Body of Arkansas Real Estate Agent Found: Hits home as I have to show by myself

115 Replies

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Use wisdom in showing homes and apartments.  I tell my agents that sometimes it's best to open the door and let the client walk through while remaining outside, if you feel uneasy.  Let the client tour the basement, attic or garage themselves.   Also, in addition to basic due diligence such as 1) getting mortgage pre-approval in advance.  2).stay on your cell phone with your spouse/office during the showing.  Make sure you tell people who you're meeting and where.  We all have to work but practice safety!

For the Ladies: My Sensei taught us that fear is a learned response most people are taught from their parents in childhood. There are 1,000's of ways to respond to an attacker but FEW are effective until you learn to control your fear. I know that this is extremely hard for adults already conditioned but it (fear) is an emotion and it can be controlled. Life threatening situations are just like car wrecks-they catch you when you least expect it. A wreck caused by over correction is a perfect example of this topic. Most single car wrecks are caused by over correction. The lack of proper training in situational response. Self Defense is Taught and it is learned through continual practice.
1st) Learn Martial Arts especially those taught by US Special Ops. If you can find someone locally who was Military Special Ops-especially a female-and inquire about either being taught or directions to someone who can. If you can find a "genuine" martial Arts Master, that is an excellent second choice.
2nd) Practice every day-Just as you had to practice to get good in real estate, you have to practice to get good in self defense.
3rd) Get a small caliber multi shot handgun and wear it, don't put it in your purse where you have to dig for it. (Never carry a weapon with a live round under the hammer) If you are afraid of guns, learning to overcome THAT fear is the first step in learning to control the emotion of fear in general.
4th) Carry something as a back-up. Pepper spray works as does a stun gun. Again, No weapon you carry is any good if it is buried in your purse. I carry a barber straight razor with me everywhere. if you opt for some kind of knife, check with the local police. Take the article of the Arkansas realtor with you and explain that you are want to be able to protect yourself. Ask about the local ordinance concerning knives. Get the name of the officer. If you get a gun and permit, keep that article in your car if you get stopped. After the officer asks you for your license and insurance, advised the officer that you are in possession of self defense weapons and tell him what you are carrying. Emphasis on “self defense weapons.”

Ladies, except your assailant is government trained, (rogue) an assailant has little or no training-they rely on brute strength and YOUR FEAR. Training (and controlling FEAR) will be your savior.

@Denise Stanford  

Can you elaborate on the staying on the cell phone?  Do you mean carry on a conversation with a family member or office?  Or do you mean just have the call connected but your focus is on the potential buyer?

@Amanda Young i agree with the hand gun. My mom is in the same boat as you and that is the route we are going with her. I my self am also an agent and take my .40 with me all the time when looking at house. Even after 8 years in the military 6 years over seas in a combat zone, being trained in hand to hand combative, and even placing in the top 5 in one the army's largest combative tournament i still carry my gun with me! Tho make sure you are completely comfortable  with it before you start taking it with you. 

Yes sorry, Amanda, I knew you weren't a Realtor. I was thinking you were selling your property, but if you are renting and showing potential renters, then I would get them to email you copies of their ID, their latest bank statement, get their SSN, and anything else you needed for a background check before you meet them. You don't have to do the checking until you're thinking of renting to them so no money is spent here.

Now, Google automatically uploads all your Android smartphone/tablet photos to the cloud these days. I don't know about iOS products, although you can use the app called IFTTT to make the same thing happen on both platforms. (make sure you didn't turn off this setting, or if an earlier version of Android, that you turn it on, or just use IFTTT to be sure)

When your potential renter arrives (discreetly or otherwise) photo the car and the plate without his permission, then photo him—again telling him it's for your personal security. Tell him it uploads to the internet for your own personal safety. As a genuine renter he should not mind. If he refuses, this would be a red flag that would make me jump back in my car and move along to the next potential renter. After all, you want a renter who is as concerned about your safety (and hopefully your property) rather than Mr Aggravating, or worse, someone pretending he values his privacy, or he's shy, or whatever other reson he might lie about not having his photo taken for your safety only.

Also, check out the app called bSafe. A few Realtor buddies and myself have it and use it all the time.

@Joseph Cox  

Love the idea of taking pictures of the car, I have a showing with a man in 2 days and will be doing this!

I just downloaded the bsafe app, I am going to be using this as well!

(on a lighter note....gotta love the get out of a bad date feature! Seems thats all I have LOL!)


This is a great little gun. One thing i will point out if it ever came to having to use this for any reasons, i would shot the floor first in order to try and scare them off. Also when you go to buy ammo ask for the home protection rounds they will not go through walls. They are designed so that once they hit drywall that will split and stop. This will help ensure that if something happens that your rounds won't go into anther house and possible hit someone else... 

In response to

David R.

I have used my cellphone while showing  property to people that I don't know always with my focus on the prospective buyer/tenant. However,oftentimes wanting the client to know that I'm connected and not isolated out showing this property to them without people knowing where I am and who I'm with.  Basic precautions.

@Jeremy Davis  

That's a little guy, it would fit right in my hand I believe. And doesn't weigh much either, the more I look at it the more I like it. A lot of guns are big and heavy in my hands :\ 

@Cecil Russell  

Great suggestions, I defiantly didn't think of actually carrying the gun instead of putting it in my purse or glove box. Don't laugh, but I'm just now seriously thinking of getting one. 

