When I started in real estate four years ago, I did so in a new city where I didn’t know a single person other than my husband, as we had recently relocated to Chicago for my husband’s job. Given I didn’t know anyone or the city in general, I sat open houses for other agents every weekend on both Saturday and Sunday to grow my business. While I surprisingly enjoyed doing open houses, I was always very nervous about my safety while at open houses. I would make sure I had two exit routes, carried mace in my pocket, wore flats so I could run if needed, and stayed near the door during the open houses, but I still never felt safe. My husband and I even had a system where he would text me every 15 minutes to make sure I was ok, and if I didn’t respond within five minutes, he would call the police.
A year ago my husband and I had our first child, and I decided I wasn’t comfortable doing open houses regularly anymore, as the risk of something happening to me wasn’t worth the reward with a little one who needs me to come home at night. The problem is that I do really well at open houses. On average, I close one deal from each open house I hold, so not doing open houses has a huge impact on my business.
Fortunately, I stumbled across an amazing new company named Occly, which is part of NAR’s Reach Accelerator program. Occly is a wearable personal safety device which takes photos, video, and audio recordings when turned on and sends it to the cloud, so if I were to be attacked a record of exactly who attacked me would instantly be available, which would hopefully allow the police to find me quicker if I’m abducted. They also have an app I keep on my phone where if I feel like I’m in danger I simply hit a button and both the police and my husband are immediately called. And a cool new feature is coming out where if I’m wearing the device and am pushed down suddenly, the device will detect my unusual movement and call the police for me.
I still carry mace and have my exit routes available, but with Occly I now feel more confident doing open houses that if needed I can instantly reach the police with a tap of one button and that the police can have immediate access to video of my attacker, if needed. Unfortunately, in this day and age we need to do more to protect ourselves.
What do you do to insure you come home safely at night?