As of 2018, approximately a third of REALTORS® nationwide had experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety. During the Texas REALTORS® webinar “Stay Safe Out There,” Sergeant Robbie Barrera from the Texas Department of Public Safety shared her advice for staying safe on the job and what to do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.”

Below are takeaways from her presentation. Watch the entire webinar here.

Be Aware

Barerra says to think about the situations where you are most vulnerable. Are you paying attention when you get in and out of your car? Or when you unlock a home and your clients are standing behind you? There are plenty of daily situations where it’s easy to get distracted or go about your day, but Barerra says it’s safer to practice awareness in your everyday activities.

Play the “What If?” Game

What would you do if an attacker came into the room right now? Have you noticed how many exits are available? Would you be able to open or break a window if you needed a quick escape? Barerra says having a plan in mind in every situation will give you an advantage and keep you from freezing up. “Once your heart rate gets elevated, you lose your fine-motor skills,” she says. “Rehearsing plans of action will give your brain a memory to revert to when it becomes stressed in emergency situations.”

Fight Back

Don’t trust an attacker who says if you cooperate he won’t hurt you. “Once someone puts his hands on you … cooperation is no longer an option,” Barerra says. “I don’t care if he has a gun … he’s already hurt you by putting his hands on you.” Barerra says it’s time instead to resist and fight for survival. “Do not accept the role of a victim,” she says. “Active resistance or evasion can be disruptive to the attacker.”