What Real Estate Agents Can Do To Maximize Safety • Helen Hudson

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Helen Hudson with SafeShowings talks about how she got into real estate and why. Helen describes her experience when she felt unsafe and how this experience made her take actions and create SafeShowings. Next, Helen describes how the SafeShowing app works and the protocol they use to keep their clients safe. Helen describes how the app matches previous experience and how this feature help other realtors who will work with the same clients in the future. Last, Helen talks about the packages they offer to realtors and the new feature they will be adding to the app in the second quarter of this year.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

SafeSHowings can be reached at 800-268-8437 and info@safeshowings.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks.


D.J. Paris 0:00
This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents. And for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris, I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with Helen Hudson from safe showings.com. Before we get to Helen, a couple of quick announcements first, thank you as always for continuing to listen and support our show. We couldn’t do it without you, the audience. We are so thrilled to be able to serve you please let us know how we’re doing. The best way you could do that is to leave us a review. So whatever podcast app you might be listening to us on. If you are listening via podcast app, like iTunes, which is now called Apple podcasts, Google Play Spotify, Stitcher, Pandora, etc. Leave us a review. Let us know what you think of the show. If you’re not listening through a podcast app, consider subscribing to us through a podcast app. Obviously, it’s free. Just go to any podcast app search for keeping it real. Now there’s a few podcasts named keeping it real. But look for the one that has my name on it, DJ Paris, hit that subscribe button. And the last thing to do is please tell a friend about our show. The best way that you can help us grow is by telling other real estate professionals about what we do here and how we can help them grow their business. So shoot them over to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Or just like I said haven’t pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real, hit that subscribe button. Thanks for your continued support. And we’re so thrilled to be able to bring you this important conversation today around safety. It’s something we don’t talk enough about. So we brought on Helen from safe showings to talk exclusively about what agents can do to be safe out there. And now on to our interview with Helen Hudson.

Today on the show we have Helen Hudson from satan showing.com. Let me tell you a little bit about Helen. When Helen chose to become a real estate professional she knew it was the right move. She brought with her and extensive sales and management background as well as tools that translated well into her real estate world. Now throughout Helens sales career she has attributed her success to earning business by providing the best value for each and every client. Her clients say that she goes above and beyond expectations. Now she has created the safe showings app after escaping a terrifying incident while working alone as a realtor and the conversation around safety is something that we on this podcast have not explored extensively. So we are thrilled to welcome Helen Hudson from safe showings.com here on the podcast today. Hello and welcome.

Helen Hudson 4:14
Thank you. I’m honored to be here and share my passion for realtors across the country and for realtor safety. Well, I’ll

D.J. Paris 4:22
tell you, Helen, I actually met very briefly at the NAR conference in San Diego this past fall. And I will tell you sort of just to peel back the curtain just a little bit for our audience. We really at this point that we’ve done 300 And some episodes and we’re fortunate enough to really not have to look for guests anymore. We just get every day we get hit with by publicists or different realtors who say Oh, you should interview this person or, you know lots of different opportunities there. So we rarely go out and look for anyone to be on the show. But when we were when I was walking around the expo hall with my girlfriend And we came across safe showings and I said, Well, what’s that about? You know, that’s interesting. And we talked to Helen. And I said, Oh, my gosh, you have to be on our show, because we don’t talk about this. And very few, I feel like it doesn’t get talked about enough. So we are really excited to have a conversation around safety. This, of course, Helen is a Top Producing agent as well. But this idea that as an agent, you saw a need in the marketplace for more, you know, oversight and just you know, overall well being of agents as they you know, sometimes are working internet leads where they haven’t met anyone yet. But before we get to, let’s save showing says I’d love to just hear your story. How did you get into real estate and why?

Helen Hudson 5:41
Yes, that’s a great question. I majored in interior design and college. I graduated in 86. And, you know, I’ve dabbled a little bit in commercial design and residential design. And then I found myself doing something totally different transportation and logistics fast forward to almost five years ago, it was a bucket list. I’m from South Carolina, but I’ve always loved Charleston, like millions of others, but I wanted to live in Charleston, South Carolina, and I chose to

D.J. Paris 6:11
leave doesn’t buy. Everybody wants. It is it is i It’s like Charleston, Nashville, Austin, a Portland or maybe not Portland as much anymore. But but you know, gosh, everybody who I apologize for interrupting you. But every time I hear the word Charleston, if I’m in a group of people, everyone just goes, Oh, my God, I love Charleston. Yes. Of course, he wanted to live there. It’s amazing.

