This is mostly for the women on BP, but, it is wise for men too. There's an Arkansas Realtor that went to show a property and hasn't been heard from since. Missing Realtor
As an agent over the years I have heard these stories before, and they are always horrific. Here's some advice especially for those in rural areas or rough neighborhoods:
1. NEVER go meet someone at a property if you haven't met them in person before.
2. ALWAYS have someone else go with you to meet people at a property.
3. Don't hold Open Houses alone.
4. Have some type of GPS tracking device, OTHER THAN YOUR PHONE!! It's a complicated process for Police to be able to track your phone without permission from YOU, not your spouse, parent, etc. There are many options that are inexpensive GPS TILE
5. If you're not opposed to it, get a concealed weapons permit and carry a gun! If not a gun, carry taser or ?
6. If nothing else is available, make sure you have your keys with you, press the faub and set off an alarm, maybe someone will hear it!
7. If you MUST go alone, let someone know where you are going, and check in (from your car) when you arrive safely maybe text a license plate number of the person you are meeting with.
Good list. I think it's a great safety practice but I also apply this when servicing my tenants apartments to keep out of legal trouble. Email your property manager when you go into a unit and when you leave so there is a paper trail if you are ever accused of something. Just a thought.
very nice tips
Number 5 ONLY if you are going to practice diligently with the weapon so it becomes second nature like tying your shoes.
If you buy stuff thinking it will save you and it collects dust without practice then forget it. Actually the criminal will have more practice then you and use it against you.
Weapons are NOT just knives and guns.
Your belt, jewelry, keys, pens etc. can all be deadly weapons if you know how to use them. Hard spots on the ground, corners of buildings, rail bannisters, etc. Make use of your environment and what you have to survive.
Regular items such as guns and knives are classified as weapons and as such are not allowed in many venues around where you live. Learn how to use your body first as it never leaves you. Then unconventional weapons that you are still likely to have with you at all times. Last the weapons you can't use or train with as often that are not allowed in most venues.
Decades in street self defense and the martial arts.
No legal advice.
@Joel Owens You are so right, and I should have stressed that fact. Only carry a gun if you have a permit and KNOW how to use it responsibly. Also, there are many things that can be used for protection. Thanks Joel!
Just thought I'd bump this up.
I wonder if there are any statistics out there that show if crimes against real estate agents are any greater than crimes against other professions. What are the odds that an agent would get attacked in a life-time of work?
I am not saying that we shouldn't be cautious but that should be general practice throughout life regardless of what we are doing or in what profession we are in.
Some agents like to have people meet at the office first instead of at the property. That is probably safest because everyone sees who you are with. If you go missing, someone will be able to identify the person you were with.
Also, if you are ever attacked, try screaming as loud as you can while fighting back. Statistics show that attackers usually will run off in fear of being noticed... Unless your in a really rural area.
Well I do not know if this is the case now but studies showed that just screaming surprisingly many people didn't come to your aid. Same with yelling help as it had a mixed response.
The one word that did elicit the most response was yelling over and over again FIRE. They found a bunch of people came if you called out that phrase.
I am not saying to do this and I am not giving legal advice just some data I remember from years back.
Definitely you should consider getting a ccw and practicing with it.@Joel Owens he is giving excellent advice, also I really recommend Gracie jiu-jitsu and taekwondo. Separately they are not the best martial arts, but combined, they make a really great self defensive package
On the topic of carrying a gun as a weapon, also keep in mind that a handgun is not an easy weapon to control in a high-stress situation. I recently ran across the story below about a cop who shot an unarmed man at a gas station and from just a few feet away the officer shot 4 or 5 shots at the guy and only grazed the guy in the leg. I don't mean to say "only" to downplay the injuries the unarmed man received, but to highlight the fact that even a trained police officer can fire off 4 or 5 shots at a target from 10 feet away and miss the target when stress levels are high.
And, someone who wishes to do you harm isn't going to signal their intentions and let you reach into your purse or in your jacket and draw your weapon. He (or she) is far more likely to pounce when you're in a vulnerable position like when you're fiddling with keys to get a door unlocked.
As someone that Uncle Sam paid good money to become proficient in firing everything from handguns to anti-tank weapons, I'm hardly anti-guns. I just think that as @Joel Owens pointed out, having a weapon on you that you don't know how to use or it giving you false sense of security is, IMHO, more dangerous from being completely unarmed.
Also, on #4 - I don't like being negative by being blunt but the chances of you being abducted for any length of time are pretty low (i.e. where you would be listed as "missing" as this agent is). Children, yes. Adults, not so much. Although there are 2300 missing person reports filed per day in the US, only 6% of missing persons reports are filed on adults. Of that 6%, a good majority of them involve substance abuse or dementia.
If you are victim of a violent crime, the motive is usually robbery or rape (or both) which sometimes escalates to murder. By the time someone is worried enough to contact law enforcement, the crime has already been committed.
Just remember that if you do not fight someone and go with them where they can isolate you then your chances of survival go way down.
Some even abdicate fainting etc. for a woman if in a public place and they will not want to carry the dead weight and will run away.
Make yourself a hard target by paying attention and having a sense of awareness at all times. Sadly in our defense and martial arts classes there are very few woman there and statistically they need it the most. It really makes me cringe when I hear these news stories about girls and women. If they had only even a little training it might save their life.
No legal advice.
@Karen Margrave Great post!!
