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

115 Replies

Originally posted by @David R.:
Originally posted by @Eric McCully:

I'm a little surprised at these responses, particularly Aaron's. Amanda Young You are right to foster discussion among agents about ways to stay protected and guard yourself. It's just smart to think ahead and in no way insinuates that you're living life in fear.

I am surprised as well.  There was a thread started when the agent was still just missing, and the tone of that thread was MUCH different. 

It isn't about living your life in fear, but about living your life AWARE.


I'm surprised you both found my comments, well, surprising. What is so surprising about suggesting self defense classes? Or is it surprising to learn that pepper spray isn't the cure all the marketing agents behind the product would like you to believe it is?

I've had attempted assaults on me twice in my life, both times at night, out on the street, and when the dust settled, I certainly wasn't the victim of either event. 

But hey, why learn self defense when you can have a proactive discussion about how to protect yourself. Cuz nobody ever assaulted someone who had a discussion, right?

@Amanda Young 

LOL.  It is a handyman franchise, not a dating service. 

I get that the name might not sound appealing, but nothing wrong (in my opinion) with paying to have a handyman type at the property when you are showing the apartment. 

@Aaron Mazzrillo  

Although I quoted a post that identified you, your post wasn't the ones that I was most surprised about.  I certainly don't have a problem with self defense classes.  My daughter is a black belt.  I hope she never has to use it, but I do feel better knowing she is better equipped in the event of an attack.

That being said, there was no reason to suggest Amanda was just being an alarmist.  Yes, statistically you are more likely to be attacked in countless other situations.  But this is a real estate forum, so sharing tips on how to stay safe as a real estate investor is a great idea.

I would use an app like Life360 which has GPS tracking capabilities. Not sure if someone mentioned that or not. The posters who talked about size and not being a target basically are living a fantasy or in an area that is not subject to a lot of crime. I property manage in Baltimore City and it does not matter who you are or what you look like. The potential to be robbed is there day or night. I do not think the entire city is dangerous but there are some places that it does not matter who you are or what you know. If you do have a gun, CCW, which is unlikely in Maryland, the bad guys have them too. 

I like the suggestions about open houses and at least having someone know where you are. Call when you make it and when you leave. 

Self-defense and training is good to get yourself out of a situation where you can escape, but it is not an end-all. Having multiple ways to avoid or reduce risks is the best bet. There is plenty advice here, but you need a plan of action that will incorporate the ideas. 

Originally posted by @Aaron Mazzrillo:

Study martial arts - good for the mind, good for the body, good for messing up rapist murderer creeps.

People are preyed on every day in all walks of life. Just because one agent out of hundreds of thousands was killed, doesn't mean it's a wide spread problem. I bet more people were killed on that day going into convenience stores. Should we stand outside of the store with pepper spray and a phone yelling inside what we'd like to purchase if it wasn't so risky to go inside? No, it would be absurd.

Seriously, if you're not willing to learn to protect yourself, then don't complain when you become the victim. The world is a vicious place and the knowledge to hedge your bets against all that nastiness is available in almost every strip mall.

FYI, I've been pepper sprayed in the face when I was in the military. It was part of basic training and I actually didn't think it was all that painful and definitely not disabling.

Aaron, your suggestion to learn self defense is not the issue. Read the rest of your comments. Mocking me for standing outside with my phone and pepper spray was rude and uncalled for. Saying that I would complain when I become a victim just because I was not will to learn to protect myself was down right mean. 

We are surprised at the tone and rudeness.   

@Amanda Young - funny, I just posted a similar concern.  I understand people advising not to let fear get the best of you, but I'm guessing that poor woman's husband would take her over the income she generated any day! 

I'm not a realtor, but I do door knock. I have pepper spray on my key chain and in my bag and always have someone with me (usually my sister).  Even though I have taken those precautions I'm still uneasy. On one occasion, my sister and a fellow investor went to a home that was inhabited by squatters. When the door was opened it was apparent that it was being used as a drug den. I think it's good to think about safety in advance of an emergency.

As a woman I totally get where you are coming from.

 

I think there is real world  experience and then there is theory.