Helen Hudson 6:39
You know, I’ve always been fascinated with real estate. And I left a career with companies like UPS, I was in sales. I never drove a truck. But I was in sales for UPS and companies like that, and wanted to try something new. I got my license, pass that test on the first try, which was a miracle. Because it is hard when people laugh about it, but it’s tough. I started out working for a local firm here and then joined the team six months later. So that’s kind of my story. I’ve had my license this coming summer will be for five years.

D.J. Paris 7:14
Wow. And what was your experience? You know, when you first started out, as as a realtor, you know, were there. I know, You’ve had some safety, issue concerns and issues. But, you know, Todd, let’s talk about that experience. Because again, I’m a guy. I don’t, I live in a very dangerous city. And in fact, the neighborhood I live in here in Chicago. Unfortunately, it’s a very nice neighborhood, actually, but because it’s a very nice neighborhood. There’s a lot of crime, we’ve actually had a tremendous it’s I’m laughing only because I just moved to this area. And there’s nothing to laugh about. But just sort of the irony of me live moving into this like dream place. Unfortunately, our we’ve had an increase in carjackings a significant increase, it’s actually made the news here in Chicago. So it’s a huge bummer for all of us that just moved into this this wonderful new development. But it’s even a concern for myself now, where I as a real estate professional, I’m not really out there working with with customers. So I’m not out there really meeting people at odd hours. However, I work at a firm with 800 agents who are constantly thinking about safety. And now that I live in an area where there is some some additional crime that that wasn’t there prior, especially carjackings, you know, even myself who really just sits at a desk all day, but I really sort of think about like, okay, at night, if I’m walking to the grocery store, or a drugstore, you know, I have to really just think about it a little bit before I before I move out. And so, I’m so glad we’re having a conversation around safety, but what brought you you know, tell us talk about that experience as an agent, you know, did you did you find yourself in situations that felt unsafe, you know, on a regular basis?

Helen Hudson 9:01
Yes. Right. In the beginning, we have pretty good training for realtors, I’m sure you’ve probably heard some other stories, we’re taught to follow your intuition. Bring your buyer into the office or meet with the seller, do a listing appointment, bring a friend whatever, we’re giving good safety given good safety tips. And if you feel unsafe, you know, be sure you let others know where you’re going to be. And my background right out of college managed apartments and I was kind of used to a process in place where we were taught you can’t show an empty apartment without surrendering a driver’s license. That’s that was our safety protocol. So when I you know got back into a career and started real estate it I have to admit it’s been a while since I’ve met with stranger so one so that feeling of meeting a new person. I don’t know that a buyer I don’t know their background and being new in the business. A my my group of people I’m working with are usually internet leads, going to a property that might be in an area I’m not comfortable with. And kind of new and needing business you you are vulnerable, you’re you’re meeting people in a place that’s different that you’ve never met before you don’t know who they’re going to bring with them. And you don’t want your mind to get paranoid. But there’s a truth to that as a new realtor, you are going to sometimes experience situations where your intuition tells you this doesn’t feel right. And that’s kind of early on, I had some of those experiences, because I was working a lot of open houses alone, I probably did 50 Open Houses my first year. And then fast forward to when I joined the team, I was getting more volume of leads and my sales were going up. And it was a fast paced environment. But I let my guard down. I cared more about the sale than the safety. And that’s where my story begins.

D.J. Paris 11:00
Yeah, I think that’s a very common experience, right? Especially working leads that aren’t always and not that sphere of influence leads, I mean, it’s a safe situation, but certainly seems to be less concern about safety, if it’s, your best friend says, oh, friend wants to meet with you. You know, of course, you still want to consider safety there. But when you’re working internet leads, in particular. I mean, anyone can fill out a form right on a website, and even if that person is vetted, you know, doesn’t necessarily mean that that they’re safe. So I imagine that that you know, and again, real estate’s done oftentimes nights and nights and weekends. So that’s the other thing is, it’s sometimes you know, done at a time when not as many people are around. So if a crime wants to be committed, you know, it probably makes sense to do it at a time when, when it’s a little darker out. And so that’s when realtors are out showing and working with clients. And so it is scary. And now everything’s so virtual, that oftentimes, you know, when working those types of leads, the first time you might meet that person is at the showing. And that’s yeah, in your your point is is great about intuition. But unfortunately, intuition doesn’t solve for everything, right. It’s like, you know, the best criminals in the world. Don’t let people know they’re criminals, right. So sometimes it’s obvious. And other times, of course, it wouldn’t be which of course, you saw as an opportunity to build, you know, maybe a more structured sort of platform to help with safety. So tell us about sort of your experiences with with safety. You mentioned where your story began. But I know you had a pretty harrowing experience that that really caused you to rethink, and start to develop your own your own tool to help with that. Yes.

