Between private home showings and public open house events, selling your house can bring a slew of strangers through your door. There’s a new app to help you and your real estate professional keep track of who’s who: SafeShowings, available now for iOS and Android. The SafeShowings app provides an easy, mobile way for real estate professionals to scan in visitors’ drivers licenses prior to showing a home. The app stores an image of the individual’s license alongside the listing info and agent information. It keeps an ongoing list of people who have entered the home and when they were there, which can then be accessed via the app or on the web.
SafeShowings was invented by Helen Hudson, an active realtor in Charleston, SC. After experiencing moments where she felt unsafe on the job, she was inspired to research related crime statistics. Not only did she find attacks on real estate professionals to be alarmingly common, she learned that a similar ID check requirement in the apartment rental industry has successfully deterred criminal behavior. Beyond the agent’s safety, it’s easy to see the security hazards of welcoming strangers into your home. People with criminal intent may scope out your property to see where the security system is located, what kind of belongings you have or where you sleep at night. While the SafeShowings app doesn’t go as far as real-time background checks or any kind of criminal vetting, it represents an easy-to-use layer of security that did not previously exist.
In addition to storing personal information, the SafeShowings app also has emergency contact and alarm features to protect the real estate professional. Using the app requires a $9/month or $99/year subscription. If your house is on the market, the extra knowledge could be well worth the small expense.