Show us your tech! All August long, Inman will be talking to agents about the best technology they’re using now — everything from their favorite CRM platforms to the hottest 3D tours and everything in between. Plus, Inman tech reviewer Craig Rowe will work overtime on extra product reviews on the latest and greatest tech. And, at Inman Connect Las Vegas we’ll award Inman Innovator Awards to the best of the best.

As market conditions soften, agents become more anxious to meet new leads. 

New business is always good, provided you know a little about the person who asked you to show them a home. Whether a buyer’s agent meeting someone new in a new listing or a seller’s agent fielding a request from an agentless buyer, never let the appeal of a commission trump your common sense for physical safety.

Thankfully, a number of apps and technologies are out there to assist the industry in keeping itself safe from the small contingent of society that has plans that go beyond seeing a house. 

Some of the products listed here are purpose-built for immediate personal protection, and others offer a wider array of features for ensuring more than just physical safety.   

For a comprehensive list of safety tips, review Jay Thompson’s61 safety tips every agent needs.” After that, consider downloading and subscribing to one of the following technology products that emphasize or include agent safety as a feature.

Apps you should know


The product of publicly traded Red Violet Company (RDVT), Forewarn provides almost instant background checks using a person’s phone number.

Users can review the person’s property ownership history, tenure with that particular phone number, vehicle ownership history and, of course, any criminal history, from violent felonies and sex offenses to drug busts and misdemeanors.

Forwarn was recently selected by the Realtors of South Central Kansas as a software partner for its more than 2,500 members.

PeopleSmart is another fast and easy way to verify identities.

HomeSnap Pro

CoStar-owned mobile app HomeSnap Pro uses a timer to help agents automatically alert friends, family or co-workers on an emergency contact list if not turned off before it ends. The app is available for both iOS and Android.


Consistently the highest-rated safety app across all use cases, Noonlight even integrates directly with Tinder.

The interface couldn’t be more simple. To activate the app, hold down the single large button on the screen and wait for a pin number. Upon release, enter the number if safe, don’t if you’re not. The app will notify the police and share your location.

Agents can especially benefit from its Timeline feature, which uses a note, day and time to document activity, perfect to use before a scheduled showing.


This comprehensive digital safety solution is ideal for families as well as on-the-go professionals, like real estate agents. 

The subscription service comes with an array of features that can track members’ current locations among groups of designated people, alert first responders and even share nearby crime reports. 

Once prompted, the app’s pulsing SOS button is ready to quickly send for help when a user is under sudden duress, radiating a call for help to up to five preset contacts.   

Leverage virtual showings

There are other ways to ensure your safety than apps specifically designed for it. If you’re unsure of the person you’re supposed to meet for a showing, ask if they’ll consider viewing a video walkthrough. If the listing material has one, encourage them to view it. 

Dress it up as you wanting to make sure the listing is “worth their valuable time.” 

Use their feedback to determine just how serious they are about seeing properties. If there isn’t a video tour or Matterport digital twin already, arrange with the listing agent to do your own 15-minute preview recording. Be thorough, capture the highlights, add verbal notes, and of course, do your best job to portray the house in its best light.

You can use your mobile device’s native camera, or you can assemble a slick video using Vuse or REVideos, or consider creating a DO Audio Tour that uses your voice to narrate still images. The intent is to give an aspiring “buyer” as much information about a property at arm’s length until you’ve had enough time to fully vet them. 

There are a number of methods you can use to present a listing online before showing in person, Inman’s “Handbook on Digital Home Showings is a great starting point. 

Smartphones and smartwatches

Don’t forget about your most accessible safety tool, your smartphone. (Of course, coverage issues may apply.)

On your later model iPhone, simultaneously holding down the power and a volume button will display a slider to automatically dial 911 after a 5-second countdown.

Your Apple Watch has the same functionality. Simply press the side button to see the 911 slide appear.

Android phones vary but will allow location sharing through Google for specified amounts of time, something you can also do on an iPhone.

On Samsung phones, swipe up to reveal the lock screen and enter 911 on the dial pad. Also, don’t forget to add names to your emergency call list because those folks will be listed on that screen, too.

Remember that no technology product can replace sound judgment and experience. No commission is worth your well-being. Ask a friend to accompany you, tell your seller “no” if needed, and lastly, know that it’s OK to cancel.

If agent safety is something you’re passionate about (and why wouldn’t you be?), consider donating, volunteering or in some way supporting the Beverly Carter Foundation. And, don’t missInman’s Essential Guide to Agent Safety.”

At the end of the day

Although it sure helps a buyer agent to see that ever-critical mortgage pre-approval letter before agreeing to show houses, there isn’t an industrywide best practice to ensure an agent’s physical safety before doing so. That has to change. 

Agents should consider creating task forces or committees, and maybe, under the banner of regional multiple listing services and associations, publishing information about the risks of showing homes before initially meeting someone, which happens far too often. Create and enforce formal standards, and involve the buying public in some way. 

The industry loves paperwork, so how about a “pre-showing identity verification” disclosure? One more form can’t hurt. 

The only people that can enact change on this front are the people on the front — you, the agent.  

Email Craig Rowe.

agent safety
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