Fans of Kensa Inspections know the three main themes of every home inspection: Safety, Water, and Big-Ticket Items. This framework helps answer our signature question, “Will you be Warm, Safe, and Dry?” The safety portion is for things like loose railings, exposed electrical wires, and a lengthy list of similar items. It’s the top priority every time, and is naturally focused on the property. But what about personal safety, especially for REALTORS® and Real Estate Salespersons (Agents)?
There are numerous examples of Agents being targeted for various crimes, especially at showings, and in a few cases even kidnapped and murdered. Last year, a family dispute resulted in a home inspector being shot and killed. There’s no need to rehash all the details here. The problem is serious, and the danger is real. The good news is that there are many steps we can take to help ensure everyone’s personal safety when visiting a property.
If you search for ‘safety’ on the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) website you’ll quickly see from their extensive content on the topic that it’s a key area of concern for NAR. For example, they have a Safety Advisory Committee, a REALTOR® Safety Network, training videos, best practices, a Safety Strategy Plan, and more. That’s because Agents routinely face an array of safety concerns at every showing, every open house… and every home inspection.
Kensa Steps Up
As Kensa’s founder and an experienced inspector, I believe the home inspection industry is far behind other groups such as NAR in playing an active role to help ensure personal safety during property visits. Inspectors must put a similar emphasis on this vital issue, and we are in a perfect position to be helpful. To that end, I recently sent an email to a large group of Agents I know well, and to the broader South Shore REALTORS® Association membership (I’m an Affiliate member there), asking for input on how I can help them be safer by leveraging my role as the home inspector.
I have always been hyper-aware of personal safety in general, especially for women, such as volunteering for two years at a domestic violence shelter where I played with the kids so that the moms could do other things. From secret locations to physical access protocols, that environment is the epitome of personal protection. Even so, it was very helpful to hear firsthand about things that women Agents in particular deal with and do constantly, such as always being the last to enter a room so that the exit path isn’t blocked; or being approached by a stranger while locking up an empty house; and so many more. There was a clear consensus on a few things like that.
Their thoughtful feedback and helpful suggestions provided great clarity, and served as a powerful reminder of the constant vigilance Agents must maintain in their ongoing efforts to stay safe. The invaluable input also formed the basis for a new offering from Kensa.
Kensa Inspections officially announces today a new safety assistance service available for every Agent at every appointment, for both buyers and sellers. This is our Inspection Security Plan, designed with you and for you, the Agents:
- As part of my normal early arrival process, I will check the grounds and exterior for any safety concerns.
- When you arrive to unlock, I will offer to go through the home alone first to make sure it’s really empty. This is especially relevant for homes that have been vacant for some time.
- I will not enter the home without your explicit permission, so that I have an indication that you’re comfortable.
- While we are at the property I will maintain a safe distance as needed, such as an adjoining room.
- When the inspection is complete, I will offer to stay until you are done locking up and safely in your car. I will also provide any assistance you request for that process.
This service will be built into every inspection, so you don't have to request it or do anything extra. It wioll simply happen. Also, it certainly includes our mutual clients, their friends and family, sellers and tenants, basically anyone at the inspection. But Agents have a unique role in the process, so you get extra energy and attention from me to help address your individual safety needs.
This strategy will evolve over time. If there is something not mentioned here that would be helpful to you as an Agent (some security measures aren’t disclosed), please just ask. My default answer is Yes!
BEYOND BARE BASICS
With Kensa, you get a lot more than just some indifferent guy doing the minimal effort required, who doesn’t even want to talk to anyone during the inspection. You get someone who passionately and actively cares about the personal well-being of everyone involved.