The recent murder of a Real Estate Agent in Arkansas has caused much concern about women’s safety around the USA.
Beverly Carter, 49 years old, vanished on September 25 after showing a home. A few days later her body was found in a shallow grave, 25 miles away from where she was last seen. Arron Lewis was arrested and charged for her murder. When asked why he had targeted Carter, he said, “Because she was just a woman that worked alone – a rich broker.”
According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of assaults on Real Estate professionals is on the rise, with the attacks becoming more violent and sometimes fatal, as in the case of Beverly Clark.
WHY ARE REALTORS ‘EASY’ TARGETS?
Realtors are in an occupation that allows them to meet with strangers on a daily basis. They meet with people one-on-one! Their hours of work vary and include evenings and weekends, when typically less people are around.
We warn people who meet others online, for example, online dating, to ALWAYS have the first few meetings in a public place, where there are lots of people around and NEVER at their own homes. This should be after spending a good amount of time getting to know this person online. It is not the nature of a Realtor’s job to meet a prospect a couple of times before showing them a house. Even if a potential buyer is asked to meet at the Realty Office first, that person is still a complete stranger.
Realtors also use Social Media, like Facebook, Twitter and websites to give out all kinds of personal information and to announce their Open Houses. Some even advertise how successful they are in either selling a house, or finding you that perfect home. We all know that social media is accessible to EVERYONE and ANYONE, including criminals. In giving out too much information, Realtors are easy prey for these criminals. They know your name and your contact information! They know that you are financially successful! They know exactly where you will be and exactly what time you will be there!
There is another factor as to why Realtors are ‘easy’ targets. In the Real Estate profession you do not get paid until you make a sale! This means Agents are tempted to meet a potential buyer in the hope that they will make that quick sale. Imagine you are the breadwinner in your family. Or that working as a Realtor is your only source of income. Bills are piling up and you are struggling to pay your mortgage or rent. Then you receive a call from someone who is in town for just a day and wants to see a particular listing. They think this could be the perfect house for them. It is likely you will put the chance of earning some money ahead of your safety! This can be very risky!
It is extremely important that ALL Realtors go through Personal Safety Training, in order to prevent becoming a victim of an attack. This training should include awareness on personal marketing and how to limit the information given out to the public. It should include information on how to prepare for a showing or open houses. Most importantly, the Personal Safety Training should include learning about and identifying unusual and potentially harmful behavior. In other words, the red flags and warning signs.
Although this latest murder of a Real Estate Agent has shaken the Realty profession, it has also caused a great deal of concern to any woman who works ‘in the field’ or is traveling alone, as any one of them is a potential target! Don’t ever think it will never happen to you!
Education and awareness are key in preventing tragic stories like the murder of Beverly Carter. The Powerhouse mission is to educate and empower ALL girls and women to live safe, healthy and active lives. In order to do this our Program includes the very important component of Emotional Self-Defense. We teach skills in Prediction, Recognition of danger signs, Observation and understanding and being in tune with your Intuition.
Take the first step towards your personal safety TODAY by contacting us at POWERHOUSE STRONG!