Helen Hudson 12:52
Four years ago, this coming March, I had received an internet lead to meet with a buyer, I set the appointment for Saturday at two. And I drove up to the neighborhood early as we’re taught to do some meal of the day. But when I drove into the neighborhood, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, it just didn’t feel right. That was really homes nearby that just didn’t feel comfortable. But I parked my car, wait for the buyer to arrive, he arrives, we go in the home, I left the door open. We’re taught to do that from a safety standpoint. And this was a very small house, no driveway. He goes to the back of the house, I kind of stand towards the front. And my guard was up because I was already nervous. And he got on his cell phone. A minute later a truck drove up to man jump on the porch. And my heart stopped I thought oh my god. Nobody knows where I am or who I’m with. That’s immediately what I felt. But thankfully I was given a second chance they weren’t there to harm me I can tell the rest of the story. They saw the realtor magnet on my car they saw the for sale sign they saw that the door was open and they thought it was an open house but I tried to gain regain my composure I gave him my card I told him I was working with the buyer and that they could call me for an appointment but I’ll never forget that feeling of fear knowing you could have gone differently

D.J. Paris 14:17
I think all of our listeners can can sort of as you were explaining that story probably relived the feelings they might have if that same situation happened where you know the person you don’t know who’s your your possible client walks to the back of a home you know sort of by themselves jumps on their phone a minute later randomly in the two o’clock on a on a random weekday to other guys show up? Yeah, that I would have put I would have had that exact same reaction is oh, I’m this place is either being robbed or someone’s these two people are here to hurt me or who are God Only Knows. That is a terrifying experience. And thank goodness, you know, it sort of, you know, was was not that but but it certainly could have been. And I live in Chicago, you know, we have a very violent city here. And it’s, it’s always just easy to forget because I think, you know, for maybe some of our audience who might be listening who think, oh, that that doesn’t really happen to me. But of course it can, and it can happen to anyone, and something to really think about, and most brokerages, at least here in Chicago, don’t. And I’m only aware because I work with a lot of different brokerages, we talk about it, very few of them have any sort of real safety technology. Of course, there is safety technology, but firms typically aren’t most of the firms I work with, aren’t giving that to their brokers. So this is something that is really, really important, especially now, when you know a lot of people are out of work and crime is up and you know, the pandemic has really changed things people are, you know, maybe more agitated. And then then they were so let’s tell me about how you started to develop safe showings and yeah, and what it’s for

Helen Hudson 16:19
perfect. That situation caused me to think about my own personal safety differently. I was more focused on the sale than my safety. And I know I was given a second chance. Nar tells us that 38% of realtors have feared for their safety. And when I’ve traveled I’ve traveled for two years prior to the pandemic, to different shows events in conferences in New York conferences and local ones. And I can’t tell you how many people came up to me to share their story. So there is a valid problem. And after that situation happened, I did my own research, TJ, I went home and I looked and I Googled simple Google search, I wanted to know am I alone, I found out that over 200 realtors have been murdered in the last decade. I even created a binder that has their stories in it and their pictures. And that’s my why I knew that I was given a second chance they were not. And first thing I had to do is do you know it I wanted to find is there a solution out there that meets the needs I’m looking for as a realtor, I wanted to make sure every buyer and seller knows that I have a protocol for safety. Also wanted to conquer the fear. I felt that day when I said nobody knows where I am, or who I’m with. And that led me to do about six months of research on the NIR side under safety resources. I looked at the tools to see if I can find a tool that for safety that I could use.

D.J. Paris 17:46
And you weren’t able to find one that satisfied your your needs and requirements. And by the way, just back to that that statistic, about 38% of realtors have felt unsafe. I feel like that’s probably a low number. And I bet if that was rerun, today, especially focused on I would love to hear specifically what percentage of men have gone through that experience of feeling unsafe, versus women. And I would bet you that number is wildly different. I would just assume we know more crime is perpetrated on women more violent crime in particular. And and sexual crime and all sorts of terrible things. And so this this is not obviously a product just for women’s safety, obviously. But that 38% does actually seem low to me. I bet it’s much higher than that.

Helen Hudson 18:37
I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t doubt it. And one thing that I would share with you, too, is the most recent ones, the ones that I’ve researched, it’s ironic. And I think it’s not a coincidence, but 16 images of faces that I’ve read their stories about half of men and half are women. So that’s probably a surprise to the listeners. It’s not. So it’s not just women, it when you look at the ratio of the ones that I can find their stories and print those images out, it’s half half men and half women well.

