Tammy Lankford,, Broker  GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668)

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Ken Jones
Kenneth J. Jones, Inc., REALTORS® - Springfield, NJ
Real Estate Broker/Owner

Tammy Lankford, The only reason I even have an office is because the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, in their infantile and antiquated thinking requires me to have one.

In fact, I only have a broker's trust account because of this same antiquated thinking. But, I NEVER take cash; not even a check. I have buyers make their check payable to either the attorney for the property owner or the title company, which isn't common in New Jersey. 

That said, I haven't worked - or even been - at my office in years.

There's no reason to be there.

I do all of my computer work from home (which is most of my "office" work). And, I meet prospects either at their property or at a public place, like a coffee shop.

When I need to do a contract, I'll either do it on my iPad or fill in the form by hand, if necessary.

As others learned during this COVID-19 BS, you can do just as much at home as you can in an office without wasting the time and money for the office or to go back and forth.

This is going to become the way business is done for the millions who don't already do so.

As for safety procedures, I require taking an iPhone photo of the driver's license of EVERY prospect. If they refuse, no one is allowed to work with them. PERIOD.

The photo is immediately texted to me. And, if it's me out there, I immediately forward it to a dedicated email account that everyone has access to in the event of an emergency situation.

When I lived in AZ, I'd ALWAYS carry either my 0.45 or 9mm, depending on how I was dressed. And, I never allowed anyone to walk behind me. NEVER.

Sorry. Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean someone isn't out to get me.

Oct 12, 2020 12:26 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Ah, a very important topic!

I think agents who do a lot of business with new people (my people are almost all repeat/referral) should absolutely take safety training and learn basic self-defense.

Also, vetting folks before you meet them is critical. If they don't Google to 'who they say they are' and I look up company information etc . . . then I would not go alone to meet them or even meet them at all. 

I cannot confirm or deny that in any unfamiliar situation I may be armed. 

Oct 12, 2020 09:25 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We meet at a café and follow whatever the county says.  Although we have kept our licenses active, we are not listing or seling now...When we were working in commercial real estate, we met at their place of business, which were in class A highrises or buildings they owned.  Safety was never an issue. With prospects, we met in a public place--coffee place again in high end well trafficked areas...A

Oct 12, 2020 09:31 AM
Evelina Tsigelnitskaya
SIB Realty - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
www.SIBRealty.org 305-931-6931

Office. And only office. 


Oct 12, 2020 01:45 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRS, Broker, Instructor
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Yes we work from our home.  All the usual protocols are met when we meet with folks and that's kept everyone safe.  Since we don't meet with strangers but rather referrals or people that already know us, it really makes no difference, we still use the same protocals.

Oct 12, 2020 12:38 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Sadly I must state for the record that in a predator-prey scenarios women remain at a severe disadvantage when going anywhere alone in some places. Even two women are no match for a predator. Weapons won't help either. Extra precautions must prevail over-whelmingly until threat is reduced

Oct 12, 2020 12:00 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

First, I have a regular brick and mortar office in the middle of Carmel-by-the-Sea's commercial district to meet up with clients.  Even if I had a home office, I would not give that information to the public or meet someone there. What safety precautions do I use? I've travelled throughout the world my entire life,  most often alone and have always had to look after myself and did.  Real estate, on my home turf, is easy by comparison.  Best advice: be willing to "get out of there" if you feel in the least threatened.  

Oct 12, 2020 10:25 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

rarely do I meet a potential client without meeting at office first. exceptions are referrals from other clients or business partners and attorney referrals.

Oct 12, 2020 09:37 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Don't do it alone. Meeting strangers, open house or first date, don't do it alone. PERIOD. Full Stop.
Today, business safety takes on a different responsibility. Yes, I hear others when they say 'I need to live my life,' but I also so I will be meeting others that day also. I owe it to the innocent to go beyond the call of duty. This means when I meet strangers the proper protocol is in place. I return home to change clothes and shower before next meet up.  Here in Florida, nearly everyone you meet has a 90 year old in their life. I do.

Now, if an agent has created no relationships that ensure they don't go alone, these agents must meet strangers in public or professional spaces, never in a location selected by the stranger.
I have the good fortune of having Sasquatch alongside. His presence has even eliminated the sexist crap that was tolerated before.
Evil doers are looking for opportunity. Going alone means they are one head knock from opportunity.

Oct 12, 2020 09:58 AM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

I Google potential new clients after the first phone call. During the phone call, I also get a perception of them. If something seems unusual, I pay attention to it and follow up with them before the meeting. In my rural area, I'm not very concerned about safety issues. I do carry animal repellant just in case. I'm usually more worried about a dog bite.

Oct 12, 2020 09:46 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

I go alone, but even when I'm alone I'm never truly alone...

