We all know that safety is a top priority for Real Estate Agents because of their vulnerability in secluded or abandoned homes, but Property Management Leasing Agent safety has been a real focus in light of recent events (for example: the woman who was molested while showing an apartment at her complex in Houston).
In response to this – tech companies have begun developing personal safety apps that can be used any time right from the agent’s phone, turning it into a personal safety device. While some of the language surrounding the apps speaks about brokers, and real estate agents, these apps could also help to keep employees of apartment communities safe while showing apartments alone, later at night, or on the weekends.
AgentAlarm is a free app, available for both iOS and Android markets that acts as a personal security system to actively monitor safety. There is a 4-digit PIN that is set by the user when the app is first registered. It is used to acknowledge that an agent is safe at a safety check in, and if necessary, to turn off an automatic 911 call that is made if the panic button is hit accidentally. The employee is able to add emergency contacts straight from their contact list, and if he or she activates the alert button, the emergency contacts will be sent texts and emails, and 911 will be dialed within 10 seconds. AgentAlarm also allows agents to set a safety check for a specific date and time, and how often they’d like the safety check to check in with them. The code can be entered to either turn it off, or to request that it keep checking in on them.
Agent Alarm LLC has signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, as a national security company. The agreement between the two companies came after an alarming wave of attacks on real estate agents. A serious attack in 2011 on Vivian Martin ended tragically after three men beat and killed her in an abandoned home after posing as prospective buyers. AgentAlarm not only offers the safety app, but is also working with NAREB to implement and Real Estate Safety Plan, that offers safety training sessions to real estate professionals. Additionally, AgentAlarm and NAREB have teamed up to create the Vivian Martin Scholarship Fund that will help families who have lost love ones to senseless acts of violence.
The AgentsArmor app is also a free download, available for iOS and Android devices. It includes a customized pin number, and users the ability to add contacts from their address book on the mobile device. This app allows check-in times to be set every fifteen minutes to every two hours. On several of the main screens of the app, the quick touch 911 button will call 911, and alert emergency contacts that the agent has specified. The button must be tapped twice to avoid accidentally dialing. This app also offers the agent locator, so in the event of a failed check in, or emergency situation, the GPS (once enabled) can track a location, and send it to the specified emergency contacts, law enforcement, or colleagues. This app is also available for the iPad.
Another unique feature of AgentsArmor is that is utilizes the camera on the smart phone, and allows the user to upload images to the AgentsArmor database. This is helpful, in case an agent needs to capture the image of a potential client’s driver’s license, vehicle tag, or even with their permission, an image of the prospect. Only selected contacts, brokers, and law enforcement personnel have access to the database. AgentsArmor also offers a SafeAgent Program used as a training system to form an agent’s own layered defense strategy, at no additional charge.
In addition to following the safety rules that have been set in place for leasing and real estate agents for years, the mobile world of technology is rapidly enhancing the way real estate professionals do business, and also stay safe. Since both mobile apps reviewed are free, leasing and real estate agents are encouraged to test them out (just don’t hit the dial 911 button – it will call). These apps can work in any setting where an individual or agent may feel uncomfortable. Communication is key to becoming proactive with the safety of professionals as well as communities, and these apps help to achieve it.