D.J. Paris 19:10
And the biggest mistake I make when I’m talking about where I live in such a wonderful area of Chicago, the biggest mistake I make at night when walking to there’s a target right downstairs and CVS and a Walgreens really close. The biggest mistake I make is I’m a guy I’m fine. And with my girlfriend, who lives with me also is going I’m like hey, let’s you know I actually treat it totally differently. And that is a mistake because I think Oh, I’m fine i Because I haven’t ever been attacked, and neither has she and I just assume well, she’s more vulnerable. No, she’s really not she she might be physically not as adept, as strong as I am because of you know, just genetics and, and things and you know, but that being said, doesn’t mean somebody couldn’t in fact it’s probably easier to get me in certain ways, because I’m not thinking about it. You know, thankfully, you know, I think women are a bit more tuned to that. But that’s still not enough coverage, right? Like there still needs to be tools in place to have a protocol so that it’s not left up to chance, or just intuition. So tell us about like, what, what does safe showings do and and, you know, how does it help increase somebody’s personal safety,

Helen Hudson 20:34
I’d love to share that what happens, we teach realtors to think about their safety from the moment they set the appointment, whether it’s a buyer or a seller or listing appointment, you’re in the safety of your office, and we are working more with technology not meeting people at an office. So you’re on the phone, you’re setting the appointment, you have their name and their their phone number, and you’ve confirmed the date and the time you’re going to show the property or meet them for a listing appointment. While you’re on the phone. You tell them hey, I care about safety. It’s just the world we live in, I use a safety app called Safe showings. And before I meet with anyone and go inside a property, I like to take a photo it’s captured in our app. By telling people before you meet with them, you’re gonna deter crime because criminals number one fear is getting caught not the punishment for their crime. It’s like a doorbell camera, they know there’s a risk associated with cameras so they avoid those they look for easy targets. So once you have told the person that you use a safety product, after you hang up the phone, you’ve set the appointment, you can use our app and press a button that says Create showing and the timer starts. The next thing our app will say, Who are you meeting with I start typing in your name through my contacts, and your informations uploaded. That’s the key component that deters crime and helps us if there’s crime committed catch the criminal because we got we have it in the app. And then when you get to the property, and you drive up early, when they arrived, that’s when you say, hey, let’s just go ahead and take that photo. And you can do a group shot with them. But get it before you go in the home. The timer’s running our timers is our app is so easy to use. If you can press buttons, you can use it but it starts at 45 minutes, you reset the timer because if you’re using the app, the way we teach, you’re not working with the criminal, you reset the timer. But if you forget, it’ll remind you at five minutes to reset your timer. If you have four properties, you reset the time or drive to the next property, street by street and row by road it updates you don’t ever have to key in the address. So your second showing when you put the car in park, it saves that address, it stores all the data inside the app. If for some reason you are attacked and the phone is destroyed. As long as you follow the process, your three emergency contacts will be sent the last location of the phone in that example, who you’re with, because you put that in before you create after you create the showing, and then an image of their face if you took a photo of their face.

D.J. Paris 23:08
And so you don’t ask them for an image ahead of time, because they could send you a fake image. So the idea is you prep them ahead of time on the phone say hey, just so you know, when you arrive. This might seem you know, a bit unusual if you’re working with other realtors, but it’s really important that we maximize each other’s safety. So I’m going to take a picture, you know of you should just be aware of that. It’s just for my own internal use. In case you know why you would even have to say why. But I think people would understand that. So you take a picture, you set the timer, and you also have inputted the locations of where you’re going and when into the system. So it’s scheduled.

Helen Hudson 23:50
No actually you don’t wait. It’s not climbing. It knows exactly you don’t have to key in anything. It’s it’s pushing buttons. As soon as I drive up to that property address, it knows exactly where I am, it’s in the top, top left corner of our app and an image of your face will be there if we take that photo. And if you’re not comfortable with the photo of the face, you can use the app any way you choose. We just know that’s the best way to deter crime if you want to get an image of the house read or their license plate or their driver’s license, somethings better than nothing. But the way to maximize and deter crime is to be in control. And we’ve had roundtables, discussions with realtors about the image and you know when you think about it, every one of us is on social media your faces out there, your if you’re going by doorbell cameras, your images out there public buildings, you know, airports and ATMs and all those places someone shouldn’t be upset about getting a photo taken. If they are it could be what saves your life. You want to work with buyers and sellers that are genuine and understand and respect you for caring about safety.

