The safety of real estate professionals is a matter of great relevance. Much better and wise to secure your life than to trash it for a few pennies, money is no good to a dead person.
Recent events in the nation and abroad is putting a spotlight on the safety of realtors. Thoughts are, safety tips provided by NAR and other real estate institutions are way too western to practise in Ghana. Nonetheless, these tips are to be inculcated in our daily activities and to be treated needful for every realtor to practise to ensure safety. The enforcement of these practices in Ghanaian society is based on the compliance of realtors and adherence of the public. I reckon as a fellow realtor, our safety in this industry is key and one which would keep the real estate industry thriving in the next years to come.
Recently, a fellow professional, Mrs Rhodaline Amoah – Darko has been reported missing with a friend. The report shows the friend has been found dead but is still in search of Mrs Rhodaline. Mrs Rhodaline works at the lands commission Kumasi branch and it is known she was picked up together with her friend by a new client requesting a private evaluation of land.
Realtors, it’s a new dawn to wake and stand for genuine practices and command unity of advocacy for the right standards. GREPA and other institutions are going to help advocate and educate the general public to adhere to the new day order, our valued practices! We don’t only have to revisit these values but to keep up, practise and enforce them till it suffers to be the modus operandi of the industry.
NAR is a great resource centre to help realtors find numerous safety tips and a lot more at our disposal with GREPA, other local and international organisations. Below is a modicum of tips :
* Realtors should dedicate time to educate friends, relatives and others in all social gatherings like church, parties, school, offices, shopping malls and others.
* Always bring clients to the office and register them before working with them ( no compromise). Take detailed information about the client and attach to it a copy of any valid ID.
* Stop meeting clients at their preferred locations, rather, agree on a common location, i.e. public grounds, restaurants etc.
* Fix surveillance cameras at your workplace.
* Discourage private meetings or meeting areas. Inform trusted persons of meetings outside your office. Share road trips and live locations with trusted persons.
* Keep pepper spray in your pocket or purses, an act of self-defence. You can also take a self-defence class if possible.
* Better to go in batches, go with a friend or a colleague, trusted persons whenever you are out for a meeting.
* Discourage operating in secrecy. Avoid such dealings.
* When viewing properties, ensure the client stays at your side or before you. Do not make clients stay behind. Stay alert in case of any incoming attack.
* If it is a building, always keep the door behind you open and look out for emergency exits.
* Keep meetings short, fast but detailed. Get to the main points and keep a friendly atmosphere.
* Avoid personal rides from client’s, always meet at the destination point in separate vehicles.
* Water or a non-alcoholic beverage is good for a meeting. Avoid consuming edible items served as gifts from clients at the moment. Take it home before consuming it, it is safe at home but if not sure about it then trash it.
* If the client fails to adhere to these measures, please avoid dealing with them.
An input form is available at the GREPA office to facilitate the collection of client details by realtors before work begins. Clients should look out for these forms in the same format as GREPA provides, to prove the authenticity of the forms, that it is for the sole purpose of collecting data about clients and not a fraudulent act. But, if not obliged, business with realtors would not be effective.
To the general public, please help to propel this initiative by adhering to the values and safety protocols. Request for these forms whenever you need to work with a real estate professional. God bless us all! God bless mother Ghana!!!
Fellow realtors, be advocates to curb this cue and promote these practices to ensure safety and help the industry strive!
Professional member, GREPA
Ghana Real Estate Professionals Association