While safety is always important in any job, real estate professionals spend more time on the road than most other workers. With this in mind, it's vital for brokers to help their agents stay safe while still doing the job effectively, especially in winter, when roads and weather conditions get dangerous.
With the slower winter months now in full swing, brokers can hold training sessions on the best ways to stay safe when winter conditions get out of hand. Often, that practice should start with proper car maintenance, according to the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness. First, it's crucial for agents to make sure their vehicles are effectively tuned up, with oil changes, battery checks and the like having been taken care of well in advance.
Furthermore, ensuring all lights in or on a vehicle are in working order can be a lifesaver when conditions get dangerous, as can installing winter-specific windshield wipers and tires.
In case of emergency
Agents should make sure their cars are stocked with a good safety or emergency kit. These supplies should include battery-powered devices like radios and flashlights, blankets, jumper cables, fire extinguishers, food, water, cold-weather clothing, a first-aid kit and so on. While agents may not need to use these things, especially if they're accustomed to driving in winter weather, it's better to be safe than sorry.
In addition, it's usually a good idea for agents to keep a bag of sand or kitty litter in their cars, because these can be used to help their cars gain traction when they get stuck in the snow.
Finally, it's important for brokers to let their agents know about safe winter driving habits, like maintaining a slow speed when conditions are hazardous and not following traffic too closely. These recommendations can help agents stay on schedule - especially if they give themselves plenty of time to get where they need to go - and avoid accidents.
For agents who are going to spend time at open houses or at the office this winter, it's critical that they check for safety hazards in and around those buildings, according to Facility Executive. They can start with a walk-through to look for ice, snow or slush that could pose slipping hazards or icicles that might cause an injury.
In these cases, agents might not be able to clear the danger, but they can use signage or other visual cues to alert visitors, owners or others to the potential hazards. Likewise, making sure areas are well-lit so that people know where to step at night can reduce the risk of slips and falls.
One of the best tips for agent safety - at any time of year - is to use common sense and avoid rushing wherever possible. Making sure agents keep this basic advice in mind can prove vital for brokers in the months ahead, as winter weather arrives and complicates the job.
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