This past weekend, while contemplating what new series I would be embarking on for my soon-approaching BLOG post, I was reminded of the upcoming anniversary of the Sept. 2014 kidnapping and murder of a fellow REALTOR, Beverly Carter from Arkansas. Unfortunately, this sorrowful reminder hits pretty close to home after the August 10th, 2015 attempted kidnapping and rape of another fellow REALTOR in the Sarasota-Bradenton area, right here in Florida. While researching this post, I found several recent reports of similar incidents throughout the country against fellow REALTORS, both male and female…This past June, Arizona male REALTOR, Sydney Cranston was reported missing after showing property and his whereabouts is still unknown.
For those of you who don’t know the sad story about Beverly Carter, let me tell you … While showing a vacant home to a stranger, she was kidnapped, murdered and dumped in a shallow grave. Fortunately, the suspect, Aaron M. Lewis, has been arrested and is being held on $1 million bail. He has been charged with capital murder and kidnapping.
I don’t know about you BUT I love what I do! Real Estate – the business of working with buyers and sellers is a great profession and is one that comes with risks that most people are not even remotely aware of … So, I say to all the BUYERS & SELLERS out there.. “SERIOUSLY.. Don’t Be Mad at Us” if you feel like we are giving you the 3rd degree when we meet you for the first time, either on the phone or in person … The public needs to know that we ARE changing the way we do business and it is becoming accepted practice in our everyday life as REALTORS.
In doing some quick research for this post, I found that law enforcement agencies across the Country, all shared pretty much the same tips with regards to REALTOR safety… Let me share just a few of their “good-practice” safety tips with you that are now part of our daily way of doing business:
- Meet new customers at the office, never at a property
- Make a copy of the prospect’s driver’s license and have them fill out an information sheet
- Snap a picture of the customer and their car/license plate and email/text to the office or a colleague
- Have customers follow in their own vehicle
- Purchase a personal security app and keep cell phone in hand at all times
- If any suspicions or uneasiness arises about a customer, showings are made with an accompanying agent, no matter what time of day
- Let the customer lead the way through a home
- Leave scheduled itinerary and customer contact information with a co-worker or family member
- Familiarize exit doors at the property being shown
Hopefully, this smart approach to safety, for the roughly 2+ million members of the National Association of REALTORS throughout the United States, will eliminate another heart-breaking loss like Beverly’s or Sydney’s. Our sincerest condolences to their families, friends and co-workers.
THE Gail Spada TEAM at Century 21 Alliance Realty will be happy to help you find THE perfect home and we look forward to meeting you for the first time, over a cup of coffee, at our Spring Hill office. Please know the coffee is always on! You can also visit us online @ www.homesinthesunteam.com.Until then… it’s all about YOU!