There seems to be an uptick in attacks on Real Estate agents in America. It is time for the Real Estate community to teach their agents how to defend themselves or help them avoid being the next victim. The Real Estate community is made of both men and women, but most of these attacks occur against women.
Ashley Okland was shot and killed in West Des Moine in 2011 and this case is still unsolved. Beverly Carter was killed recently in Little Rock, Arkansas.
According to the Washington Post
Selling real estate is a solitary profession that involves escorting virtual strangers into sometimes vacant properties at a moment’s notice. Advertising — usually accompanied by an agent’s photograph and phone number — is virtually a requirement for the majority of agents who work for commission.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 57 percent of agents are women, and a 2011 report on violent crimes against real estate agents found that women are disproportionately victimized.
Realtormag.com says that…
About 42 percent of female real estate professionals and 18 percent of male agents say they have “occasionally” felt unsafe in the course of their real estate job, according to an online survey of 450 real estate professionals conducted by Moby, a safety mobile app company.
Robert Siciliano, a personal security and identity theft expert offers great advice on realty safety and security.
He offers these tips:
- Be suspect of everyone
- ID and pre-qualify at your first meeting
- Stay in communication with the office
- Have a plan for safe open houses
- Use predetermined code words to alert your office of distress
- Conduct personal safe marketing
- Implement a buddy system
- Dress for safety and success
- Don’t take predators for a ride
- Pay attention to your intuition
- Know how to defend yourself.
Read the whole article here.
Streetdirectory.com has some great tips for Real Estate Agents –
There are several things agents can do to protect themselves:
- Have a prospective buyer meet you in your office, NOT AT THE PROPERTY, preferably with co-workers present and NOT near closing time. Obtain identification from the buyer in the form of a drivers license and their vehicle license number. Leave this information with a responsible person in your office and advise them where you are going.
- If possible, have someone go with you to the showing and have them wait in the car with a cell phone. The best scenario is to go to the showing in two different cars, but if this is not possible, try to be the driver. This will give you somewhat of an advantage.
- Always have the person enter the residence or rooms in front of you. Never put your back to the person or allow yourself to be cornered.
- Have area police phone number on speed dial on your cell phone.
- DO NOT be lulled into a false sense of security by a female “buyer”. There are more and more cases of women being used to set up robberies and even rape.
- Always follow your gut feelings. If something doesn’t feel right, pass on it.
- When alone in your office at night be sure the doors are locked, preferably with deadbolts, have the blinds drawn and DO NOT open the door to anyone you do not know well enough to trust.
- One very important thing is to have your mind conditioned and ready to react in case of emergency. Think about all the vulnerable positions you may find yourself in and think about what you would do if someone tried to attack you. Play the scenario over and over in your mind so that if it were to ever occur you would react automatically and quickly and not freeze or panic.
- Carry a self defense product with you, have it ready, and know how to use it without hesitation.
We believe that agents should carry if authorized or learn how defend themselves in a hand-to-hand combat situation. Learning Brazilian Jiu-jitsu or any type of striking art (Krav Maga, MMA) will at least give you chance at surviving a violent encounter. Another option is to carry mace, a knife, or something to jab your attacker with.
An article titled “Safety Lessons that Saved My Life” by Melissa Tracey offers good advice.
Additionally, reading up on how to defend yourself is helpful as well. Author Joe Rosner has a great book titled “The Real Estate Safety Book: Personal Safety and Self Defense for Real Estate Professionals.”
If you are looking for a school near St Louis or the Metroeast – one that offers stellar self-defense classes to Real Estate agents — look up Mike Rethmeyer. Mike can be reached at 314-780-4222, or visit his website at stlouisnovauniao.com.
If you are looking for a Real Estate agent in the Metroeast – please call Frank Yunkarnold. He is a veteran that will meet all your real estate needs. Visit his Zillow and Facebook page.