October 29, 2014
The Real Estate field can be dangerous, especially when you are showing a home or holding an open house.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, last year there were 25 homicides committed against real estate agents, which is the highest number in the past three years.
In September Beverly Carter, a real estate agent in Arkansas, was abducted and murdered after showing a home alone.
Just two weeks ago another real estate agent was attacked in Richmond at an open house.
Since then realtors across the nation have been teaming up to learn self- defense techniques that can help save their lives.
“It's never stressed enough how safe you really need to be and how seriously we should take our own safety,” says Sydney Tenhundfeld, realtor with Loring Woodriff Realty. “It's so easy to get lulled into the complacency of every day of having a task, I need to go out, and I have to meet someone.”
“You just check off your to-do list and not really think about where you are, what you're doing and are you putting your life at risk.”
The Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR) held a safety class with the Charlottesville Police Department in order to stress the importance of being aware of your surroundings.
“They are very much so in one-on-one situations,” says Keith Smith, realtor with Roy Wheeler Realty Co. “They could possibly walk into a home and someone is in there, or they meet somebody that they don't know, only by email.”
“So we are trying to teach them skill sets so they can avoid circumstances and if, God forbid they are in a circumstance, what they can do.”
Smith and his wife have held the class in Charlottesville for three years.
They want to make sure realtors, both men and women, are alert and aware of the risks they take every day.
“You have to self-educate yourself for situational awareness and if you are in a situation, what you can do,” says Smith.
“I learned that it’s important to trust your gut,” says Tenhundfeld. “I know everyone says it, but you can't say it enough and making sure that I'm watching out for my other real estate agents too.”