Having been an estate agent in a past life, I know all too well how certain client facing situations can leave you feeling somewhat concerned for your safety, both in and out of the office.
Recent articles and key dates relating to the Suzy Lamplugh case have reignited the need to ensure safety at work is still and will always remain a crucial part within the industry.
We work in an environment where employees, workers, staff are constantly out on the road visiting properties and meeting new people. There’s no doubt that our type of work is fun and hugely satisfying; ‘It’s become a lifestyle not a job’. But as we all work incredibly long hours, and during the winter months well into the evening when the sun sets far too early, it can be easy to slip into a state of complacency and avert our attention away from what is most important; The safety of you and your colleagues.
We are naturally compelled to be as friendly and engaging as possible. As an employer, promoting this approach to varying age groups and experience levels within your business is a must, but on the other side we cannot ignore the need to set boundaries and promote strict policies which ensures safety in a continuously conscious way.
Have a look at the below for some helpful guidance on some things you can put into your ‘Safety at Work’ policy:
- Never forget the importance of customer qualification!
When registering an applicant or taking details from a potential client never forget to take full contact details; Name, Address/es, Phone numbers including Landlines, Email addresses etc. This is imperative, why not call back 5 minutes later and double check the information?
- Ask as many questions as YOU like!
Find out as much as possible from the customer, get a feel for them and get comfortable; Where do they work, do they have a family, what hobbies do they have? Finding out this personal information should not only be asked in effort to build rapport but to make sure you are happy knowing you are meeting a genuine and interactive person. Anyone who is reluctant or not agreeable to giving information should be made aware to senior management to take over the decision to deal with them or not.
- Familiarise yourself with your surroundings!
Being in a property alone with one or more people can become intimidating at times. The ‘public’ have different personality traits and behaviours which may not match your own. Experiences like this can become uncomfortable, so make sure you arrive at the property early, have a walk around and know your exits. Ensure you have a clear pathway to outside and don’t feel like you are blocked in.
- Don’t feel like you’re an inconvenience!
If you ever feel unsure and concerned about meeting someone in advance, upon meeting them outside the property or even during the viewing/meeting tell someone. Prepare a company phrase or ‘safe word’ which can be used in these situations. Making this known to everyone in the organisation and reviewing safety procedures regularly is essential. Never be afraid to tell someone you are uncomfortable.
- Share your movements!
No doubt we are in a competitive industry both internally and externally, however you must share your movements at all times even if it means jeopardising a ‘deal’. Use your office diary and include full details of the person you are meeting and give an expected time of return so all your colleagues know where you are. Regularly update and communicate your location to your team and management, if someone is later than the meeting time then tell someone, don’t assume everyone knows!
To find out more about the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and the important work they do to promote and support safety at work, visit https://www.suzylamplugh.org/
Veco™ by Eurolink have developed a mobile application; ‘Veco™ Connect’ which has built in safety features including:
– The ability to instantly and discreetly notify your colleagues of a situation where you may feel unsafe arises by shaking your mobile device
– The app has direct connectivity to your Veco™ software including personal and office diaries allowing you to know where your colleagues are at all times
– You have the ability to ‘check in and out’ of appointments when out of the office giving accurate notifications of your movements
For more information please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0844 335 2545.