I also do recon to make sure they're the owner on listing appointments.  Buyers can't do recon, but most of mine have been referrals so no recon required there.  I have people who always know where I'm at though and what's going on.

Oct 12, 2020 09:35 AM
Peter Mohylsky. Beach Expert
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

I have never had a bad experience but I do try and vet customers before we meet.  Back in my early days I would rush to meet someone but it is low payoff and sets a bad tone for future meetings.  

Oct 12, 2020 09:21 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

  Hi, Tammy.  Long 6-point answer here:

      Discreetly photograph their automobile and vehicle license tag.  Photograph the person or persons.  Immediately email those photos to a secure email account.  *** Unless you are audio recording someone in Florida, this is totally legal.  There is no "expectation of privacy" on a street in front of a house, or on a front porch visible from the street.  See an attorney for legal advice.

     Apprise the situation before exiting your vehicle or entering an unsecured area.  What is going on around you?  As police officers say, "Have a 360 degree field of vision at all times".  Or, as my Marine Corp son-in-law says, "Stay left of the bang!"

     Have an escape route.  Don't get boxed into a corner of a room or a fenced yard.  Where is the door?   Can you get to it without someone blocking your path?

    Beware of anyone you don't know, regardless of their appearance.   The well-dressed charming sophisticate might be more of a threat than the mean-looking foul-mouthed riffraff that you meet.  

     Carry a weapon.  Know how to use it.  Train and practice on a regular basis.   Be mentally and physically ready to use it.  *** If you are threatened or assaulted, and you point pepper spray or a firearm at an assailant, you cannot  flinch or hesitate even for a moment.  If you lack the fortitude to pull the trigger, then do not carry the weapon.

    Above all:   Stay "prayed up".  Stay physically fit and mentally sharp.  Remember, YOU are your First Responder!


Oct 12, 2020 03:09 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

I do not meet strangers ... I get requests frequently to show a property - often out in remote areas. I respond with ... end me your lender approval letter and proof of funds, and that makes them disappear ... poof - like magic. 

Oct 12, 2020 03:06 PM
Tony Lewis
RE/MAX of Valencia (Hall of Fame) 30 year Valencia Resident - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Santa Clarita & OC Laguna Nigel

I am an older white male working in one of the safest communities in the United States.  I rely on my Faith and really don't concern myself with safety procedures.  It's fortunate and a blessed life.

Oct 12, 2020 12:21 PM
Jerrill Ewing
N & J Lake Properties, LLC - Eatonton, GA


Oct 12, 2020 11:54 AM
Valeria Mola
SIB Realty - Miami, Sunny Isles Beach - Sunny Isles Beach, FL
305-607-0709 SIB Realty Condos for Sale and Rent

We work by appointment only. No walks in

Oct 13, 2020 09:58 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I did just meet a new family at the first home I showed.   Before this happens, I have conversations, have them call the lender or show proof of funds and google the buyers and the cell phone number.

I have an office I take some clients to, but not often, it is out of the way for some buyers.    

Oct 13, 2020 04:54 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

In the old days met people at the office. Before I retired met people at a coffee shop for the first meeting 

Oct 13, 2020 04:21 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Distance away from the prospect helps in the rural location real estate show and tell... the buyer from eight and more hours away reaches out before the trip if they come at all. You know them with the back and forth. Any worry about a "stranger" is removed when they buy without setting foot in the home or walking the land property lines too. More and more we meet in person less and less due to COVID, buyer time constraints and a better job using video production technology. Often we meet the buyer's brother or uncle who lives closer and is from Maine that becomes the extra set of eyes and ears for the online far away buyer.

Oct 13, 2020 04:10 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

ALWAYS meet at the office, even if you do most of your work from home it is wise to meet for the first time at your brokerage office, or at least at a public place.


Oct 12, 2020 11:55 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

I work from both and meet at the downtown office, never at my home office. Cameras catch everyone walking through the door and I also carry.

Oct 12, 2020 05:34 PM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Even as a man, I use safety pre-cautions. Not meeting anyone at vacant homes alone for the 1st time. Parking so i can get out quickly. Never be blocked in. Getting there early and looking around. Carrying protection. Meeting new would be clients at a public place

Oct 13, 2020 06:01 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

I mostly work with people that have been referred to me by people I know well. Periodically I take a self-defense for Realtors® class put on by my firearms instructor. A small canister of pepper spray is a good thing to have if carrying a weapon is mentally uncomfortable. 

Oct 13, 2020 05:53 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I now work from home, Tammy Lankford, 

I meet new buyer and seller clients on Zoom.

I meet new buyer client for the first time, in person, after they have gotten preapproved for a mortgage and filled out the Coronavirus form that explains the expectations, dangers, and restrictions regarding visiting a house that is for sale.

By the time I meet clients in person, I know more about them than I ever did in the past.

Oct 13, 2020 03:11 PM