Our Profession Can Be Dangerous…

PoliceAs a warning to readers this is a pretty depressing article. That said, I know a lot of my Realtor friends read this blog and I want this to act as a reminder that everyone’s guard should be up all the times. Like the article says, this business exposes us to folks we’ve never met or seen before. FJ

Fatal Tragedy After Open House Reminds Realtors Of Dangers
Trey Garrison

Philadelphia police arrested and charged two men this week in connection with the July 25 carjacking of a Realtor.

Tragically, the criminal act ended with the death of three children, one adult and the injury of several others in the city’s Tioga section.

Jonathan Rosa,19, and Cornelius Crawford, 23, are being charged with three counts of murder in the second degree, conspiracy, robbery, robbery of a vehicle, kidnapping, sexual assault and other related offenses.

Police said the two men carjacked a 45-year-old real estate agent at gunpoint and forced her into the backseat.

The two suspects allegedly alternated between getting behind the wheel and sexually assaulting the real estate agent, who was held in the backseat of her own SUV.

The car subsequently crashed, hitting a pedestrian and her three children. The children died immediately and the mother died of injuries later.

This tragic incident serves as a reminder to all real estate agents and Realtors that they must take care and precautions to protect themselves, given the exposed nature of the business.

“The National Association of Realtors works hard to promote safety awareness and protect its Realtor members, unfortunately like many other jobs that require interacting with the public, selling real estate involves some risk,” a NAR spokesperson told HousingWire on Friday. “NAR remains committed to its members’ personal safety by continuing to help educate Realtors about potential threats and provide them with resources to protect themselves and stay safe.”

NAR reminds those working in housing that open houses can be a great sales tool—but hosting one also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time.

They encourage real estate agents to take these 10 steps to stay safe.
1. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.
2. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.
3. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
4. Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and e-mail.
6. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.
7. Avoid attics, basements, and getting trapped in small rooms.
8. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you.
9. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.
10. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

On a side note, HousingWire also encourages Realtors, agents and others in the industry to adopt these practices to help stay safe.

Carrie Vavul • 11 hours ago
Why is it not suggested that, in states where it is legal, you can arm yourself? That seems pretty basic to me. All of these suggestions on how to stay safe and escape are fine and helpful (some if which I will begin using). However, I am floored that self-defense isn’t even mentioned as an option?

JGaffney, Editor Mod > Carrie Vavul • 6 hours ago
Carrie, that’s actually a good point about the self-defense not being mentioned. We will talk to NAR to see what they think. Thank you.

Carrie Vavul > JGaffney, Editor • 5 hours ago
Thank you!

Abiatha Swelter > Carrie Vavul • 10 hours ago
Yes, those pedestrians would still be alive if the realtor had pulled a gun and the carjackers just shot her right off the bat.

Carrie Vavul > Abiatha Swelter • 4 hours ago
I’m sorry, help me understand your logic. Are you suggesting that our only options should be fleeing, hopefully with success, or just accept our fate at the hands of the bad guys?

Robyn Bickel > Abiatha Swelter • 2 hours ago
I think the point they are making is that anyone who deals directly with the public, mostly as strangers, should be allowed to carry and conceal. If this realtor had been armed, many tragic events could’ve been avoided. However, if not trained properly, it could cause a different tragedy to occur. As long as a safety and certification program were put in place, I feel that anyone has a right to defend themselves.

GuestAZ • a day ago
Agents should never hold an open house alone, NEVER! After #1 on the above list all of the other suggestions don’t help if you are confronted at gunpoint or attacked when alone in the house. Criminals have long admitted the easiest targets in the world are female Realtors. And now more and more male Realtors are being attacked as well.

fel121 • 5 hours ago
They encourage real estate agents to take these 10 steps to stay safe.
1. Conceal carry
2.Learn to shoot well
3.Cap low life sh!theads
4-10 Go on with your life

GuestAZ > fel121 • 4 hours ago
BS, I’m a Realtor and this is the most moronic post I’ve read in a while. And that is saying something.

If you carry good for you. But training for C&C never recommends to shoot first unless necessary and often itis not when the gun comes out.

Michael Jones • 3 hours ago
Always remember your sidearm.

Trey Garrison • an hour ago
As a strong advocate for unfettered gun rights and carrying firearms for self-defense, I wholly support these comments.

But this was not intended to be a piece about Trey Garrison’s position on the subject, but rather to relay the safety tips from NAR to agents and Realtors. I didn’t want my opinion getting in the way or confused with NAR’s position.

Suffice it to say I strongly advocate every man, woman and responsible adolescent be trained in the use of arms, that every household be armed, and that people carry arms as local laws and your company policy provides.

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