A career in real estate offers many rewards. Not only are you helping families buy and sell their homes, but you also stand to enjoy lucrative monetary rewards as well. Unfortunately, it’s also a career that carries quite a few risks as well. The good news is that with attention to detail and careful planning ahead, you can protect yourself from many of these risks, including those listed below.
Cyber Crime/Liability Risks
You can’t watch the news, or view it online, these days without hearing about some major data breach or ruthless bit of malware (malicious software) making its way around the World Wide Web. It’s honestly enough to make your heart bleed, pun intended.
If you’re in any kind of business that deals with the personal information of others, though it should make your blood boil instead. These things all place you at risk for lawsuits related to the cybercrimes committed against you because of the information you have on your clients.
Protecting yourself begins first by investing in cyber liability insurance and second by taking active steps to secure the information you collect from clients, protect your phones and portable devices from theft or risks of theft (password protect and enable capabilities that allow you to remotely wipe information stored on them in the event they are lost or stolen), and follow the laws in your state regarding reasonable efforts to protect client data.
There are two other common liability issues Realtors face in today’s litigious climate. They are general liability insurance issues when homes are damaged by people you’re showing them to or as a result of the foot traffic in and out of the homes is the first type. Next is errors and omissions liability.
Unfortunately, errors and omissions claims are quite costly even when you’re not guilty and simply stand accused of wrongdoing. That’s why it’s so important, in both instances, to protect yourself with general liability insurance and errors and omissions insurance coverage.
Realtors inspect many properties on any given day. Some of these properties are in remote locations and many of them are supposedly empty. However, assuming a property that claims to be empty actually is, would be a mistake. Sometimes, empty properties attract vagrants and squatters as well as disgruntled former owners who will not be at all happy to see you. Other times, homes may be in poor condition and the structure itself poses a risk. Still other times, potential buyers aren’t what they seem to be.
Practice caution at all times when visiting and/or showing properties. Make sure someone knows where you are at all times and when you should return, and bring someone with you when showing homes whenever possible. Also schedule showings during daylight hours and avoid giving out your home address or phone number.
Real estate is a field with a great deal of potential to people who play it safe. These tips will certainly help you mitigate some of the bigger risks facing real estate professionals today.