Don’t let yourself be a victim
Take basic safety precautions when meeting clients
In early Fall, Arkansas real estate
salesperson Beverly Carter went
missing after showing a vacant home
to a man claiming to be an interested
buyer. Soon after, her body was
discovered in a nearby town.
Meeting new people is crucial to
success in the real estate sector. This
tragedy emphasizes that this can also
leave you vulnerable.
“Ms. Carter’s death is a terrible
tragedy; it is a reminder that we
need to be vigilant. Unfortunately, it
sometimes takes a tragedy to change
our behaviour. Activities that have been
common place for many years, like
meeting with complete strangers in a
vacant house or inviting them into your
car to drive them around, carry very
real risks,” says RECO Registrar Joseph
Richer. “Registrants must reinforce
their safety efforts.”
Here’s what you can do to increase
U Confirm who you are meeting with
by getting their name, address,
phone number, and a copy of their
driver’s licence. Make sure your
office knows where you are and
who you are with. If something
happens, there will be a record of
who you were with. A would-be
criminal could also be deterred if
they are asked to provide this
information and a copy of their
U Meet up in a public place like your
office, or a coffee shop before
showing a property to a new client.
This will give you an opportunity
to assess their character in a safe
environment and a criminal may be
deterred at being seen publicly with
a would-be victim.
U Avoid putting yourself in vulnerable
situations. Maintain control by
driving separate vehicles if
possible. If you have to share a
car, you should drive. When you’re
showing a property, allow clients
to walk ahead of you and avoid
entering confined spaces with
them. Be aware of your
surroundings at all times.
U Know the terrain by going through
a home before showing it for the
first time. Know the location of all
the exits and make sure no doors
are locked during your showing.
U Don’t work alone if at all possible.
Especially during an open house,
having a trusted person with you is
a good idea.
U Carry your phone at all times and
have it readily accessible for
U Trust your instincts. If you feel
uncomfortable or threatened, leave
immediately. If you believe there is
an imminent risk, call 911.
U Keep it professional. Don’t give out
your personal address or contact
Compiled from information from the
National Association of REALTORS®
With Thanks From: The RECO Website