A licensed agent for eXP Realty in Montclair New Jersey, Darren Klein’s decade in the business has taught him a thing or two about staying safe. We caught up with him and got his 411 on meeting new people safely on the job.
How did you get into real estate?
I’ve been a real estate agent for the past 10 years. I’m a pretty social guy and I have a strong business background, and I love that there’s something new every day. You wear many different hats whether it’s marketing or an inspection and not tied to a desk.
How does safety play into your work?
When I chose this career, I never thought my safety would be an issue. But spend enough time showing homes and you quickly learn it is. I’d say there’s many one realtor out of a hundred who hasn’t been in an uncomfortable situation. Agents and brokers talk a lot about safety, the do’s and don’ts, but the truth is our job is all about meeting people we haven’t met before, and there are situations that can go bad very fast.
Not all of us are showing houses, but be it a work meeting or a date, we all occasionally have meetings with new people in unfamiliar environments. Any tips that you’ve developed on the job?
First off, I only meet people in daylight. I always take my keys out, and I let them walk in front of me, including up and down any stairways. If they want to go to the basement, I say I’m allergic and stay back.
I also used to have a system with my wife: I would let her know when I had a showing, I’d give her the address of the property, and I’d have her call me at a specific time. She would ask me what I wanted for dinner–Chinese food or pizza. If I said Chinese food, she knew that was the signal to call the police.
Now that you have a POM, how do you use it?
I keep the POM in my front pocket and then I keep my hand over the front pocket. It’s very reliable, very discreet, and much less complicated than constantly having to talk about fake dinner plans.