Real Estate - How do you enter vacant properities?
This is a discussion on Real Estate - How do you enter vacant properities? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am taking my CCW course Jan 8th for home security, and personal protection. I am also a private property owner who routinely shows "my" ...
December 20th, 2009 06:15 PM
Real Estate - How do you enter vacant properities?
I am taking my CCW course Jan 8th for home security, and personal protection. I am also a private property owner who routinely shows "my" properties to potential renters.
Here in lies a recent scenario I encountered [minus any protection, other than the cell phone in my pocket]. On my way to my 9-5, I stopped by a vacant property to check the condition. I unlocked the front door noticed the last tenant left the living room a mess, continued into the kitchen its a mess, bathroom was decent, as I turned the corner to enter the master bedroom....in a split second I sensed movement, and instantly noticed a man in the bedroom. Needless to say I was SHOCKED, SCARED...you fill in the blank!!! that he was in "my" so-called vacant house, and shocked at our proximity [2 ft MAX]. As I yelled a few choice words.. I began to backout of the house...
So I guess I have several questions for my fellow brothers/sister of DC:
1) Assuming your armed what would you have done?
2) How would you enter vacant properties?
3) Last, the a typical question...I am considering purchasing a S&W M&P 9, or 9C? FYI, my 9-5 is business professional. Any thoughts?
December 20th, 2009 06:52 PM
I would not have yelled (alerting the potential BG that I was there). I would have drew, backed out of the house and retreated to a safe location where I could call 911.
"Those who beat their guns into plowshares will plow for those who didn't." -- Thomas Jefferson
December 20th, 2009 07:01 PM
1) The biggest concern here is the proximity at which you found yourself unexpectedly facing the guy. This does not warrant deadly force or even pulling your gun- your best response would be to create distance between yourself and the man so you can assess the situation. I would probably have backed out like you did, then called the cops from my car to have the man removed
2) How you enter vacant properties can help you avoid this in the first place. Situational awareness is your BEST friend. The fact that the place was a little messed up could have been a clue that someone was squatting. There may have been others- muddy shoe prints on the front porch you didn't see last time, the door being cracked open, etc... (really, who knows- since you're familiar with the property, you would know.
Regarding the property, make sure it is secure every time you leave. Windows and doors locked, shades pulled, etc. If I were worried about a repeat, I might do a quick perimeter check before entering. Any windows unlocked, shades open, etc would be a dead giveaway that someone had opened. Scratches on the door lock or where the lock engages the frame are another good one. If it's not in a good neighborhood, these alone might warrant a call to the police.
In addition, you could do something routine to tell you if anyone else has entered a door. Trapping a hair, small piece of paper, etc in the door as you close it each time would give a quick indication if someone had opened it.
Another part of this is how you enter each room. I would always enter in a way where my back wouldn't be to anything. Also- the odds are that the squatter doesn't want to get caught. If you'd rather avoid a confrontation than have them caught, you could do the following: if the place has more than one entrance, you could enter one entrance loudly and act as if everything is normal. Be noisy to alert the squatter, and move loudly with timing and a pattern that would allow for them to leave through the other entrance.
3) Regarding equipment:
First, I always carry a flashlight. It's a SureFire 120 Lumen model that is bright, light, and can double as an impact weapon
Second, regarding the M&P specifically: they are generally very good weapons. If you have the chance, rent and fire one to get a feel for what you like best. This is true for all guns. Fire the exact one you want to buy if at all possible. My girlfriend has an M&Pc 9mm and loves it. I have found 4 considerations specific to the model that I consider important.
a) If you get the compact model, consider getting the mag grip extensions. These make the gun MUCH easier to handle
b) The regular 4" model is not much bigger than the compact one if you add the grip extensions. If you can handle the extra weight and conceal ok, I would go for the 4" if I had a choice. Remember- the handles will be about the same length with the mag grip extension, and that is the hardest part to conceal if using in IWB holster. The extra inch on the barrel is much easier to hide
c) M&Ps have a trigger some people hate. Try it and see what you think. I've found I'm much better with "hinged" trigger models (as opposed to 1911 styles that slide straight back) if I feel the bottom of the gun against the top of my trigger finger when squeezing the trigger. This keeps me from yanking on the tip of the trigger and applying greater leverage to pulling the gun off-target if I jerk at all
d) The slide on the M&Ps can be a little loose moving side-to-side. Compare the movement on any one you consider buying with some other poly guns (Glock, Springfield XD, etc) and make sure it feels about the same. Some play is good as it makes it more fault tolerant in dirty situations, but too much will make you less accurate
Regarding your warddrobe and conceal- does business professional mean a suit? If so, that makes it much easier to conceal. If not, then it can be a little challenging. In both cases I would highly recommend the "Hidden Ally" or "Split Decision" from High Noon Holsters. These allow you to tuck in a shirt over your gun, making it very well concealed. I carry while leading worship at church with my shirt tucked and no one is the wiser. I prefer the "Hidden Ally" because I can carry at the 3:00 position and the handle doesn't poke out when I bend over.
