Tips for REALTOR® Safety

September is REALTOR® Safety Month and all of us here at First International Title desire that everyone be protected and intentional about their individual safety.

For real estate agents, that is an everyday task as they are continuously advertising their services online, showing properties, making listing appointments, and hosting open houses. Here are a few practical reminders and tips for the real estate agent to stay safe in every situation.

Don’t Do it Alone
When you host open houses, consider bringing at least one other person that you know and trust with you. If another realtor at your firm is unable to come along, your lenders and First International Title partners should be willing to help you as well.

Have all of the open house visitors sign in with at least their name and phone number and check all of the rooms at the end before you lock up to ensure that everyone has left.

Show During the Day
Try to show properties during the daytime. If you have to show in the evening, arrive at the house early and turn on all of the lights and be sure to keep blinds and curtains completely open.

Let People Know Where You Are
Whether it’s your significant other, a coworker, or a friend, let at least one person know where you will be at what time, especially if you’re out past sunset.

You may even consider downloading a GPS tracking app, such as Life360, to allow your spouse or trusted friend see where you are at all times.

Keep Them In Front
When showing houses, keep the potential buyers in front of you and direct them to where they need to go. For example, stay slightly behind them and say, “the kitchen is through this hallway to the right.” This avoids any surprises happening behind your back.

Lock It Up
When showing houses or hosting open houses, lock your car while you’re inside. Keep minimal amounts of your valuable belongings on you, aside from your cell phone. Hide your wallet or purse in your trunk or under a seat and leave it in the car the entire time.

Check Your Surroundings
Always be aware of what’s happening around you. Before you enter a house, take 10-15 seconds to scope the area. Make sure there are no suspicious cars sitting around, someone watching you, or a person hiding. Also, have knowledge of where the closest exits, or “escape routes,” are so that you’re able to leave quickly if needed. Finally, ensure that your cell phone has enough battery life and service if you need to make a quick call.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
As you’re showing properties or going to an open house, ask the neighbors to keep an eye out around the house for anything that looks out of place. Let them know why you’re there and that you just want to keep everyone safe and out of harm’s way.

Protect Your Emails and Personal Information
Real Estate is one of the largest targets when it comes to online hacking and phishing. Do not accept wiring instructions from someone other than your title company and always call to confirm the instructions before sending the funds.

If you are questioning the legitimacy of an email, go with your gut. Call the supposed sender of the email and ask if they actually sent it. If you have no idea who the sender is, move that email to spam and do not click on any links asking for or to “update” your personal information. If you are unsure about a link in an email, hover the curser of your mouse over the link and it will show what the hyperlink actually is. If it shows something other than what the email is saying, don’t click it.

For more information about email fraud and what First International Title is doing to keep your information safe, contact your local office today!

The National Association of REALTORS® also offers many tools and safety resources for agents and they can be found at


Questions? Comments? Reach out to your First International Title rep!

The 10 Best Real Estate Apps

We know that real estate agents strive to offer the best service to their clients in any real estate transaction. Whether your clients are selling their home and/or buying a new one, there are numerous apps that can be handy in almost any situation. Here is the list of the 10 best real estate apps to help you, the Realtor®, stay organized and also ensure your clients have the best transaction possible.

Click the app icons below to download!

This app allows you to take photos of any home in order to capture special details about each home someone is considering buying. Once you take a snapshot of a particular house, the app will display home value estimates, interior photos, number of beds and baths, taxes, related schools, school ratings, and more. You’re also able to search for open houses by date. For real estate agents, Homesnap helps you keep track of the homes you’ve discussed with buyers all in one place. It also organizes all of your listings on one page.

This app helps real estate agents schedule and manage their showings and provide feedback on properties. You can search for listings by specific locations, share listing activity with your clients, alert the sellers once the showing is completed, and you can sync these appointments with your personal calendar. ShowingTime also has an offline mode, so you are still able to access important information. The app’s description states that ShowingTime products (available via the app) are used in more than 250 MLS’s across North America, representing more than 750,000 members.

Real Estate Dictionary
This app is especially helpful for newer agents who are not familiar with real estate jargon. Even for seasoned realtors, the Real Estate Dictionary can be helpful when you’re on the go and need to explain a term or process with your clients. Learn about all aspects of the real estate industry, including commercial, residential, and industrial developments, risk analysis, investments, finance, market analysis, law, and more. You can even quiz yourself on your real estate knowledge.

Panorama 360
This app allows you to take high quality panoramic images and share them on social media. This can be useful while showing houses and you send them to your buyers. Or sharing photos of your listing on MLS, social media, email, etc. looking for a potential buyer.

Sherwin Williams, ColorSnap® Visualizer
With this app’s “Paint a Scene” feature, you can literally try a different paint color on any wall to get a vision of what it would look like. The app’s description says, “You can use augmented reality or a photo of your space, tapping the wall to change its color instantly.” Help your clients stay organized and figure out exactly what they’re looking for in their home with the Sherwin Williams app.

Just like the desktop version of Dropbox, the app allows you to access your files in a protected environment. You can also share your folders with others, use the document scanner to turn notes and receipts into PDFs, and you can sync and edit your files with Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

Ready for some DIY projects? The Houzz app helps you improve and design the interior and exterior of your home. Houzz has you covered, whether you are building, remodeling, or decorating. Look through millions of photos to find inspiration. You can also save photos and share with others.

Houzz has millions of products available to purchase as well, such as furniture, cabinets, lighting, tiles, etc. You can discuss projects with other users, share ideas, and give each other feedback all through the app.

Skip the lengthy conversation and get sent directly to someone’s voicemail when you use the SlyDial app. This is especially helpful for when you are short on time, but need to get important information to your client, lender, or title office. The app takes you straight to their voicemail to leave a message. It also has a group messaging feature, which allows you to send a voicemail to up to ten people at once.

This app automatically tracks when you’re driving and logs your business miles. This saves you time as you no longer have to physically jot down each mile you drove showing houses or running errands for a client. Simply swipe left for personal trips and swipe right for business trips. You can run a report at the end of the year, allowing you to be prepared for tax season. The free version allows 40 drives per month and you can choose to upgrade to have unlimited logged drives.

FirstInAgent ONE
First International Title’s newly updated real estate app helps you with on-the-spot questions from clients, such as “How much will I need to bring to closing?” or “Should I continue renting or can I afford to buy a house?” Closing costs estimates, Rent vs. Buy, Net Sheets, marketing flyers, photo filters, and so much more that you can share on social media, or text and email directly to your clients. It’s real estate in the palm of your hand! Download it for free or pay $1 per month for the premium version.


All apps are available on Google Play for Android download.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to your First International Title Sales Executive today!