As Realtors®, we’re in a high-risk profession, and it’s not getting any safer – so what can we, at Benchmark Realty, do to help you stay safe? We really want to set the benchmark for Realtor® safety, not because we are trying to sell something, but because we truly care about each and every member of our real estate family.
September was National Realtor® Safety Month, and it’s always a good time to review our own personal safety policies. We’d like to draw your attention to a recent tragedy in Pulaski County, Arkansas, to encourage you to think twice about putting yourself in danger to sell a house.
On September 25, 2014, Realtor® Beverly Carter left her house around 5:30 p.m. to show a home to an unknown person; when she didn’t return by 9, her husband started to worry. He went to the home and found her car parked in the driveway with her purse inside – and the door to the home was wide open. He called the police, who didn’t find any evidence of a crime.
After days of searching, during which our own Benchmark agents stepped up to help, Beverly Carter was found dead on September 30. The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office has a suspect in custody, and he’s being charged with Capital Murder.
How could this have been prevented? As Realtors, we always need to ask ourselves that question. While we can’t predict what other people will do—especially strangers whom we’ve never met—we can take some steps to protect ourselves before we’re victims of a senseless tragedy like this one.
CLICK HERE to watch how Benchmark Agent Jennifer Van Nelson joined in the search for Beverly Carter.
Realtor® Safety Tips
While it’s easier said than done, we implore you to take safety precautions when you’re showing homes to strangers, including:
- Bringing another agent with you
- Get identification from prospective buyers before showing them homes
- Make sure others know where you are at all times
- Meet clients in your office (make a copy of their photo ID and leave it with a staff member) before every showing
- Show homes during regular business hours, when possible
- Purchase a small Taser or can of mace and keep it in your hand while in the house with the prospect
We’re currently in the process of revamping our own safety protocol, and we are always open to suggestions about how we can help keep you safe.
At Benchmark Realty, our hearts break for the Carter family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them through this difficult time.