D.J. Paris 25:01
Yeah, that’s a really good point. So the photo itself is almost in a sense a way to self select out somebody who doesn’t want to be caught. And of course, that doesn’t ensure, of course, that the person wouldn’t agree to that. But the idea is that most criminals go well, I don’t really want a picture uploaded to the cloud of somebody that I’m about to attack or crime I’m about to commit. So, so it’s kind of like to use kind of an older example, it’ll show you my age, when I first moved to Chicago, I do get a kick out of this, I used to have a club, if you remember the club was in was a device that you would put in your steering wheel. And it would extend it was kind of this long, if you don’t know what it is Google it, you’d probably look pretty silly. And this was when cars didn’t have as sophisticated of, of anti theft devices. But it was a visual cue. Because people would say to me, you know, if somebody wants to cut through that, they can cut through it, they can they can get through that. And I would say, well, that’s not why it’s there. The reason it’s there is because it’s, it’s it’s something that a criminal who might want to break into my car, we’ll just visually see and go, I don’t want to deal with that. And they’re gonna move on to their next car. And so this, this is a very a more modern version of the club in a sense, because it’s, it’s something that a person who is a criminal, who’s premeditating, a crime is going to say, well, I don’t I don’t want somebody’s going to take my picture. So that it didn’t have itself, it seems like a subtle thing. But it’s actually a really, really powerful idea. And I’m glad we’re sort of spending some time on that. Because it really is a very important piece is does it ensure safety? Of course not. But somebody who’s going to create a crime does not want anyone to know that they were at a particular location at a particular time. And they certainly don’t want a photo of themselves. And you know, all of that. So that makes perfect sense. So all you have to do you go to you open the app, it starts tracking via GPS, where you’re going, it knows when you park, it knows the locations of where you’re going and where you’ve been. And then let’s say the phone does get destroyed. How does the system know, to then contact? You know, they’re the contacts that the safety contacts that are listed? What happens in that scenario, where if the timer ends? How does the realtor well, before before the phone getting destroyed? Sorry, I’m kind of jumping around. But let’s say, how does the app know that the purse that the realtor is safe? Like I know in a Tesla car, for example, if you want to use the auto driving every 10 seconds, you have to tap the steering wheel. So Tesla’s like, goes, well, we’re pretty sure you’re not asleep. If you’re tapping the the thing every 10 seconds, obviously, your app wouldn’t wouldn’t require that much work. But can you talk a little bit about how does the app know that the realtor is seemingly safe at that moment?

Helen Hudson 28:06
Yes, everything’s driven couple of things. When you register for our app, it’s a one step process, you’re going to enter your information, your three emergency contacts, I highly recommend you pick people that love you, and will respond. And we make you put three because everyone can get distracted. Remember, our timer starts at 45 minutes, most people can get in and out of one property and 20. So you’re probably not going to accidentally call for help unnecessarily. And again, if you’re using the app, the way we teach, you’ve already deterred criminal behavior. People, as you say, DJ, then the criminal has a mug shot, the last thing they want is to be caught on film, they’re gonna go work with someone that doesn’t have a process. So that timer started. Let’s say you had three properties who got distracted, we remind you when it gets to five minutes, are you safe, reset your timer. If you ignore that, and that timer runs out, and you don’t press in timer, we’re going to send an alert to your three emergency contacts of your exact location, who you’re with an image of their face. If you’re in trouble, like I was four and a half years ago, I would have pressed the emergency alarm button, it doesn’t take 45 seconds, 10 seconds that calls 911. And it sends your three emergency contacts, your exact location, who you’re with, and an image of their face or whatever you take. Remember, when you’re taking a photo, if it’s a squirrel or a tree, that’s what we’re gonna see. And that’s what the authorities would see. That’s why we encourage it to be the face if there’s a crime committed, we want to catch the criminal. And as you mentioned a minute ago, if the phone is destroyed, everything on our app goes to our cyber secure cloud. So when that funds destroyed your three emergency contacts as long as you started the app, and you put who you’re going to be meeting with we teach to do that before we get out of the safety of your car. The three emergency contacts will send be sent the last location of the phone and who you’re with the criminal? And yeah, and the image if you were able to take one. So if you were able to crop that image, you’ll see it.

D.J. Paris 30:10
Yeah. Because if the phone’s destroyed, the app with the timer would still be running in the cloud, it would it would expire. And then it would be like, okay, something’s wrong, or we think something might be wrong. And we’re going to notify the contacts and possibly the 911 as well. Quick question do you recommend? So if I, if I put my three contacts in, and then I’m using the tool, and I’m using it, you know, every day or several days a week? I know that and of course, you would want to have told told your contacts ahead of time? Oh, by the way, you are my safety contact? Do they do the contacts themselves also need the app on their device?

Helen Hudson 30:50
Know, what happens is when the timer runs out, and you’re exactly right, definitely tell your three emergency contacts. It should be some a friend, a family member, somebody you know, that would care. And what they’re going to see when the timer runs out. So text message goes to their cell phone, in the first part of it’ll explain there could be a problem, Helen hasn’t responded she’s showing property. This part under that will be an image a 3d image of the property, the exact address where I am, where the phone is, who I’m with the buyers name, or the selling molester, listing, appointment person’s name, and an image that I took so of their face, hopefully.