Carrying without printing requires your shirt to be loosened or "fluffed" a little, and you may start buying slightly larger shirts to help as well. Such is the price of concealing anything larger than a pocket pistol in business attire without a jacket.
You might alternatively consider an ankle holster, but I would prefer being able to avoid a threat by moving and fend it off by drawing at the same time if needed. Hard to do with an ankle rig on.
December 20th, 2009 07:21 PM
This is one of the reasons my wife and I we got rid of residential properties. At least with commercial property you have a different set of problems. As far as how I would enter vacant property? Never alone! If you have two people with you I believe that could head off a lot of potential problems. I would also knock first. Even though the property is mine that might cut down on 'surprises'.
December 20th, 2009 09:09 PM
I disagree w/tunes; It is my [private] property & he was trespassing & I have no idea that he was there or what he was doing; I would have been in fear; I would have drawn, held at low ready & backed away & then called to police. I would not have escalated the situation. If the trespasser had attempted to leave, I would have let him.
An armed populace are called citizens.
An unarmed populace are called subjects.
December 20th, 2009 09:46 PM
Well as an owner of a Real Estate management and brokerage firm for many years, I have some strong opinions. I allways preach agent safety. Allways trust your gut. Listen to your intuition and never be afraid to offend if it could save your life. I dont walk in to properties gun in hand because in most cases if someone is in the property they have a reason to be there. Schedualing snafus are common in the real estate biz but that said carry in a manner that allows you to draw quickly and easily. Allways know where your clients/prospective tenants are. Know the area and build a relationship with neighbors or other property owners/managers, share information and concerns. Even in a compeditive buisness watch out for each other. And finally never agree to meet a prospective client you dont know alone. Allways make sure your office or family know where you are and when to come looking for you. Establish panic codes you can call or text for help. When in doubt remember no deal is worth your safety.
December 20th, 2009 10:10 PM
Agree with Ken but will also agree with what tunes said regarding the 9c. I use a Comp-tac Minotaur and tuck comfortably and just "blouse" the dress shirt. Make sure you get a good heavy duty belt. Also agree with carrying a light.
Originally Posted by KenInColo
December 20th, 2009 11:14 PM
I'm a heating contractor and I USE to work for a property management company that managed 300+ inner city properties.
I had a "Grand Master" key to all properties so I could come and go as necessary to facilitate repairs.
Here is what I would do when entering a property. Whether the property was suppose to be vacant or not:
1) Knock~~~LOUDLY, hit the door bell a few times (if it worked)
if no answer[U]
2) Enter the house, put my tools down and YELL, "HELLO, Heating contractor, I am armed, if your here illegally you are free to go at this time, if you choose to not leave and you surprise me, your going to die.
I wait at the front door a few minutes and then repeat #2. If I hear movement I leave the door open and I step OUT OF THE HOUSE, give them a wide berth and let the individual go and wish them well.
I then go back in and lock the door. depending on the property and my comfort level I sometimes will run a drywall screw through the door into the frame
3) If someone answers the door I say "I'm here to clean the furnace, if this is an inconvenient time I can come back later. If they ask me to come back I call the Management company and verify if it is suppose to be vacant, they will usually call the police for me.
I have never had a problem with this approach and only twice has an "squatter/illegal" left a property on there own. And to be honest, they were polite and said have a nice day.
I find that most "squatters" just want to be out of the weather and have no malice intent.
I do not work in the inner city anymore. I got tired of worrying about my truck getting "hit"
I also got tired of ungrateful/abusive tenants.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
December 20th, 2009 11:18 PM
At LEAST some pepper spray should be in hand when you're entering a supposedly vacant property. Squatters and cold weather go together.
As said earlier, bright flashlight, be alert, visually clear every room before you do any work.
As to the concealed handgun, just remember in NC you can not use deadly force on a person inside your premise unless they are threatening your life or serious bodily harm, or a sexual assault.
You can use any force up to but not including deadly force to get rid of them. OC spray is a great convincing tool.
