Emergency contacts will also receive the agent’s location.
Agents can purchase the V.ALRT wearable help button for $39.99. They can access all of the features available without any monthly service fees.
3. SafeShowings protects all parties at risk
Real estate agents aren’t the only ones at risk. Homeowners and clients also need protection during property showings. SafeShowings is an app that deters criminal activity by capturing and validating the identity of people that agents bring into a home.
Agents can start by registering their information, entering emergency contacts, and create a showing. SafeShowings requires them to capture an image of the client’s driver’s license. If agents do not press the button to end a showing, the app notifies all emergency contacts. It also calls 911 with the exact location and time and captures the perpetrator’s driver’s license.
Agents can get the SafeShowings app for a monthly subscription of $4.50.
4. Silent Beacon provides protection for free
Silent Beacon is an app that equips agents with a panic button on their smartphone. Once they hit the button, the app sends alerts to emergency contacts in the form of a call, email, or text message. Silent Beacon provides the agent’s real-time location to contacts within five seconds.
Agents can also reach 911 directly through the app without having to speak with call center representatives and ask them to direct them to emergency centers.
The Silent Beacon emergency alert app is free, and there are no mandatory monthly fees.
5. KATANA Safety dispatches emergency services
The KATANA Safety system consists of an app as well as a device that attaches to a smartphone. When agents encounter a dangerous situation, they can choose to trigger a piercing audible alarm via wristband activation or red tab or push a discrete, silent panic button. This alerts the 24/7 response center, which contacts the appropriate emergency services with the agent’s GPS location.
The KATANA Safety Arc device is $149, and the KATANA Safety app with a monthly subscription to the 24/7 call center is $9.99.
6. Trust Stamp verifies the identity of potential clients
It’s essential for real estate professionals to establish the identity and trustworthiness of a stranger before meeting them or providing access to their client’s home or property. With Trust Stamp, agents can verify a stranger’s identity by inviting potential clients via text or email to create a profile.
To create a profile, clients need to take a photo of themselves, submit a picture of their government-issued identification, and provide a link to one social media account. They can then share their profile with the agent.
Once potential clients share their profile, agents can see their name, photo, and a green, amber, or red safety indicator which communicates their level of trustworthiness. The app treats all data with bank-level security and deletes the client’s data from the system once agents review the profile.
Trust Stamp is free for agents who have a membership with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
Putting safety first
Real estate agents shouldn’t have to feel unsafe at open houses or property showings. However, the reality is that anything can happen and they should take preventive measures to protect themselves. The good news is that agents can choose from various technologies, such as apps and wearables, to help ease their minds and keep them safe while on the job.