Safety for Women - Posted by Emily (NC)

Posted by Kate on March 13, 2002 at 17:29:57:

I just wanted to second Jessica’s comments. To know what you know at your age and to pursue it is such blessing. Keep going, and be safe!

Safety for Women - Posted by Emily (NC)

Posted by Emily (NC) on March 04, 2002 at 18:47:20:

Hi all,

This is my first post, I am a newbie waiting for my DOW to come in the mail! My question is whether any of you have a sense about the degree of physical danger involved in this business.

I am a young (22) female college student, and I have some concern about driving around to parks talking to strangers, examining the inside of trailers owned by big brawny men, etc. As my parents say “the return has got to be awfully good for you to want to risk your life…”

Has anyone ever felt threatened, etc. when dealing with potential sellers or buyers? Any thoughts on how I might minimize risk to my physical person?

Thanks for your help and all the great posts! Emily

Re: Safety for 220 pound guys with facial hair :slight_smile: - Posted by dave (bal’mer)

Posted by dave (bal’mer) on March 17, 2002 at 17:20:26:

I have not read all replies so if I make a point that has been made I apolagize. I am a larger guy livinging in Baltimore. But, I get scared going into some Foreclosures in some areas around here. Especially if I cannot lock the door behind myself, or I see clues that someone may be inside.
I send a list of houses in email to Business partner or girlfriend to let them know where I am going. I carry a cell phone and sometimes mace. I carry a big black flashlight (the ones the cops carry). I also wear an army jacket if the weather permits. If I am in an abandoned house and I don’t feel comfortable (thinking someone might be in the house), I call someone on the cell phone, give them the address and stay on the phone with them while going down to the basement. I act as if I have a job to do, and walk with confidence while outside. Going with the logic that construction people and utility people generally do not get bothered to much as people who look confused as to their purpose.

Not sure if any of this will help or apply, but I guess just listen to your gut.

Best of Luck,
dave (bal’mer)

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Kathleen Cory

Posted by Kathleen Cory on March 05, 2002 at 21:16:01:

Hi Emily, I always go to the park office first and have the Park Manager call ahead to tell the owner I’ll be down in so many minutes. That makes the visit professional and it adds a safety factor.

I even do this when I want to respond to a window sign. I go back to the office and ask the manager to dial the MH owner and ask if it’s OK for me to stop in.

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Jacque - WA

Posted by Jacque - WA on March 05, 2002 at 12:20:43:

Hi Emily,

I can understand your concern about safety. Everyone is correct in that the majority of people you meet are decent people who mean no harm ? they are sometimes just in a bad situation financially. I have only run into a situation one time that made me uncomfortable ? I simply listened to my instincts and left.

You should always remain alert to your surroundings. I always check in with the park managers first ? not only does this let them know where I am but I can usually find out things such as: Is the lot rent current, what is their motivation for selling, what are their immediate needs for funds, etc.

The park managers are invaluable. Also, several of the parks I go into have maintenance men on the premises ? if your uncomfortable ask them to accompany you into the home to pass on advice of cost of repairs, etc?

However, there are some things that you can think about if your that concerned:

  1. Never look at property alone at night ? I always make daytime appointments unless I take someone along with me.

  2. Bring along a cell phone ? you can even keep it on 911 if it makes you feel better. However, as I said, most of these people do not wish you harm.

  3. Tell someone where you will be and if you like have them call you so that person will know right away if something is wrong.

  4. Don’t put your home phone number on your business card. Buy a voice pager or use your cell phone.

  5. Never park at a property so your car is blocked from an exit.

  6. Let the sellers take the lead when exploring a home, with you following behind. Avoid going into confined areas with a seller you feel uncomfortable with.

  7. Leave the front door open or ask to have the front door left open.

  8. Keys, pens, clipboards ? for making notes, your purse (mine weighs a ton) etc. can all be used as weapons if you needed too.

Emily, while safety is something that we all have to think - the majority of people are okay. Kate is right that most men (this is not a put down to any of you men) do not think of these things. The simple truth is that if your instincts tell you to wait or that something is up, by all means, do not go into the house. Don’t be afraid to do that if your instincts are telling you to leave the situation. “I figure there is no dollar amount, no matter how hungry you are (for a sale), that is worth your life or safety,”

Jacque - WA

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Kate (MN)

Posted by Kate (MN) on March 05, 2002 at 09:55:10:

Emily - I’m new to the MH business but have worked in a field where I go to people’s homes all the time, and safety, especially for women, is discussed a lot. Some friends say they would never do my job. Because of our culture, women are more at risk, and men frequently don’t have the same awareness or fear. PLEASE do NOT take this as a slam against men or an opening for male-female debate. It just is a bit different for men & women. Through my job I’ve taken some self-defense courses, etc. Some of the biggest protections are to always be aware, “trust your gut”, and if you are uncomfortable at all, get out. Other posters are right - if you’re fearful, it will affect your negotiations and your observation skills. I’d suggest taking someone with you, know ahead of time where you are going - if the area makes you uncomfortable, decide if you really want to do business there, etc. Common sense. The area I’m from is not notorious for being dangerous or anything, but realtors, inspectors, etc. are encouraged to have a buddy. It’s very rare that anything happens, (the perception of danger is probably worse than the actual danger) but it’s always good to be cautious. And, Lyal is right - you’re mostly going to be meeting really decent people, looking at their homes & neighborhoods. If you can’t look past the “culture” differences, it might not be the right place for you.

