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Rural Safety Tips

 

Safety involves humans, animals, weather, situations, and more. Below are safety points from land professionals on safety in the rural environment. Some of these suggestions are appropriate for real estate professionals in all areas of real estate.

 

Driving

  1. Don’t talk on the phone, write, and drive at the same time. Likewise, don’t drive, look at a map, or take photos while driving with your knee.
  2. Use DOT construction maps/road updates to save time and prevent ending up in an unfamiliar area, being in an area where one prefers not to be, or being on a road closed due to snow or other natural disasters.
  3. Always have car keys easily accessible and lock car doors. All equipment, briefcases, and other items should be placed in the trunk.
  4. Don’t crest a hill on a gravel road while on a cell phone in the middle of the road.
  5. Drive a vehicle that can handle rough terrain and mud.

 

Dogs

  1. When driving into a rural area, wait a bit before getting out of the car to give dogs plenty of time to come to the truck and adjust. Talk to them out of the window before departing the vehicle.
  2. Some might find comfort in carrying a weapon to protect themselves in case they encounter an extremely aggressive situation. This might happen in the woods or rural areas.
  3. When making an appointment to view a rural property, ask the owner if they have dogs, if the animals are friendly, and what their names are. Ask the owner to put the dogs in a barn, kennel, or other shelters if they believe the dogs are not friendly. Consider asking the owners to be on the premises when arriving at a property with dogs.

 

Snakes

  1. Wear boots and keep them available in your truck or vehicle to wear for protection.
  2. If a rock needs to be turned over, pick up the side facing away.
  3. Consider carrying a weapon, such as a firearm.

 

Personal Safety

  1. Use common sense and do not get close to animals who do not know you.
  2. Have a cell phone in hand with safety numbers plugged in for easy dialing.
  3. Attempt to obtain names, residence—city and state—cell number, office, home phone numbers, occupation, and make, model and color of vehicles for unknown prospective buyers or lessees land. Inform them in advance of the make, model and color of the practitioner’s vehicle.
  4. Share this information with someone you work with, including the property location and time of appointments.
  5. Always have your phone charged.
  6. Carrying a can of hornet spray is a good defense, easy to use, and very effective when sprayed in the face. Carry mace or a weapon.
  7. If it doesn’t feel right, get out of there!
  8. When going into a basement, let the client go downstairs first or let them go alone and stay on the main floor. Always leave yourself an exit strategy.
  9. If you feel uncomfortable in doing something — your intuition is an asset — don’t do it. Trust your instincts.
  10. Besides giving a colleague, friend, or partner a map, address, and owner’s name, have that person call you 10 minutes after you should have arrived for the appointment; have a code word that would signal a problem, but that wouldn’t give away that you are using the code if someone is listening.
  11. When working with strangers, have them walk in front of you.
  12. Know what some of the materials are to make meth and what they look like. If you see evidence of this type of material, leave and contact law enforcement.
  13. If a firearm is carried, make sure that lessons have been taken and the appropriate licenses have been applied for and granted. Only use when you know that your life is in danger.

Take safety seriously!

Article posted from NAR (www.nar.realtor/safety/rural-safety-tips) originally written by Terri Jensen, ALC Advanced, 2015 REALTORS® Land Institute National President

4 Danger Zones in Your Daily Work Routine

 

Crimes against real estate professionals have risen 300% since 2006, data shows. These business practices may make you most vulnerable.

Janet Rodriguez Judd is the 2022 chair of NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Advisory Committee.  She was also the first female police officer hired by her department in St. Louis County in the early 1980s. Judd shared the four danger zones that real estate professionals can encounter during the course of their business day and how to minimize the associated risk.

 

 

Danger Zone Number One: Your Vehicle

Real estate professionals are often distracted by their phones when exiting or walking to their cars. Criminals see that distraction as an opportunity to attack.

Safety Tips:

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings. Park in a well-lit area with people and other cars nearby, if possible.
  2. Pull through on parking spaces for a faster exit.
  3. Be alert between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., which is when most carjackings occur.
  4. Keep your passenger doors locked when you enter your vehicle.

Judd advised real estate professionals to be aware of their surroundings and look for the “pink squirrel”—that is, anything that’s noticeably out of place. “If you see someone wearing a heavy coat in the summertime, that’s unusual,” Judd explained. “That coat could be hiding weapons.”