Another thing agents can do is get full information for the person including, name, address, phone number, etc. and then have them email/text/fax a picture of their state ID to confirm that the information matches.
when I saw this headline in the news I felt really rotten. I know if they remove the agent from the property and 24 hours pass, the likely hood of a good ending is small. I used to go over safety every week with my agents. This is one of the dangers of being an agent. Agents get careless because this is a one in a ten-thousand type of deal, and they think that won't happen to me, but one in ten- thousand is still way to low for me.
I suggested that the ladies carry hornet spray instead of pepper spray because you need to be close for pepper spray but hornet spray could travel 30 feet. And this saved one of my agents during an attack. I didn't allow them to show vacant properties without a backup agent in a second car. This agent thought oh one time won't hurt. And this was even after we implemented a required office visit before we would show property to a new prospect. and remember it doesn't need to be a solo male watch out for women too, or couples.
@Brian P. Good points! Sounds like you go out of your way to cover your agents, that's great. Thanks for the post. The hornet spray is not something I would have ever thought of, but good idea. It's unbelievable what sickos will do in order to carry out their perversion. Hopefully they'll find the agent safe, but you're right, the more time that passes the less likely that will be.
Karen read the first post, good tips.
As to cell phones, keep the batteries charged! If you must meet someone, call someone to call you in like 5 minutes, you answer the phone and tell the caller you're with Mr. Who at 3234 S. wherever and that you'll call right back. Act like you hang up but don't, put the phone in you pocket to be monitored by your buddy. You can just excuse yourself before you get out of the car and make a call in front of them. give a description of them and their vehicle.
The buddy can call the cops on another line and give consent to tracking the open call, but they already know where everyone is. Some phones, not mine, record, so the buddy can record as well.
While a Desert Eagle may not fit in all bras that's one way to avoid issues, LOL
What you've done is communicated to a would be attacker that people know where you are and are expecting a call back in a few minutes, that effects the thinking of the more thoughtful as that limits the time they have and time to get away.
Didn't read about that case, but good changes are they could have known each other too, she may have had the keys and it may not be their first party. Another good reason to flip for a motel than use empty houses for those so inclined, I know this is a family site, I'll leave it at that. Yes, Realtors have been known to stop at homes on personal business.
There have been several attacks on Realtors in this area, best to use the buddy system as Karen mentioned. :)
I agree that precautions should be taken (men and women) but I also feel that we should keep in mind that thousands and thousands of showings take place each day with no incident. The gun talk might be a little much for me. IMO, guns mostly make gun manufacturers rich, not physically making us safer.
Although it doesn't happen often it obviously can happen. This is a prime example of why more people(particularly those that are independent contractors dealing with the public often alone) should have some sort of self-defense training be it in weaponry or/and physical.
This happened in broad daylight in a middle class neighborhood. It could happen to any r.e. investor / r.e. salesperson as often there may be no signs of danger. Many sick in the head people are calculating and know how to pretend to be normal until they are ready to strike. She may have had a stalker and didn't have a clue.
Most of us don't think in the manner of having to carry weapons to the grocery store or going out for a night on the town or going to work even. I sure don't. If its not your job to be an authority figure or you don't have a combat training background, its likely not a thought until something like this occurs.
This woman called her husband and told him the address of where she'd be and the time. She might've had a taser or gun in her purse which was found in the car. Maybe combative physical self-defense is better here. Preparation is key. I truly feel for her family.
Warrant has been issued for suspect.
Another suggestion I have seen is to arrive early. Use your cell phone to text a picture of their car (and include them, if possible) to yourself. This provides a record that will be found, if needed. Wait in your car just long enough to be noticed, then apologize for the delay and tell them that your husband, or bf, insists that you send him a picture when meeting strangers, for safety reasons.
This will not 100% protect anyone, but it greatly reduces the risk since it increases the chance of them being caught.
I remember they use to have a policy when I was first licensed over a decade ago that if you didn't personally know the buyer then have them come in to the office first.
The office then took pictures of drivers license and info etc. of the buyers. If they wouldn't agree to this then the brokerage would not show the property.
The husband should probably have went with his wife for an unknown buyer like that. You know nothing about the person etc. just from a call. It's really sad and hopefully she is okay. The KEY point is people are not being aware and too trusting in this world when it comes to personal safety. You could know your whole town and one person straggles through town and all it takes is one event to change your life forever. I have survived an attack by a gang on the beach when I was younger on Spring Break. It's not like the movies and it is over within seconds to a minute. Luckily another guy came over and me and my friends were able to get away which got me into the arts and self defense. That was over 20 years ago. There are still beautiful things in this world but also evil forces and disturbed people that you have to watch out for. Have fun, relax, and enjoy life but be alert and ready to do what you have to do to survive is the way the world is now.
The point has sort of been made above, but to state it a little differently, you should not even consider buying a gun unless you are prepared to KILL someone. It's very easy to talk about self defense. However, few people think it through. If you pull that gun out, then you need to be prepared to kill the person in front of you. Shooting them in the leg is for the movies. If you aren't prepared to do that or not proficient in using the gun then all you are going to do is arm the attacker when they call your bluff and get the gun away from you.
I'm pro-gun and believe in self defense. An armed and trained citizen could stop/prevent a lot of these senseless shootings. However, I would just strongly encourage anyone that even considers getting a gun to think it all the way through, then if you do it, get trained and practice frequently.
scary, I have sent this link my wife who is an agent.
Probably, I will suggest her to get a CHL, although she was scared of the guns.
The realtor in this story did not survive.