Empowering REALTORS® through safety training

REALTORS® have a unique occupation. We often find ourselves working face-to-face with strangers, at times in close quarters and isolated locations. This can be especially worrisome for female REALTORS® working on their own.

The risks had crossed my mind but I had never really thought too hard about my personal safely until one day, while I was hosting an open house, I was visited by a (clearly intoxicated) gentleman who started asking questions that were becoming personal in nature and inappropriate. Fortunately, another visitor arrived before too long and the man left, but it did leave me asking myself, “What would I have done if the situation had worsened?”

The very nature of our business can put us in vulnerable positions at times. As a manager, I believe strongly in providing my agents with the tools they need to recognize and prevent dangerous scenarios, as well as options to use safely and effectively should they be placed in danger.

That’s why I decided to organize a safety workshop for female REALTORS® in P.E.I. The course is made up of two parts: it begins with a conversation about and offering tips on preventing dangerous situations and also provides self-defence training from an empowerment-based instructor.

I’ve completed a self-defence course myself and while that doesn’t guarantee my newly-learned instincts will kick in when I need them, having the knowledge has boosted my confidence. Some of my favourite takeaways include:

  1. RUN! If you can safely escape the situation, this is always your first option.
  2. YELL! It may draw attention to the situation and cause the attacker to flee.
  3. AIM! Remember to use all your body parts: knees, elbows and legs.

It’s my hope that with these skills, agents will be better equipped help detect, avoid, diffuse and defend against threats, intimidation and potentially violent situations.

Editor’s Note: REALTOR® safety remains top of mind with The Canadian Real Estate Association. One of the ways we’re promoting safety is by sharing these 22 important tips.

Carol O’Hanley is Office Manager and Co-Owner of EXIT Realty PEI, where she works to support the success of her agents. Previously, she was an Instructor at Eastern College and also taught the Prince Edward Island Real Estate Association’s Pre-Licensing Real Estate Course. Carol is the current President of The United Way of PEI.

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