Danger Zone Number Two: Your Office

The office may seem like a safe place, but predators could be watching to see when you’re left alone.

Safety Tips:

  1. Keep the front and back doors of your office locked, and make sure the doors have locks with keys—and not just levers.
  2. Have a lock on your personal office door. Coordinate with office management if you don’t have one.
  3. Keep your phone fully charged at all times.
  4. Know how to work the emergency sequence on your phone.
  5. Speak in a loud voice and be assertive if someone catches you by surprise.

Because criminals are looking for vulnerabilities, speaking and acting with authority could make an intruder back down, Judd said. “Create boundaries. Don’t appear weak or subservient.”

Danger Zone Number Three: Showing a Property

Predators have been known to target individual agents, learning about them through their social media presence and scheming to meet them alone. Maintaining control and adhering to your company’s established safety protocols can help weed out the bad apples.

Safety Tips:

  1. Ask clients to come to the office first. Those with criminal intent may refuse and become angry—signs that you’re dealing with a predator.
  2. Don’t park in the driveway. You can be blocked in.
  3. Always keep your keys and your phone on you. Don’t set them down on a table.
  4. Never turn your back on a prospect.
  5. Avoid spaces with no other exit, such as basements. They can be traps.

Judd observed that real estate professionals may also consider running background checks on prospective clients. However, she cautioned that if you run a background check on one prospect, then you should run them for all. “Otherwise, you could potentially create a fair housing violation,” she said.

Danger Zone Number Four: Conducting an Open House

Predators also can target an individual agent through open houses. If you notice that a prospective client has appeared at several of your open houses but hasn’t made any offers, that could be a red flag.

Safety Tips:

  1. Let prospects lead the way into individual rooms. You can stay by the door.
  2. Establish escape routes from every level of the house.
  3. Have a bell attached to the front door so you can hear when someone enters.
  4. Call a buddy or the office on a regular, timed basis.

The end of an open house is potentially the most dangerous time of the event. “People can hide in drapes, closets, showers,” Judd said. “Be sure to talk to someone on the phone while you are checking the house.”

 

Reproduced from REALTOR® Magazine

SCCAOR Members have reported cases of vandalism to vacant homes on the market.
Be on alert and notify your sellers.

Members have alerted SCCAOR about recent acts of vandalism where vandals are breaking into homes on the market to hold parties in the vacant properties.  Notify your sellers of the potential threat and ask them to practice safety measures to secure their homes.

Visit www.sccaor.com/safety to access important safety resources.
September is REALTOR® Safety Month, but we practice safety year-round!

Check the SCCAOR calendar frequently for Safety Classes & Webinars.

In September, we will be partnering with NAR to bring you daily tips and best practices from the REALTOR® Safety Program to keep you safe.  The goal of the program is to empower you and help reduce the number of incidents in the industry.

We can accomplish this goal together!
Click below to follow our social channels and view daily safety postings.

 

After conducting extensive interviews with potential candidates for the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors and Officers, our Nominating Committee has selected the following candidates to serve as the Association Leaders in 2023. 

 

Petition: Candidates for officers or directors, other than those candidates selected by the Nominating Committee, may be nominated by written petition on a form from SCCAOR. You may pick up the petition form at SCCAOR. The petition must be signed by 150 or more REALTOR® members in good standing and be delivered to the Chief Executive Officer at SCCAOR no later than noon on July 21.  If you have any questions, please contact Alma Moreno or Neil Collins at (408) 445-8500.

 

Officer Candidates selected by the Nominating Committee:

  • William Chea, President
  • Michelle Perry, President-Elect (2023 President-Elect – will automatically become 2024 President)
  • Kraig Constantino, Vice-President
  • William Rehbock, Secretary/Treasurer

 

Director Candidates selected by the Nominating Committee:

  • Joe Brown
  • Terese Ferrara
  • Laura Welch
  • Jen Beehler
  • Lisa Faria *
  • Margo Sparks – SCRA Representative**

 

The 2022 SCCAOR Nominating Committee was comprised of:

  • Sandy Jamison, Vice-Chairperson (Past President 2020)
  • Doug Goss, Vice-Chairperson (Past President 2021)
  • Gustavo Gonzalez, (Past President 2019)
  • Ryan Alter, (Current Board of Directors)
  • Carl San Miguel, (Past President 2000 & 2013)
  • Steve Hanleigh, (Past President 2002)
  • John Pinto, (Past President 1990)
  • Mike Bui (SCCAOR Member)
  • Shivangi Mishra (SCCAOR Member & DEI Chair)
  • Nancy Robinson (SCCAOR Member)
  • Hassan Sabbagh (SCCAOR Member)
  • Sondra Weber (SCCAOR Member)
  • Jennifer Rutherford, (SCCAOR Member)

 

* Per SCCAOR policy, the immediate Past President is given a three-year term.

**Per SCCAOR Bylaws, one director shall be designated by the South County REALTORS® Alliance to serve a one-year term from January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023.

Download Slate Card

The results of the June 7th Primary Elections will dramatically shift the political direction of local politics for the following term and beyond.

The SCCAOR Local Candidate Recommendation Committee has been hard at work, investing time and energy interviewing candidates for San Jose Mayor, San Jose City Council, Santa Clara County Supervisor, and Santa Clara District Attorney. The 2022 SCCAOR-Endorsed candidates were selected as the best and most effective candidates that align with REALTOR® priorities and property rights.

On June 7th, please vote for the SCCAOR-Endorsed candidates!

Click HERE to find your vote center, a sample ballot, and other information from the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters.

– The Government Affairs Team @ SCCAOR

YOU can make a difference. Vote.

Questions? Email advocacy@sccaor.com

On Wednesday, April 27th, over 2400 REALTORS® gathered for the 2022 California Association of REALTORS® Legislative Day in Sacramento, CA.

This year, AB 2710 was designated a “Red Hot Issue” by C.A.R. and all Legislative Day attendees appealed to their local lawmakers to oppose this legislation that would have stripped homeowners of their property rights.

SCCAOR is proud to announce that after a full day of legislator meetings, the author of AB 2710 decided to pull his bill from Committee, a great success for the REALTOR® Party of California.
If enacted, AB 2710 would prohibit rental property owners from offering their property for sale unless they first offered it to “qualified entities” such as nonprofit organizations and local governments. C.A.R. opposed the bill because it would have harmed small property owners in the following ways:
  1. It would interfere with the ability of property owners with urgent personal circumstances to sell quickly, making them wait several months before they could offer to anyone besides a “qualified entity”.
  2. It would reduce homeownership opportunities for working families by prohibiting properties from initially entering the open market.
  3. It would place undue financial hardship on rental property owners as they would be forced to continue paying their mortgage and other property expenses for months because they would be prohibited from selling on the open market while a “qualified entity” considers making an offer.
  4. It would expose small property owners to cumbersome procedures and to possibly costly and time-consuming lawsuits.

Throughout the day, REALTOR® associations hosted their state lawmakers for meetings on this topic to lobby against the measure and share how the bill would harm property rights, the real estate industry, and REALTOR® livelihoods. We at the Santa Clara County Association of  REALTORS®, in collaboration with SAMCAR and SILVAR, hosted Senator Dave Cortese, Senator Josh Becker, Assemblymember Alex Lee, and Assemblymember Evan Low.

SCCAOR extends a big thank you to all REALTORS® for participating in Virtual Legislative Day on March 2nd and the 2022 Legislative Day on April 27th. When we come together in size and strength, we can achieve positive results in support of private property rights.
#StrongerTogether

SCCAOR will hold the first General Membership Meeting of the year on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022.

Special guest, City of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, will outline his plans for his last year in office and share his outlook for the future of San Jose.

Click here to register.

Register early to secure your spot
On the agenda:
  • Welcome by President Lisa Faria & CEO Neil Collins
  • C.A.R. updates presented by C.A.R. Regional Director, Sandy Jamison
  • Updates from our new SCCAOR Government Affairs Director, Gina Zari
  • Recognition of Legacy Members** with a milestone pin and certificate
  • Celebration of the 2021 REALTOR® of the Year, Kelly Hunt, and of all the 2021 ROY Nominees
  • Q&A, details for 2022 Legislative Day, a Sneak Peek of upcoming signature SCCAOR events, and more…

Questions for Mayor Liccardo, SCCAOR President Lisa Faria, SCCAOR Staff, or questions in general?

submit your questions in advance and we’ll address them during the meeting.