I'd say it's time to change your thinking.  The responses here are, how to protect yourself when you are already in a situation that you feel unsafe in.  How about coming up with a solution where you are not putting yourself in an unsafe situation?

Hire a PM to do the showings for you.  

Only use real estate agents to fill your vacancies.

Put a lock box on empty units so that you don't need to be present.

Do a video walk-thru of the property and allow tenants to view the video.

Do your tenant screen before you do the walk-thru. So that you have the same information (ID, Social Security, Banking Information, W2 Stubs).

My point here is if Safety is a concern eliminate that concern instead of preparing for it (CWC, Martial Arts Training, Pepper Spray, Filing a Plan with someone)

Of course I could probably make a fortune if I could come up with some way to make attractive steel toe high heels for women. 

Unless you have been attacked in a real life situation or been in the military combat, law enforcement etc. then speaking without experience is conjecture at best.

The truth is people believe in false assumptions. The police can save me if something happens, it won't happen to me, I have  a weapon so I am safe, I am a big person so nobody will bother me etc.

These assumptions will get you in trouble. All those assumptions and more are proven wrong everyday in life. If you call the police look at their average response time even if fast. If it's five or ten minutes that's a lifetime. If you can't defend yourself you will be likely be dead before the police ever arrive.

It doesn't matter If someone is 5 feet tall or 7 feet tall. Hit vital targets and you are going down. Eyes, throat, knees, groin, etc.  

If you do not know someone then bring a buddy. There is strength in numbers. A potential commission sale isn't worth risking your life. If you are an investor the same rings true have friends come.

Maybe if you tell the caller on the phone you will be over with your investor group to let them in that will deter a criminal who the thought of a lot of people showing up will scare them off. 

This isn't the movies folks. It's real and it's raw and it happens in a matter of seconds to a minute.

I HAVE been attacked by a gang when I was younger while on spring break at the beach over twenty years ago. In broad day light there was 4 of us and 12 of them. They were staying nowhere going down the beach looking for money and drugs to get high. The police never found them. I do not live in fear. In fact I am empowered and aware knowing how to easily take out multiple attackers now through my decades of training. I have fun and enjoy life but I a make no assumptions about anyone. There are old people, young people, middle aged people. Boys and girls and men and women of all ages that commit crimes everyday.

Once you get used to training it's like tying your shoes. You are relaxed but ready at all times.

When your life is on the line you can't think about being paralyzed if you are cut or wounded, shot etc. You have to have in your mind that you will win even if it means taking another persons life so that you will survive. You have to get over feeling bad about inflicting pain on others for self preservation. The perp has no conscious so you need to not as well.

No legal advice.  

This is a conversation that will never end because there are so many variables and ideas. I WOULD point out that all the points presented by Mr. Fisher are definitely good ideas EXCEPT that none will protect a woman alone. Remember, law enforcement knew who the perp was long before they found her body. He evidently did not care that he was known so all of those routes that could have been taken, photos of his car, live cell phone conversation, etc., won't deter a perp. If you HAVE to shoot, the rounds suggested by Mr. Davis, the home protection rounds will in all likelihood not kill per se' LADIES, aim for the crotch area-lower stomach. A round in the floor is good Only if he is a distance away. NEVER EVER fully extend your arm when aiming. Keep it close with the other hand supporting your gun hand. Every shot does not have to kill. Guns do more than kill. With proper training you can just as easily disable as kill. Whatever you choose to do to ensure your safety, remember this. Perps are not deterred by cameras, cell phones conversations, photographs of their car, and/or photographs of themselves. Perps are deterred when they are lying on the ground bleeding.

Pretend you on the phone with the police/security regarding a missing lockbox on a nearby property. And more prospects/handyman might arrive shortly. Set this up ahead, " 1pm looks good for Tuesday. There might be some others showing up at 1 pm as well if that is ok."

@Joel Owens  

I will look into the self defense classes, but learning martial arts is honestly something I'm not wanting to do. It would take too long and I honestly don't have the time. I do like the suggestions of lock box, PM , hand gun, self defense class. The best thing I do right now is not go inside with a man who is alone, period. I love this thread as it's opening up the conversation 

If you look at your schedule can you make the time for 3 classes a week at one hour apiece. Is your life worth 3 hours a week of investment??

I would say it is.

Traditional martial arts take a lot of time. Krav Maga is street based and is from the Isreali military and takes much less time to learn.

The same moves are taught from different angles so that you can easily remember them and pick it up fast. Most places will let you try a class free.

Hope it helps. 

I have seen a man pick up a police dog and throw it a dozen feet away and that trained attack dog wanted nothing to do with that human anymore. When you have these types out there avoidance is the ultimate solution.

@Joel Owens  

Yes, I do not have 3 nights a week. That's why I said I couldn't do martial arts training. 

@Arnie Guida  I don't have someone to go show property with me, that would be nice though. Everyone works, has families I can't expect people to stop and go show my house with me. But I can do a lot of the suggestions made here, it's been very helpful! 


I appreciate the difficulty of getting people to come with you for showings. I take it you're doing individual appointments instead of open houses? Maybe try an open house, that might make it easier for someone to come with you, offer to take them for a bite to eat afterwards as a thank you. Or maybe schedule more than one party for an appointment. With several people around it will discourage bad guys, no one wants witnesses. Maybe limit your showings to daylight only.

On a delicate subject, is your apartment in a not so nice part of town? 

Either way, be careful, kid.

On a lighter note, I'll fly down to show with you, from your picture, you're kinda cute! (just kidding around, everyone calm down!)