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Online Safety for Real Estate Professionals

Back in the 80's when my mom was an agent, the largest concern for a woman was the idea of being alone at an open house or meeting strangers alone. When I first got into this business, she would point out stories & circumstances in the news where people were attacked at properties. Today we have even more risk & this goes beyond face to face encounters.


  1. Keep vacation rental inquiries ON the platforms they come thru. You will be asked for your address, as well as ways to pay you direct. I would strongly suggest against allowing this prior to bookings. Most of the time, the people who want to meet in person of course want to avoid fees, but what are you really gaining out of this? It is not worth taking a booking off platform, no matter how convenient it may seem. You lose out on damage protection & risk having to evict someone later who refuses to leave.

  2. People are strange. Set up basic procedures to ensure people are who they say they are, as they may use fake identities to rent space out. There are various websites like Forewarn & BeenVerified that may help. You may also check county court websites to see if people have a history of arrests, evictions or stalking/violence toward others. Drivers licenses/identities may be counterfeit. Having your house advertised online can open up a lot of vulnerability.

  3. If you utilize a brokerage or booking agent as an owner, do not open house if you are selling or leasing a primary residence. People do not need to know your timeframe & whereabouts or how often you are at home. Vacant houses should be advertised as occupied so people don't try to invade your house. Lock jewelry in a safe, take any keepsakes out of the house before listing. Ask for first/last names as well as any information prior to showings as you do not need unqualified buyers traipsing through just to see what you have when you are not home. Lots of related information on NAR

  4. Trickery. Do not tell people personal information or reveal private details about anyone involved in the transaction that may be used against them or for nefarious reasons. You cannot be too careful in the Information Age. There is a psychology of people who target individuals. For further details on this review iPredator.co

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