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12 Safety Tips for Property Managers and Real Estate Agents When Showing a Home


“Don’t talk to strangers”, a phrase that has been embedded into us since childhood, and for good reason, is a little difficult to obey in the adult world, especially in real estate. But showing a home to a complete stranger is an everyday part of the property managers’ world. With the recent news of Beverly Carter, the Arkansas real estate agent who was found murdered after showing a home to a potential buyer, real estate agents and property managers have become more aware of their surroundings, some even taking classes in self-defense.

an open houseErik Boltman, owner of Real Property Management Last Frontier in Anchorage, AK had an encounter that had this 6’0 225lb. military veteran scared and on high alert. Erik arrived at an appointment to show a small studio apartment to a couple that just didn’t seem right to him. “I’ve shown a lot of properties over the years and the behavior of these two just wasn’t normal.”, Erik said.

“They didn’t pay attention to the normal things most people do while looking at a home and they were overly excited about a knife rack in the kitchen, the only item in the vacant property. So much so that they didn’t want to see the rest of the home and instead decided to plant themselves next to the knives and make idle chit-chat that seemed more like stalling for unknown reasons.” Erik sensed that something was off, knew he was out numbered, and a potential weapon was within arms reach of the couple who’s demeanor was similar to a person on drugs. Erik backed out of the kitchen, and backed himself up to the front door anticipating a way out. The female seemed to realize he was uncomfortable and abruptly grabbed her partner saying, “let’s go”, and they left.

Luckily nothing happened, but Erik admits that while he’s not a jumpy person, he was scared and was convinced the two were up to no good. Erik is thankful for his training and experience with Real Property Management in knowing the signs to watch for when showing a rental.

The National Association of Realtors gives 12 safety tips for real estate agents and property managers showing a home that could prove to be lifesaving.

Watch the Video from NAR


1. Always hold the first meeting at your office, not at the property.

2. Before showing a property, always do the following: Ask for and make a copy of their ID. If they refuse to give an ID, end the meeting. Let someone in your office know where you will be, with whom and when you are expected to return and if possible invite someone along

3. Download one of many safety apps on your phone designed for realtors and property managers and make sure your phone is charged.

4. If you don’t want to use a safety app, arrange for a friend or someone to call and check on you during the showing and use code words for your level of comfort.

5. Don’t park where you could potentially be boxed in

6. Use your phone to take a picture of the car and/or license plate of the person’s car and send it to someone.


7. Arrive for the appointment early and scout the area around the home.

8. Before showing a vacant home, identify all possible exits.

9. If you have other appointments, talk about them to the client so they know others are expecting you.

10. If possible, allow them to guide themselves as you wait by the front door. If you must guide them, let them lead so you are behind them.


11. Avoid closets, basements, and attics. Never allow the client between you and the door.

12. Be assertive and confident. If you feel uncomfortable, excuse yourself to make a call or to get something from your car

Often times, showing a home is one of the first steps in the tenant screening process. At Real Property Management, our professional property managers have the experience and training to make sure the process goes as safely as possible.

           Want more? Watch for our next blog post about safety apps on your phone for property managers and real estate agents!


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We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

  1. Elotteryworld says:

    your safety tips really useful for everyone
    Thanks for sharing it

  2. Gerald Vonberger says:

    These are some excellent tips. I hadn’t thought about the issues that would be associated with showing a property. I own a bunch of properties and I’ve decided to start renting them out. It sounds like a smart idea to hire a property management company to take care of things like this. They would have the expertise needed to show the properties in a safe way.

  3. Thank you for sharing Erik’s experience. This is a great reminder that we should be extra alert for danger signs showing rental homes to strangers. Thanks for sharing these safety tips!

  4. These are excellent tips for the safety of property managers and real estate agents. Thank you for the article and the video.

  5. Awareness and safety is necessary for property managers and real estate agents while showing a house. It’s a good reminder that one should be extra attentive for danger signs.

  6. Marc Fillion says:

    I didn’t even think about the potential dangers of property management and real estate work, but these tips are so accurate. If you remain aware of your surroundings and connected with your office, you should be completely safe. But it’s always a good idea to research more ways to stay safe when alone at a home.

  7. Ashley Reed says:

    While reading this I was thinking that it was a little over the top, but it’s actually really good to know. I never thought someone coming to see the house could be a threat. This is information that everyone should read, especially the part about leading v.s. following. This is even good for people looking at houses to read.

  8. Thanks for these tips! My mom is a real estate agent, so I’ll show her this. She’s never been in a scary situation before, but hopefully she won’t ever have to. Should a realtor ever carry a self defense weapon?

    1. Hi Rachelle! Thanks for the comment 🙂 You’re best bet would be to discuss that with your local law enforcement because the laws regarding weapons are different in every state. Thanks and good luck!

  9. Ashley Reed says:

    I didn’t think about the fact that it could be dangerous to show properties. I’m going to have to make sure to not do anything that might scare my realitor when I’m house hunting. I do think it’s strange that the only thing in the house was knives, I’d be sure that nothing dangerous was there.

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  11. Jessy Shaw says:

    I don’t think that people generally associate property management as being a dangerous profession but these tips really make sense. My husband and I have been thinking about buying some land in our town so we will definitely try out best to make the situation as comfortable as possible. I think that people will really find these tips useful in their profession, thanks for sharing!

  12. Cheryl Smith says:

    I like the idea of letting the client guide themselves through the house. My father is a real estate agent and likes to stay at the front door. Hopefully, safety comes first when showing houses and different properties.

  13. DoloresB says:

    It makes sense that as a property manager you would want to know ways to stay safe. You work with a lot of different people, and it’s best if you have a little training to keep yourself safe. Leaving yourself a way out is always a good idea, whether it’s in parking or using a safety app.

  14. I really like your tips. I think, sometimes people forget about safety when it comes to property management company and agents. My husband is hiring a property management company, and he wants to make sure that everyone follows the safety guidelines. I will show him your webpage, I’m sure it will be helpful.