After Agent’s Murder, Realtor Association Offers New Safety Resources

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By / May 18, 2015
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The National Association of Realtors has released new resources as part of its safety program to help ensure real estate professionals can reduce the risks of threats and attacks while on the job.

Last September, real estate agent Beverly Carter’s body was discovered in a shallow grave outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, on the last day of Realtor Safety Month. The man accused of her murder said he targeted her because she was wealthy and worked alone.

It was a harsh reminder of the potential risks that real estate professionals, who often work alone and openly advertise their contact information, face while on the job.

In the wake of Carter’s death, both the Arkansas Realtors Association and the National Association of Realtors vowed to work on increasing agents’ safety. Last week, NAR announced new classes and materials as a part of its Realtor Safety Program.

“As with most jobs that require interacting with the public, selling real estate involves some risk,” NAR President Chris Polychron said in a statement. “But ensuring the personal safety of members is a top priority of mine, and the association remains committed to providing ongoing education about potential threats and the resources Realtors need to protect themselves.”

Among the new safety resources is a free, three-hour “Real Estate Safety Matters” course that covers topics such as safety protocols for showing properties and physical and instinctual responses to threats and attacks.

The association’s safety program will also share image-based safety tips every Monday on its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

The resources are aimed at both women and men, wrote Realtor Magazine senior editor Graham Wood, who cited a 2015 NAR report that found 25 percent of male Realtors and 48 percent of female Realtors said they had experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety.

“Everyone, no matter their gender, should take heed of the risks involved in real estate and take precautions to improve their safety,” wrote Wood. “Anyone who thinks they have nothing to worry about is making themselves easier to victimize than those who are better prepared for danger.”