Just like new investors on here giving advice about buying property when they have never bought any is weighted differently from those with actual experience.

Self defense is the same way. Those classes a lot of people are playing paddy cake with one another. You have to make it real to get anything out of it. Some in our class go isn't that overkill??

When they have been in an actual fight for their life and have experience they will never look at it the same way again.  So I tell them no it isn't overkill and that we need to go harder. The attacker isn't going to say " well you aren't used to practicing that hard in class so let me just hit you softly and not as fast ".

To people that say they do not have time it's a balance of priorities. Time can be found. On weapons a gun is the biggest falsehood out there. Just like those three hours a week in self defense class you will need to train weekly with a gun, pay for range time, and pay for ammo and clean your gun. It's not just buy something and it collects rust and then when you need it you will be able to use it perfectly. We practice very precise movements in the arts. The reason is when the flight or fight response kicks in your gross motor movements will be engaged over your fine ones. So your moves and actions will be sloppier with less control.

It's actually worse to have a gun and not be proficient with it.

People can say what they want but until you have real experience and not theory for surviving an attack you don't have a basis to stand on.

It's amazing people will not make a monetary investment or time investment in their lives but if you are not on this planet anymore then all these other things you are putting time into will not matter.

I have just seen so many people over decades that could have been saved if they just spent some time to invest in themselves.

It's not all combat. In fact I stay away from rough areas. My goal is to talk people down when possible even if it makes them think they are superior. The goal is to not be in a bad situation but if so to get away. With our conditioning the training has us running away from a group if possible and if one or two is still following after awhile then take them out when they catch up.

If you are cornered in a group and can't get out then you have to take the first person that comes at you and hurt them really bad and fast. The others have to know that if they come in there will be consequences they are not willing to handle individually.

I'll get off the soap box now. It's just disheartening people saying they want to be safe but their inaction or investment in themselves proves otherwise. I hope everyone stays safe. No legal advice.     

@Dee Cee  

Thank you sister! Love the name btw....we can never be too careful these days. I am enjoying the suggestions made here, do you do anything else besides the pepper spray? 

I am also surprised I have more men commenting then ladies, I want to hear from others as to what they are doing.

@Joel Owens

I so agree with you. With a gun a person's accuracy drops significantly when under duress. Even cops, that is why they train constantly. Anyone who suggests purchasing a gun for these situations better train well to use it. It is not easy firing a weapon when under duress. There are classes that provide that training. So I would suggest getting into a class that practices defense techniques when armed, in home and outside the home techniques as well as accuracy at different distances. 

I think you are very wise to be concerned. Statistically it may not be likely but it is possible. I will still go to the hospital but I double check everything the doctor and nurses do, procedures, medication ect. for me or a family member. Both my grandfather and mother would have died in a hospital if someone didn't catch their errors.

So many things to think about but here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

-Don't live in fear, learn how to avoid situations and how to defend yourself someway or another.

-The best first option is avoid potentially bad situations. Learn situational awareness like park in light public places, have your keys in your hand, lock your doors as soon as you get in your car, watch for who is parked next to you etc.

-GPS trackers and cameras are good IMO but they won't stop someone from hurting you, it can help catch them but you want to prevent it in the first place. If someone knows they are being recorded while looking at a unit it could deter a would be criminal.

-Nothing beats a gun for self defense but even a GOOD brand of pepper spray like Fox Labs or a stun gun is better than nothing in a last resort situation.

-I am a big harry guy too that doesn't get flack from people but I still take safety seriously for my family and I. Situational awareness and avoiding the situation are the best bet but you still need to be able to protect yourself physically. You can never guarantee safety by being aware of your surroundings.

-My first choice is a gun but I don't think everyone should carry one unless they are completely comfortable with carrying and using one. Take training classes focused on self defense with a firearm, and get plenty of range time and a few thousand rounds in before carrying. Carrying a gun is not a buy it and forget it tool, every year make effort to get professional training and regular range time.