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Chuck (AZ)

Posted by Chuck (AZ) on March 05, 2002 at 03:00:16:

IF (for whatever reason) you can’t get past this phobia (and that’s what it is) you can still play the game.

Don’t actually invest in the home and deal with the buyers/sellers, but rather buy notes on those homes created by other investors who’ll willing sell them for for the cash to do other deals.

Not eveyone who starts in this business has $10k to tie up for an extended period, and I’ve always said if you don’t then doing a series of fast notes is the way to build up your bank account to the point where you can afford to start holding some of them.

Use it to your advantage.

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by lyal

Posted by lyal on March 04, 2002 at 21:48:18:

Risking your life??? You have to be kidding. Don’t know where your parents got these ideas but you need to get rid of the stereotypes. These are not crack houses. They’re just neighborhoods and it’s “just folks” you will be dealing with. Granted some of them have different priorties than you and I as far as housing, but that’s no crime. I have never dealt with any “big brawny” men. In fact the last double wide I sold was to two gentlemen who are domestic partners. Very nice people and they pay every month like clockwork.
It’s a good idea to take someone with you as a “squirrel dog” (it’s in Lonnie’s books) but if the people you are negotiating with pick up on your uneasiness (and they will) you’ll have a tough time. A big part of this is building a rapport with sellers and buyers. Hard to do if you’re sure they want to do you harm.
Best thing to do is just get out there and talk to people. Obviously steer clear of any parks you read about in the papers that have drug problems etc but cruise some parks and talk to some residents that you see outside (Go before dark and don’t plan on going in any homes yet). If someone wants to show you a home that’s for sale, tell them you have another appointment but you’ll come back tomorrow, on the week-end, whatever. Then take a “business associate” along. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how nice most of the people are and over time you’ll build the confidence (or at least learn to fake it like the rest of us when we first start out).
Looking forward to hearing of your progress.
All the best, Lyal

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Carey_PA

Posted by Carey_PA on March 04, 2002 at 21:22:55:


I am a woman and I started the mh thing when i was 26, I believe and I have never felt threatened when going to buy a home or when going to sell one. I didn’t even feel threatened when I went to post up a notice to a guy that hasn’t paid me that I was suing him :slight_smile:

Anyway, you should always use your best judgement and follow your instincts. IF I felt uneasy about a situation then I wouldn’t go ahead with meeting a seller or buyer or whatever.


Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Sean (WA)

Posted by Sean (WA) on March 04, 2002 at 19:53:18:

Never thought about that, but now that you ask I think that if my sister wanted to get into the business by herself that I would recomend that she get a friend to go with her to the homes that are owned by private individuals.
The stuff that is owned by banks you don’t have to worry about as it is unoccupied, also park owned homes I think are safe as you can go with the park manager who is probably a safe bet. Another woman if not a brother or good friend to go into the homes with would be advisable. Safety in numbers.
Heck, I looked at one today that scared the living daylights out of me…and I’ve been doing this awhile. And this was unoccupied! Bank Repo.
Took me a whole hour just to forget the smell…
My brother and I have been in some pretty seedy parks and have on occasion had some mild confrontations with people who wanted to know what were doing, nothing serious but stuff that is easier handled if you have someone else to go with you. I would advise against most people going into vacant homes after dark by yourself just out of common sense. Alot of times the power is off an it is pitch black,. Where I am we have a problem with meth labs and people sometimes moving into homes for the evening to do drugs, So we are always careful.
But this is just common sense stuff, use your head and be smart. Even Realtors are more careful these days because of increased crime rates.
But there is risk in any job, probably no more in this profession than there is in being a realtor.
Just use your head and if you feel uncomfortable with somthing than don’t do it until you figure out a better way.
Hope this helps you out.
But for the record…I have never been in what I percieved to be a dangerous situation. And altogether I have been in the mobile industry for over 9 years.
Best of luck to you,
Sean (WA)

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by K Greene

Posted by K Greene on March 06, 2002 at 09:50:12:

Bottom Line…Work in parks that you do not feel threatened in. When you go over the speed bumps you get that internal feeling of whether it is time to leave .

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Emily (NC)

Posted by Emily (NC) on March 06, 2002 at 23:37:00:

Thanks for all the great reassurance, support, and advice guys! I’m looking forward to going out and meeting my first (soon to be satisfied) customers! I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Emily

Re: Safety for Women - Posted by Jessica

Posted by Jessica on March 12, 2002 at 13:37:55:

Go Emily! I admire your determination at a relatively young age. You will go far and be financially free long before I had the knowledge to. I’m in my 40’s and have children from 4 to 14. How I wish we had understood the ideas on CREON enough to really work towards independence sooner. It would have made raising a family SO MUCH easier!!! You will be able to bless your future family by your knowledge and hard work at 22.
God Bless! -Jessica