D.J. Paris 31:32
Yeah, that’s great. I’m what I was, what I’m curious about is, you know, telling your, your contacts, once that they’re part of the safety thing, I almost wonder if the realtor, again, this has a lot to do each time you do a show, and but maybe having, you know, the realtor letting those people know, hey, just so you know, today I’m out of showing. So just you know, if you don’t mind, keep your eye on on your phone. Obviously, you might not have to say that every single time. But, you know, I think it’s it’s not as you know, it would probably behoove the subscribers to shape safe showings to really consistently remind those three contacts. Oh, by the way, you know, you’re still on my three contact list. I’m still doing showings. And you know, just so you know, today I have I have some showings. And I know that sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. But I would, I’m just curious how you recommend consistently reminding those, those safety contacts to know that, you know, just you know, you’re still my safety contact?

Helen Hudson 32:37
Yeah, it’s funny, you bring that up. You can imagine when I went through, working with developers to create this, every step of the app is my idea. And it’s pushing buttons, I want it to be super simple. So I have my sister as my top contact, she calls me every day. Little time, she always checks on me, she knows that it was part of the testing process. So she would get a lot alerts. And I’d say they will send me back what you saw. And it’s really cool. Because what they see is the images, the image of the house or the condominium, the person you’re with whatever you took a picture of sometimes I did some funny pictures. But you know, it is important to pick people that care. The other thing I want to point out about our app that’s unique is when you end a showing, at the very end, you’re in the safety of your privacy of your car, it was a great day, whatever. Just like Uber and Lyft, our app prompts you to write how you felt working with the buyer or the seller from a safety standpoint. And the intent for this is for us as an industry to help spread safety across the country. So for example, I’m working with you in Chicago, you and your wife or your girlfriend, and we look at properties, you’re buying somewhere and and I live in your market and then you go works, you know, I’m using safe showings, I’ve got your photo of you and your girlfriend, you’re in my safe showing that you go to Texas and you both want to go look at other properties. I’ve got you in the system. So hopefully the agent in Texas is going to say the same thing. Hey, TJ, I look forward to meeting you Saturday at two I just want you know, we care about safety. Our association requires us to use safe showings. It’s a realtor safety app. All you have to do is get a photo of every one we allow in a home. And then when you’re probably going to interrupt say I know about that app because I work with some other Realtor in Illinois and they were using the same one I’m probably in the system. While this other person in Texas is in Texas and setting the appointment they can press Create showing, put your phone number in touch your phone number, it goes in the app and your photo of the two of you will show up and you’ll hopefully have five star rating because you’re deterring crime if you do this, but if I only gave you one star just like Uber and Lyft you always have to give one there’s a note section where I could put call me I had a situation that was really strange. I want to explore I’ll tell you what happened. So you can be safe. So that’s our vision is to spread safety across the globe.

D.J. Paris 35:08
So it matches previous experiences. And it matches by the the lead or the clients name or by the phone number. Everything, right? That’s right, because there’s a million John Smith’s phone numbers are unique. So

Helen Hudson 35:26
Gotcha. And remember, we only we don’t we have a Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions, we don’t share any other pieces of information with each other. It’s only that last step, just like Uber and Lyft, the five star rating, and its intent is only to help us as an industry deter crime for each other.

D.J. Paris 35:45
Why that is such a great addition, I didn’t even think about that sort of feature. But of course that’s needed. Wow, that’s wonderful. And so how does it work for for agents that are interested? Is this a subscription model? Is it how does how does the cost work?

Helen Hudson 36:03
We have a couple of different things. And we’re excited to announce probably in the second quarter, a new enhancement, a background check feature. Our first app, we rolled out a safe showings for individuals and it’s in the app store, it’s $4.99 Less than a cup of coffee per month, or 4999 per year for you to be able to take care of safety. The other option is enterprise pricing. Those are four groups, you know, 50 or more, it could be a team or brokerage Association, Estate Association MLS, you name it anytime there’s a group that saves showings enterprise. And we we look at individual opportunities and determine what the pricing will be. And then save showings enterprise plus will be the the app with the most features that will have the facial recognition API just like we have. And also the background check.

D.J. Paris 36:58
So the background check will do like a criminal check. I’m guessing Yes,

Helen Hudson 37:03
it will be driven by reverse lookup of the phone number, and just give the basic information.