-Have the mindset of if you pull it you shoot to kill, shooting to wound is a terrible idea and can get you killed or sued. To a degree stopping power of a specific round is a myth, shot placement is key and the most important thing in stopping an attacker, I am reminded of looking at my dads police training book when I was a kid and they showed a drugged up crook that was shot over 50 times before he stopped moving, those shots were not in the head, heart or spine. This goes back to training, you have to know when you are legally justified to pull a gun and shoot someone, your life has to be in danger.


I will just mention one last thing. If you use pepper spray or buy it then you might want to try to use some on yourself to get used to the feeling.

Law enforcement does it for training.

The pepper spray users do not think about when in an outside area the wind can actually blow back the spray right into your eyes along with the attackers.

Again theory is great but using things in reality there are things people do not think or know about that happen.

AWARENESS really is the ultimate weapon. Standing upright, confident, looking at your surroundings, etc. If you are oblivious to what is going on or you have a walk that doesn't display confidence then you become more of a target for attackers.

No legal advice or other advice of anykind.

Originally posted by @Joel Owens:

I think there is real world  experience and then there is theory.

Just like new investors on here giving advice about buying property when they have never bought any is weighted differently from those with actual experience.

Self defense is the same way. Those classes a lot of people are playing paddy cake with one another. You have to make it real to get anything out of it. Some in our class go isn't that overkill??

When they have been in an actual fight for their life and have experience they will never look at it the same way again.  So I tell them no it isn't overkill and that we need to go harder. The attacker isn't going to say " well you aren't used to practicing that hard in class so let me just hit you softly and not as fast ".

To people that say they do not have time it's a balance of priorities. Time can be found. On weapons a gun is the biggest falsehood out there. Just like those three hours a week in self defense class you will need to train weekly with a gun, pay for range time, and pay for ammo and clean your gun. It's not just buy something and it collects rust and then when you need it you will be able to use it perfectly. We practice very precise movements in the arts. The reason is when the flight or fight response kicks in your gross motor movements will be engaged over your fine ones. So your moves and actions will be sloppier with less control.

It's actually worse to have a gun and not be proficient with it.

People can say what they want but until you have real experience and not theory for surviving an attack you don't have a basis to stand on.

It's amazing people will not make a monetary investment or time investment in their lives but if you are not on this planet anymore then all these other things you are putting time into will not matter.

I have just seen so many people over decades that could have been saved if they just spent some time to invest in themselves.

It's not all combat. In fact I stay away from rough areas. My goal is to talk people down when possible even if it makes them think they are superior. The goal is to not be in a bad situation but if so to get away. With our conditioning the training has us running away from a group if possible and if one or two is still following after awhile then take them out when they catch up.

If you are cornered in a group and can't get out then you have to take the first person that comes at you and hurt them really bad and fast. The others have to know that if they come in there will be consequences they are not willing to handle individually.

I'll get off the soap box now. It's just disheartening people saying they want to be safe but their inaction or investment in themselves proves otherwise. I hope everyone stays safe. No legal advice.     

@joel I understand and hear what you're saying, I would take self defense classes yes. However, signing up for a martial arts class 3 nights a week is out of the question, I'm a single mom and I have no help. My priorities are in check, and I'll be implementing a lot of the suggestions made, but not the 3 night a week deal. I can only do so much.  

"The Gun Is Civilization" 

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another:  reason and force.  If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.  Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception.  Reason or force, that's it.  In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion.  Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.  When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force.  You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.  The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats.  The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.


There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations.  These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job.  That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat - it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.  People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society.  A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.  Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury.  This argument is fallacious in several ways.  Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst.  The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker.  If both are armed, the field is level.  The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.  It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.  When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone.  The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced - only persuaded.  I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid.  It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.  It removes force from the equation.  And that is why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

Joel- consider the financial investment into that as well. You have to think, not everyone can afford these courses. I don't think she is unwilling to invest in herself just because she doesn't want to take a course. I think that's a bit unfair. 

I did a CCW course for $100 and spent $299 on a gun. A $400 one time cost with little to no time investment, vs. a course that takes 3 hours a week and probably $75 a week for them. You have to weigh the options and realize that not everyone can do that.