December 20th, 2009 11:32 PM
First off thank you everybody who has responded thus far...
I agree with so many of your points. Interestingly enough I lean small paper clips against doors., and a few other things to let me know a house has been disturbed. The point regarding the flash light is another point well taken.
If I had more room to type in my first mini-editorial I would stated I came to suggest S&W M&P's through two recent sessions at my local range [Calibers Greensboro,NC..great place by the way].
Last, good or bad I work in normal business-professional environment, no suites. Nevertheless, I would do my homework on the holsters you've recommended.
I'm curious what you guys think...my intent is to carry ALL the time [except for post offices, gov't building,banks,etc,] I realize this may require adjustments to wardrobe, belts, etc, but the nature of my real estate investments I come in contact with "strangers" all the time....
I think your approach is what I would have been more likely to do given several factors, One he was trespassing, Two he's trespassing...who knows what he could being doing, or planning on doing? I'm very thankful that situation didn't go another direction!!! I did go straight to the sheriffs office and begin the CCW process. So I took that as a first hand, up close [2ft..or so] lesson. I will say that its unbelievable how your adrenaline can go from 0 to 100mph in an instant!!!!
Great points about alerting friends, family, etc whenever I am showing a property.
December 20th, 2009 11:44 PM
More great points............
#2.... I will add that to my repritoire immediately...well I guess up until the point when I am legally carrying a weapon as part of my CCW!!!
I'm really glad someone from NC chimed in...Yes your are 110% correct on the deadly force statement. I know this is a message board as such, but if you were to ever get to know me you would know that I am NOT trying to a hero every instance. As in most cases, I would hope to first be able to "quickly" remove myself for a stressful confrontation, without the use of any force.
December 21st, 2009 02:47 AM
A few reasons I wouldn't recommend drawing the gun in Joey's situation. Some great points on the other side of the fence- just adding more context:
1. While I understand "universal" rules about use of deadly force, I don't know a thing about the laws in NC. Glad someone else chimed in on this! :-)
2. At the range where you were at (2 ft), I sincerely doubt you would have been able to draw and fire before getting killed/mugged if that were the person's intention. I would personally be worried that by drawing my gun I would be putting myself into a very awkward position. A normal person might try to stop me from drawing or using my gun in self-preservation, particularly if surprised themselves. A malicious person might take the opportunity to attempt to take it from me. It might be very hard to tell the difference.
At 2 feet I would much rather focus on re-establishing distance between myself and the person than on trying to shoot them as a gut reaction and find myself either shooting an unarmed person that meant no harm or having them attempt to take my gun in any case and having no choice. I have enough competency with hand-to-hand that my first reflex would likely have been to resort to HTH to reestablish distance, and pull my weapon as the person was flying backwards.
Of course, how any one person would deal with this is a balancing act of skill, reflexes, moral and ethical concerns, and the law, so you may find you come down on this differently. This is just my 2 cents based on my own skills and reflections.
December 21st, 2009 07:45 PM
two more pennies
To add my two pennies worth to our/my scenario.. Yes, minus the fact that at moment I did not have a weapon at all... I did do what you mentioned.. after a "very brief" exchange in words.. I found myself reteating out of the room, towards the front of the house.
As I stated in a prior response in that slipt second, with no more than 2-feet seperating us, my adrenaline was on hyper-sonic speed...I think back, and still realize that training, repitition, and thanks to all of you guys' responses a GAME PLAN when entering a vacant house is imperative!!!!
December 21st, 2009 08:49 PM
December 21st, 2009 09:32 PM
One of many reasons Florida passed CCW
IIRC, there were many cases of rape/murder of female real estate agents lured to properties to show who were raped and murdered by the "client." Many business women began to carry illegally.
If you go to a property and it is not in the condition it should be, call 911 and let the cops clear the joint. That is what they get paid to do and have the equipment to do so.
If you enter an apartment and are confronted, you are there legally and have every right to defend yourself. It isn't your dwelling. Perhaps in California the courts might even consider it "his" dwelling if the LaRaza or the ACLU gets involved. But real estate is one of the few businesses where you go alone to meet strangers in a private place.
A vacant apartment or house is easy to break into, often the power is turned off, the alarm systems are not active and the place is dark.
If it doesn't look or feel right, don't go. If you have to meet a "client" meet them at a public place first. Have a schedule and have somebody who knows your itinerary.
The People Think the Constitution Protects Their Rights;
Government See IT as an Obstacle to be Over-come.
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