During the early 1970s Verizon (then New York Telephone Co. a subsidiary of AT&T) started negotiations with The Communications Workers of America and the National Labor Relations Board with the purpose of designating "Two Man Areas" in and around New York City. These Two Man Areas were determined by the crime rate, the availability of drugs and the overall environment of the area. Ultimately these Two Man Areas were written into the labor contract and areas were added as the workers determined where they felt safe and where they did not.
Although, initially, these two man areas doubled the cost of services and lessened profits for the corporation within those areas; both sides acknowledged that the safety of the workers was paramount and worth the additional cost. It should be noted that since there were now two people on the job within those areas and each person contributed to the work load; the actual cost of services within that area was mitigated to a lesser amount.
The concept has become transparent. Notice how, in certain areas, workers move in pairs. Policemen, Technical Workers, Medical Personnel, etc. travel in pairs through the designated Two Man Areas. It has been said that "there is safety in numbers". Animals cluster in groups for safety. Predators avoid groups or try to separate their prey from a group. The adage has proven true. Let's use that adage to our advantage in keeping our people safe. When in doubt as to whether you need company; err on the side of caution. Remember that if you are incapacitated; you cannot complete your mission. So, it should be Safety First at all times.
Also consider that there is a social benefit to the Two Man rule.
We, as Brokers and REALTORS® must also implement such a "Two Man" policy. We must designate Two Man Areas for the safety of our personnel.
Technology has produced numerous tools that REALTORS® can take advantage of in order to enhance safety. The IPhone, IPad, SmartPhones, Wireless Security Cameras, Twitter, Facebook, etc. We must use these technologies in, increasingly, innovative ways. We are limited, only, by our imagination.
If you are traveling to a location on REALTOR® business (to meet a client, to show a listing, etc.) consider that it might be to your benefit to have that client's contact information. Make sure that someone knows where you are going and who you are going to meet. If the area you are traveling to is of questionable character; take someone along with you. Do not go alone. If you are sitting in an empty OpenHouse; take a Wireless Security Camera along with you. It takes a little time to set up so that others can view, but, the benefits could prove enormous. And, always, Always have some form of communications with you. A Cell Phone, An IPad, IPhone, tablet, etc. Keep in constant contact with someone. Communicate your concerns if a situation or circumstance arises even if they may later prove unfounded.
Most Brokers and REALTORS® operate (with their Associates) as a team which facilitates the "covering" aspect of safety and security. Understandably, many REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associates operate independently without that added support that teams enjoy. In that case find another REALTOR® or REALTOR® Associate with a similar circumstance, a family member or a friend to communicate with. Communications is key to success in any endeavor.
We cannot be reactive when it comes to safety. If we are reacting to a safety concern; it may be too late. Professionals are proactive. Where ever we can; we must anticipate safety concerns. Complacency Kills.