I do agree that a gun isn't always the answer and is great in theory. I however, thought to myself "if I am in this situation, would I rather A) Have a gun or B) Not have a gun. Chances are, A is your answer 99% of the time. 

@Amanda Young  - I don't currently do anything else, but as I said before, I never go alone.  IMHO, that's probably the best defense I currently (not that it's impossible to attack two people at once) have.

I actually read the comments section under a news story about the realtor and people had some good-sounding suggestions for realtors, such as yourself. Someone mentioned that they only show homes during open houses and they hire staff to work the event.  Another person mentioned that she had a reciprocal arrangement with another female realtor and they agreed to accompany each other to every showing.

@Amanda Young 

I live in Little Rock. The news this morning just p'd me off. Unfortunately, this is not the first event that has happened recently that has people wondering what they can do to protect themselves.

A young mother was shot dead about a year ago as she sat at a red light. Gang bangers and some kind of initiation are suspected. People are blocked in the parking lot of a popular mall frequently and robbed. I know these probably do not make the national news. they are just incidences of "what can you do?"

I can only offer a personal story; a disgrunteled employ jumped on me over 20 years ago. It was a complete and total surprise. It changed me because I realized I never dreamed someone would jump on me with the position I hold in life. Not saying I am special; but, the job had about 80 people that I was in charge of. The end of that story was he ended up in the hospital after I had to get mean.

Since then, I practice in my mind what I will do with the next ahole that jumps on me. And I have had a couple try me in the past five years. One now has a deformed ear. The other has less hair sticking out of his collar. I am convinced the two later incidents would have turned bad for me if I had not been running through these scenarios in my mind all of these years. If someone wants to harm me or any one else around me, they might lose an eye, and ear, or anything else that comes naturally to me to defend myself or others.

My wife sez I scare her sometimes when I say what some ahole "deserves". Being jumped on all of those years ago just has me running what I would do through my head. Just trying to answer you question, I think mean.

BTW  I got randomly interviewed by FOX on this unfortunate subject while I was at lunch today. One of the questions I was asked was "what would I do if he is found guilty and I was in charge". I doubt very seriously my interview will be aired.

Don

Pepper spray a good idea. I bought a torch with a tazer built in to it to keep dogs at bay but that would be very helpful also for you.

When I was in Memphis even us big burly guys talked about how to stay safe inspecting houses. One of my mates wouldn't leave his car without a baton in his hand.

One of the reasons our Second Amendment rights are still in effect. Honestly, this can happen anywhere despite the neighborhood or time of day. A local bank branch I frequent was held up a few months ago at the same exact time I usually make deposits. Thank goodness no one was hurt. This was a wake-up call for me. We can choose to live in fear or choose to prepare for the worst and learn how to properly defend ourselves. Just my thoughts! 

A gun in the hands of a well trained individual do nothing when that individual has the element of surprise. If you are relying on your gun to keep you safe, you are a fool, and someone is going to get hurt or killed. Caution is what keeps you safe, and the would-be attacker knowing that they will not get away with shenanigans is what prevents attacks.

When I sold cars, we would copy the test-driver's ID before any car left the lot. Could a cautious Realtor do the same before showing houses?

@Tyrus Shivers As far as bird-dogging in Baltimore City, looking at vacants, etc.,

 I would never go alone and I would never go at night and without my trusty 4 D-Cell Maglite.

@Amanda Young 

There are a lot of crazy people out there that don't really care for anyone else, and enjoy causing harm to someone else. It is terrible, but true. A lot of other bad things can happen to people during daily activities that could cause physical harm to them and could lead to death. I believe that if you feel you will live in fear, or in peace if you take some steps to protect yourself, it's a small price to pay.  

It sucks to know the world is like this; however, I agree that selfdefense classes are a good way to protect yourself along with a lot of other ways (i.e. handgun, pepper spray, or taser). You could only show the house in the day like you stated, tell someone where and when the showing is, or bring someone along. I believe if you truly are kinda shaken up about this the possible deterrents that you could setup are endless. 

Either way, I think you shouldn't live in fear, even if you went through a traumatic experience. Just be careful and take precautions.

Peter