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Every South African is acutely aware of the need to remain vigilant of their personal safety. This is, unfortunately, something that every property professional has been tragically reminded of this past week.

Michelle Dickens, MD of TPN, shares six safety tips that every property professional should consider. “These are simple steps you can take to stay safe and still continue to thrive in our industry,” she says.  

Tip 1: Share your electronic calendar

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Tip 2: Be careful of last minute changes

Warning signs should light up if the location of the appointment is changed at the last minute. You should never agree to meeting at an alternative location and then driving to the meeting venue together.

Tip 3: Verify the identity of the person you are meeting through the credit bureau

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You are within your rights to verify the identity of the person you are meeting, provided it is with their consent. This includes confirming that personal information such as their phone number and current employment details match up with the identity number provided. If a fraudulent identity number has been given, the credit bureau will pick it up immediately.

Tip 4: Don’t be swayed into helping someone who appears vulnerable

Where the vulnerability of a person is used to manipulate you into doing something you would not usually do, take it as a warning sign that something untoward may be unfolding. Do not be swayed by children or stories of personal drama of any nature. Remember that someone who is out to lure you to a potential crime scene will do or say anything to get you there.

Tip 5: Take someone with you

If you are meeting an owner to secure a mandate for the first time or your appointment is at an empty house, simply take someone with you. This is an easy-to-implement safety factor that should be a non-negotiable, every time.

Tip 6: Download a personal safety app

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Set up a personal safety app on your phone which allows you to alert your network of friends, family and co-workers.

Download these apps today

Cell 411: allows users to quickly contact groups of friends and family members. It provides GPS coordinates to your group to the current location, directions to the location and live streams video.

Watch Over Me: you can alert the app when you are in a vulnerable position so it can watch over you and track your location. If you don’t tap ‘I’m Safe’ before the time runs out, your loved ones get an alert and your exact location.

Find Me: allows you to send friends your GPS or network location and provides directions to you. It has an aerial or street view mode to help friends find you and shares your speed, altitude, longitude, and latitude.

Be Safe: lets multiple family members and friends see where you are at a time of your choice and sends alerts to them when you arrive at your destination. It will also notify your loved ones if you are running behind schedule.

These are tips that could save your life, and should really be implemented by every South African.

REBOSA wish to express our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the late RE/MAX Masters agent, Hanlie Lategan.

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