D.J. Paris 37:10
Oh, so the so the person does not have to approve the criminal background check, because you’re just using publicly accessible information based on phone number? Ah, that’s interesting, because I was thinking okay, well, it’s a criminal going to say I agree to a background check. Of course they wouldn’t. But that would also be a deterrent, but not a good enough as determined to be met matching with something where they don’t have to. Boy, that’s such a great idea. So you plan on that feature rolling out in the second quarter. And I mean, I mean, look what we’re talking about $5 a month, like, that is a nothing charge, you know, it meaning that is nobody misses $5 a month, despite whatever income level you’re at, and you can’t put a price on safety anyway. But even if it was $100 a month, it would be worth it, or more. But for $5 a month, this is really a no brainer. I mean, it’s just there’s no barrier, there’s no cost barrier to entry, it’s it’s not going to impact someone’s bottom line, to any sizable degree. On oh, by the way, it might just save their life, as you mentioned. So really, you’ve made this what I love is you’ve made this so easy. And not just because the app is easy to use, but you’ve made the price point really accessible for us. And really brand new realtors are the ones that likely have the least amount of income to invest in things like safety, they’re trying to build their business, they also have the least amount of experience. So they aren’t always aware of, you know, some of the dangers that might exist. So for newly licensed agents, this to me is this is a must. It’s an absolute no brainer. And not just for newly licensed agents. Of course, everyone should do this. But newly licensed agents, you know, oftentimes some of the software that exists to help them grow their business is cost prohibitive. Certain see lead, lead, but purchasing leads, you know, CRMs oftentimes tend to be costly. This is a absolute, I mean, it’s it’s less than half of your Netflix subscription, you know, and, and Netflix isn’t gonna Yeah, Netflix isn’t going to save your life. This actually is a real no brainer. And quite frankly, I would hope that down the road, like the National Association of Realtors, or Oregon local associations, wood and it sounds like some of them have integrated this directly into and provide this to all members. I know I will be very curious to work to check with our association here, which I do some work on some committees to find out you know what, why they haven’t integrated safe showings and it would be very cool if National Association Realtors says oh by the way, 1.6 million realtors out there now Every one has this, which I

Helen Hudson 40:01
would love it. Just so you know we over a million realtors have access to our app meaning we have partnerships with several States Women’s Council group, it’s in your area, your local associations in Illinois, but all across the country in Texas all over their certain states we aren’t, we haven’t yet partnered with but we, we checked recently, we have a little over 400,000 downloads. So we’re growing, and it’s because of our passion. I’m here to help. I’m living my purpose. God has a sense of humor, I never thought of the technology and an app. Because I’m not good with technology necessarily. I just had an idea that was put in front of me, and I knew that there’s a problem to solve, especially now our world’s not getting any safer.

D.J. Paris 40:54
And isn’t it amazing that no one had built this before you did, right? Like, I’m sure there’s other apps and other safety, you know, style apps, but not ones with this specific feature set. And isn’t that amazing? Right. And so thank goodness, you came along, and said, Oh, I can get that belt, I can I can do that. Even though you’re you’re not coding it yourself. So I applaud you for doing that work. And, and really, making it so easy and accessible to everyone. You know, we we have a lot of, you know, realtors are bombarded with different software product providers, or different pieces of technology. And, and it is often like, oh my gosh, there’s 27 Different CRMs out there, which one do I choose? And again, they tend to be quite costly. So it’s like, I really do have to do my research. And I don’t have time to, you know, this is like, just download it and subscribe. And I’m assuming it’s a cancel anytime scenario anyway, because it’s on the App Store. So there’s really not much riskier, you know, and, and again, for less than Well, it’s about the price of a cup of coffee, I guess. You know, maybe it’s a slightly more than a cup of I don’t know, actually, it’s bright.

Helen Hudson 42:12
Green, right?