You’ll also have a chance to submit questions in the Zoom chat so register now to get your link for the GenMem meeting.

**We have limited seats reserved for our Legacy Members to attend in-person.
Email events@sccaor.com to inquire about availability.

It is impossible to look back on the past year without mentioning the impact COVID has made on our lives. I am proud of the progress we have made together, despite the many challenges.  When I was installed as your 2021 SCCAOR President in January of this year, we lived in a very different world than we did when I began as President-Elect in January of 2020.

The landscape for the Real Estate Industry continues to change at an unprecedented rate, but we continue to evolve and pivot to navigate unchartered territory.  Collectively, we persevered through countless challenges, and I am extremely proud of our accomplishments.

Through the course of the year, we launched hybrid classes and meetings including the Board of Directors and Committee Meetings, and returned to in-person events.  We successfully hosted the Annual Golf Tournament, the Member Appreciation BBQ, fundraisers in support of the Down Payment Assistance Fund, a live Pumpkin Auction to benefit Katherine R. Smith Elementary School, and our Member Appreciation Holiday Mixer.

To strengthen and expand the relationships between SCCAOR and the Broker Community, we moderated three Broker Forums this year, which were held via Zoom. Although we were limited to a virtual setting, we laid a strong foundation for future forums.

In 2021, we also brought back the SCCAOR Education Committee and, with the hard work of staff and the committee, have expanded class offerings for our members.  Another highlight this year is the establishment of a new SCCAOR Committee, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. This new committee will bring more diversity into the leadership of SCCAOR.

Our Leadership Team also completed a thorough review of all SCCAOR’s policies, updating them so they are just as relevant today as when they were initially established. We also purged several policies that were no longer relevant.

After completing the policy review, we took on the long-overdue project of identifying our Core Values. Through an intensive process, we settled in on the following Core Values: Welcoming, Dedicated, and Dynamic. These three values are very representative of SCCAOR’s culture and will help keep future leadership and staff focused.

Our Santa Clara County REALTOR® Foundation is setting up a First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance Program.  After receiving a $50,000 grant from C.A.R.’s Housing Affordability Fund, we matched the grant with funds from our Foundation to launch a $100,000 DPA Fund that will assist first-time homebuyers to start to build wealth through homeownership.

As I bid you farewell as SCCAOR President, I join a prestigious list of Past Presidents. I will continue my service on the Board of Directors and will support 2022 President Lisa Faria through the next chapter in SCCAOR’s history.

It is certain that we do not know what the future holds. However, I am confident that through the leadership of the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs, along with the support of a dedicated SCCAOR staff, we can remain optimistic that we will continue to accomplish great things together.

To the 6,500+ REALTOR® and Affiliate Members of SCCAOR, I thank you for the trust you placed in me to lead and guide our Association over this past year.

Sincerely,

Doug Goss
2021 SCCAOR President

The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® is pleased to announce the promotion of Jodee Sousa to Director of Education and Events.

“I am honored to be promoted to Director of Education and Events at SCCAOR.  Making events fun and education beneficial for our membership has always been my passion, and I look forward to many more years to come as part of the SCCAOR Family,” said Jodee Sousa.

Neil Collins, SCCAOR CEO shared, “Jodee has been an incredible addition to the team.  Starting with us over four years ago as an Events Coordinator, she has advanced to Manager, and now to the Director of Education and Events.  She works so hard for the members and truly loves what she does.  Her promotion is well deserved.”

SCCAOR is thrilled to announce that Brenda Hernandez has joined SCCAOR as the new Special Events Coordinator. Hernandez will work under our Education & Events Director, Jodee Sousa, to assist with SCCAOR events.

“I am excited to work as a team with SCCAOR and ready to meet new SCCAOR members,” shared Brenda Hernandez.  Hernandez joins SCCAOR after spending over ten years in the real estate industry.  She also shared, “I am ready to host great and fun events at SCCAOR!”

“SCCAOR is lucky to welcome Brenda to our SCCAOR Family. I am looking forward to working with her as she plans events and more for our members,” shared Jodee Sousa.