Want to be a Real Estate Agent?
Next to Donald Trump there is no more famous person in real estate than Barbara Corcoran, who has gained even more notoriety starring on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.” She was quoted recently as saying that the real estate business can “sometimes be downright dangerous.”
When you stop and think about it, the real estate industry is heavily laden with women, many of them single, and to be honest, many of them wealthy, which makes them attractive targets for perverts. They “dress for success” by wearing expensive clothes, showing pricey jewelry and often driving luxury cars. These real estate agents often do their work showing homes by themselves, sometimes in remote locations, at odd hours of the day and night which makes assaults relatively easy.
In today’s article we will share with you several examples that confirm what Barbara was talking about. Then we will give real estate agents some tips on how to stay safe when showing a home.
Our first example comes from ABC News about an agent who was Attacked Showing A Home. A Real estate agent in San Antonio, Texas by the name of Janice Tisdale was showing a $750,000 house in a remote subdivision to a client who said he was bringing his banker along. When they met at the house the banker wasn’t there and Tisdale became suspicious. She had shown the client several homes before but did not have a warm fuzzy feeling about him.
As she was showing the client the vacant house, her instincts told her to leave. As she started to leave, the client pulled a tire bumper from his cowboy boot and hit Tisdale over the head causing her to fall and hit her head on a stone wall. Instead of leaving right away, she started to engage the client in a conversation about why he hit her. She kept telling the client to leave and go to his car. She offered to write an explanation for her husband that the client did not attack her. When the client went to get a piece of paper from his car, Tisdale ran to the street and caught the attention of five teenagers driving by who ultimately saved her.
In another example an Arkansas Realtor was killed in September, 2014 causing Great Distress Among Fellow Agents. Ann Clark who had been a real estate agent for four years, has had trouble getting a pepper spray, which in Arkansas requires a license, on her to do list for some time. But after the recent killing of Beverly Clark, a fellow real estate agent, she will move that up higher on her list.
Ashley Okland, was a beautiful 27-year-old real estate agent in Des Moines, Iowa, who was found shot inside the model unit of a new townhome complex. Police say she died at a hospital from two gunshot wounds. They are still trying to solve her murder.
A Denver real estate agent was raped while showing a house in 2006. The female agent told detectives that she was showing the house to the perp when he proceeded to rape her inside the house that was for sale.
A Corona, Texas agent survived an attack but was raped at gunpoint, then stabbed while showing a house in 2010. After walking through the house, the man ordered the woman to the ground while pointing a pellet gun at her. He bound her wrists and ankles with tape and stole her keys, purse and phone. The man held the gun to the back of her head while he raped her.
Here are some valuable Safety Tips For Real Estate Agents from the folks who know – Real Estate.com, a professional organization.
Before You Go Out:
- Keep your phone on a charger at your desk. That way it’ll always be charged when you leave.
- Keep your first meeting with the client at the office; never meet at the house.
- Keep your online and print ads professional. You don’t want to attract the wrong kind of buyer.
- Don’t advertise your listings as vacant or unoccupied.
- Do a reverse phone search.
- When you meet the client at the office get a copy of his driver’s license.
- Have a colleague get the make, model, color and license plate of the prospect’s car.
- Take your own car and have the client follow you in his car.
Out In The Field
- Always make sure someone in the office knows where you are.
- Keep your cell phone in your hand during the showing.
- Don’t pull into a driveway with the prospect following you. That way you get pinned in and can’t leave quickly in an emergency. Park on the road.
- Make sure you have a remote control to unlock your car door.
- Women especially have very good instincts. Trust them and act accordingly.
- Never go into a room before your client. Follow him into the room and keep between the client and the door.
- Many brokers insist that their agents establish a code word that will signal she is in trouble.
- Always carry a keychain pepper spray. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to let your client see it.
- It also isn’t a bad idea to take a self-defense course so you can defend yourself in the event of an assault.
- Never lose control of the situation. If you feel you are losing control or feeling uncomfortable remember, you are in charge. You can just leave!
Follow these safety tips and you will be way ahead of the game and possibly avoid a potentially dangerous situation. We have nearly 200 OC Sprays to choose from-the largest selection in one place on the Internet.
As a real estate agent, have you ever felt uncomfortable showing a house to a client? What safety tips does your broker pass on to agents?