D.J. Paris 42:13
Yeah. My girlfriend only drinks, just black coffee. So for her, it would be like, Oh, that’s, you know that that would be an expensive cup for her. But for everyone else, that’s nothing five bucks a month. I mean, gosh, total no brainer. I’m going to be recommending all of our agents, of course, get that here at our company, and really encouraging everyone listening and watching right now, to just just add it to your day you add it, you use it, it takes seconds to use each time. It’s not it’s not obtrusive, it will not get in the way or interfere with your ability to build rapport with that client. In fact, odds are if they’re also talking to other agents, this is a differentiator that makes you look professional. And it is in no way a negative. In my opinion, I don’t see any any reasonable customer having an issue. And if they do well, maybe that’s not the right customer to work with. I don’t see any reasonable, you know, and you know, you just would have to say, Oh, could you lower your mask like they do in the airports? When they look at your ID, could you please lower your mask for a moment. But that’s really all you need to do and snap a picture and keep the app running. Pretty, pretty easy stuff. And by the way, we should mention safe showings. best, best way to learn more about it just go to their website safe showings.com They have links directly to your respective app store, obviously on iTunes and Google Play. It’s it’s there, just search for safe showings. And and download it and use it and subscribe. And it’s a no brainer. And I am so grateful to have met you because again, this is not something as as somebody who number one doesn’t really practice real estate directly, I don’t think about and also as a man I also really don’t think about and so we encourage not not just our listeners who are women, but who anyone who identifies as any gender should absolutely be considering this because, you know, you are oftentimes meeting with people for the first time at a at a property that you may have never been to as well. So there’s a lot of unknowns. There’s a lot of uncertainty and just unfamiliarity, right? You’re you’re probably at a home that maybe you’ve never seen in a neighborhood you’ve maybe never visited and now meeting with somebody who you’ve never met. So this is a great opportunity to do this. And I also think too, I’m curious if you have an opinion about this, if you are meeting with somebody who you haven’t met in person before and your first time you’re going to physically see them is at at the showing, you know, look, we’re all zoom accustom. We’re all we’re all you Is to zoom or some sort of web conferencing. Curious if you have an opinion about having a pre meeting, even if it’s just to say hi, introduce yourself, there’s a lot of reasons to do that, that will help benefit the realtor. As far as report goes, but maybe making sure that that first in person interaction isn’t the first time you’ve at least physically seen the person. So I’m curious if you have any thoughts about scheduling like a quick little, you know, get to know each other on Zoom or something prior to the first showing,

Helen Hudson 45:33
that’s a great idea. I think that’s a any thing we can do to add a layer of protection and to differentiate ourselves from others, as you mentioned, people that are working with us, when they hear that we care about safety, they’re going to see you as confident, and that you’re a person that cares about safety, they’re gonna remember you to when they list their house. So don’t let that be a deterrent. If somebody doesn’t like what you’re offering in terms of safety, it can save your life, if you don’t see him, and it can save you a lot of time. So you don’t want to work with somebody that’s so upset about that. Why would you want to work with somebody that way? So, but no, that’s a great tip, I recommend any level of security you can add, whether it’s FaceTime, you know, quick chat, let’s let’s talk via FaceTime or Zoom might be a little bit more advanced, if it but I could see that happening with the client, you know, that it shows your professional and that you have a protocol that you like to meet people virtually, before you meet them in person. I think everything we do these days can help to save us.

D.J. Paris 46:45
Yeah, and I just couldn’t, I couldn’t encourage more our listeners and our viewers to please just download this app and use it. It’s It’s easy. It’s, it’s, it’s helpful. It’s inexpensive. And as we’ve said many times it might just actually save someone’s life, including yours. And just make sure you continuously remind those contacts, hey, by the way, you’re still on my contact list, you know, so that they know to keep an eye out. But you know, what a wonderful product and a solution here. So for everyone out there who is listening or watching, please go to safe showings.com or pull up, go to your respective App Store, download safe showings, take a chat, take a look at it integrated tell everybody at your office about about this tool. And we will do our best to promote it as well, because we want all of our listeners to keep listening to our show and and if they’re not safe, they might not be able to do that. So we want them we want everybody listening to have a wonderful career in real estate and safety is something that is easily ignored. And let’s just not ignore it going forward. So Helen, thank you so much for being on our podcast, really appreciate it. This has been super helpful. And I’m so glad I got a chance to meet you. So that we that we became aware of this wonderful piece of technology. On behalf of our listeners and viewers, thank you for the work you’re doing to keep Realtors safe. And also thanks for spending time that I know is is you’re very busy. And not it’s probably not easy to find time to be to do these kinds of interviews. So we appreciate it. We thank you. On behalf of Helen and myself, we want to thank all of our listeners and viewers as well for continuing to listen and support our show. The best way you can help us grow at keeping it real podcast is by telling a friend so tell them about safe showing. And also tell them about our podcast. And you know, if there’s an agent in your office that maybe is a little bit more lacks with safety, perfect episode to send to them, send them right over to our website, they can stream not only this episode, but all the ones we’ve ever done. I think we’ve close to 350 episodes now. But every episode we’ve ever done, including this one is they’re keeping it real pod.com Or haven’t pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. And lastly, please leave us a review in whatever app you might be listening to this podcast through whether it’s iTunes, Google Play Spotify, Pandora, there’s lots of different places you can be listening here. Let us know what you think of the show. It always helps us continue to improve and grow so let leave us a review. But most importantly, tell other agents about safe showings this is this might just again save lives and it does save lives. So thank you so much, Alan for being on our show and we will see everybody on the next episode.

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