The 10-Second Rule

One of the most common reasons that people find themselves in dangerous situations is that they weren’t paying attention. Take a few precious seconds during the course of your day to assess your surroundings.

Take 2 seconds when you arrive at your destination.

  • Is there any questionable activity in the area?
  • Are you parked in a well-lit, visible location?
  • Can you be blocked in the driveway by a prospect’s vehicle?

Take 2 seconds after you step out of your car.

  • Are there suspicious people around?
  • Do you know exactly where you’re going?

Take 2 seconds as you walk towards your destination.

  • Are people coming and going or is the area unusually quiet?
  • Do you observe any obstacles or hiding places in the parking lot or along the street?
  • Is anyone loitering in the area?

Take 2 seconds at the door.

  • Do you have an uneasy feeling as you’re walking in?
  • Is someone following you in?

Take 2 seconds as soon as you enter your destination.

  • Does anything seem out of place?
  • Is anyone present who shouldn’t be there or who isn’t expected?

Safety in Just 10 Seconds

It takes just 10 seconds to scope out your surroundings and spot and avoid danger. Make this “ten-second scan” a habit in your everyday work as a real estate professional. Then share it with someone else.


(Source: “What You Can Do About Safety,” REALTOR® Magazine, September 2000. Courtesy Night Owl/Vector Security, Landover, MD.)

This article is part of the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Safety Resources Kit.

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