Realtor Safety is at the top of my priority list. It can’t not be.
Those in the industry are -hopefully- well aware and those on the outside are, sadly, beginning to learn. As excited as the general public seems to be about HGTV, I don’t recall hearing the Property Brothers talk about the buddy system or Joanna Gaines reaching for the next piece of shiplap with a can of pepper spray swinging from her belt loop.
A big part of this job, as a Realtor, involves agreeing to go with people I barely know, into places where we are alone and no one will think anything of it. I am asked to go to an otherwise empty home and place a sign out front that says “Hey! I’m in here, all by myself. Come on in!” Stranger+Vacant House=Dream Job, right?
This is why I’m particular. This is why I won’t jump up to show a house, just because someone calls and wanted to see it. This is why I require documentation before showing homes. This is why there has to be a compelling reason for me to hold an Open House and I will never, ever sit one alone.
This may be why I don’t sell as many homes as other agents. Turns out, I don’t care.
No potential commission is worth my life. Unfortunately, sometimes you can do everything “right” and still be the victim of a violent crime. Still, if there were something available that could mitigate some of those potential issues, wouldn’t it be worth it?
I say “yes,” which is why I was incredibly excited to learn about a new app from ADT (the home security system people), called ADT Go. This was just released about two weeks ago and I’m hoping that it gets some traction in the real estate community.
There are quite a few benefits, like roadside assistance, location tracking and reports of driving habits. (If you have younger drivers in the family, this is a great benefit!) It also has a crash reporting feature, so emergency services can be called, even if you’re unable. The biggest thing, though, is the SOS. By holding your thumb on the button, until the circle completes, you will notify ADT monitoring of an issue. You may be uncomfortable walking in a parking garage, you may be concerned about someone following you, you may be actively involved in an emergency situation and maybe you can’t make a phone call to 911; simply holding your thumb on this on-screen button will start the process of you getting help. It’s not lots of clicks, it’s not hidden behind tabs, it’s not complicated.
What’s more, you don’t have to be an ADT customer to use this app!!
The SOS feature is part of the premium package. While some of the ADT Go features are free for ADT customers, a few features, like SOS, are not. The fee is roughly $10-15, depending on whether you’re a current customer, so, potentially lifesaving service for the cost of Netflix.
Aside from the obvious potential to use this app, I was able to -immediately- think of several real-life instances, when I would have loved to have the SOS option. For example, a few months ago, I was walking around (a public space), while on the phone. At one point, an man started following me and then began to shout, trying to get my attention. I increased my pace and asked the customer service person, who had basically wrapped up our conversation, to stay on the line with me for a few minutes. She was confused and uninterested, but she did. Looking back, however, what was she going to do? Had there been an issue, having a random person on the phone wouldn’t have helped. Having someone with access to my location who can simultaneously call emergency services, would have been nice.
In the linked video, Russell Erickson, from ADT, outlines some of the features. (Click Here.) He would be happy for you to reach out to him with questions and will either have the answers, or know where to get them. (Regardless of what area/market/state you’re in.)
It’s like insurance; you hope you never need to use it, but you’re so glad it’s there when you need it. Please take the time to check this out. It’s a free download from the app store and more information can be found here: https://www.adt.com/go