• Roughly 40 percent of real estate professionals have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety.
  • Homesnap has updated its app for Apple Watch with a safety timer.
  • If the timer expires, a text alert is sent to the emergency contacts that agent has selected.

It’s been estimated that roughly 40 percent of real estate professionals have experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety.

Take stats like that and add in the fact that it’s Realtor Safety Month, and it seems fitting that Homesnap has updated its app for Apple Watch.

A focal feature of the app is its safety timer, which allows an agent to tell the app how long they will be at a showing. The timer can be adjusted or stopped at any time, and it can be seen while viewing the listing or an individual’s profile.

If the timer expires, a text alert is sent to the emergency contacts that agent has selected. The text will include the person’s current address and cellphone number. Users can also send a text in one tap via a distress alert button.

“The timer gives me comfort in knowing that there will be contacts on the receiving end of a distress call who will know what to do based on which type of text they receive,” said Michele Brantley of Weichert Realtors.

Another app Brantley utilizes for safety is Glympse, which lets her spouse or fellow agent know her exact location for a set period of time. She also cited a flashlight with a built-in taser as a useful, dual-purpose safety tool for agents.

According to the National Association of Realtors, at least 13 percent of its members utilize a smartphone safety app. The most commonly utilized apps cited in a recent Member Safety Report included Life360, iPhone Find my Phone feature, bSafe, Guardly and Google Family Locator.

The report also found that the typical member meets 50 percent of their prospective buyers at either a real estate office or a neutral location prior to viewing a home.

“I’m finding that a lot of people actually understand why we either meet in a public place first or why I ask for a copy of their license,” Brantley said.

Email Erik Pisor.

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