Amber Alerts on ActiveRain & Tips on How to Stay Safe

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Moby

After the great feedback we have received on this blog, we thought it would be beneficial to the AR community to re-post this article. Please feel free to share your own safety tips in the comment section so we can all help each other stay safe.

As a community we have all been shaken by the two ActiveRain Amber Alerts that were posted these past few weeks. The first Amber Alert came from Active Rain member Monica Ray, whose 16 year old daughter Kelsey Ray went missing on May 30th. Within a couple of days our hearts sank even deeper when news started spreading that Active Rain member Sarah Hall Weigand went missing from her home. The effort that families, friends and communities put into finding Kelsey and Sarah did not go in vain, as we all celebrated with relief when we recieved news that both of them were found.

Incidences like these somewhat force us to reevaluate our own safety, and make us think “what if…”? We all know that being a Realtor is indeed a dangerous job. Realtors are constantly exposing themselves to new people, some of whom have questionable intentions. Showing new properties and holding open houses are a critical business practice, yet when Realtors do this alone, they are quite vulnerable to exposing themselves to dangerous situations, kidnapping or even injuries from unsafe houses.

To make matters more complicated we also have family and friends who worry about the dangers of this profession. All of us have had family worry about our safety one time or another. When we saw the Amber Alerts last week, we were all worried about Sarah and Kelsey, yet we could not even imagine what their family and close friends must have gone through.

Although there is no way we can fully prevent the dangers out there, there are ways we can prepare for them. Bellow are a few tips on staying safe while at work (we have added new tips that fellow AR members mentioned in their comments):

  • Take a look at NAR’s safety page http://www.realtor.org/about_nar/safety 
  • Have safety seminars at your office and have them regularly. Some of that knowledge needs to be freshened up! 
  • Andrew Wooten created a fantastic website which focuses on educating Realtors about safety. You can check out his website JustBeSafe for information about safety products, seminars and resources.
  • See if self-defense classes are right for you, even if you go just to learn a few critical defense moves.
  •  Always be aware of your environment and keep you guard up; a lot of us get too comfortable with our surroundings and take our safety for granted.
  • Try your best to share your safety tips with co-workers, family and friends. We all need to be reminded once in a while to think about our safety.
  • Make sure you check out Tami Vroma’s post (the comments are worth reading too): Safety Steps for Women Realtors - Don't Make Yourself a Target!
  • Follow our blog or twitter account (@mymoby) for regular and up-to-date tips on staying safe as a Realtor.
  • Have a look at Moby, www.mymoby.com, and see if you want to download the free BlackBerry safety application (we are currently in our final Beta testing phase). Moby was designed for these exact situations.
  • Last but not least; always trust your instincts! This is a very important tip that a lot of us overlook. We override our gut instinct because we worry that we will lose a deal or offend the other person. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, excuse yourself for 5-10 min to reevaluate what is going on and check to see if you should really go back in.

We couldn’t be happier that both Kelsey and Sarah were found safely, and our thoughts go out to their families and loved ones.

Take care and be safe everyone!

The Moby Team

If you have any safety tips you would like to share, please feel free to add them in the comment section


 

 

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Comments (30)

Tina Gleisner
Home Tips for Women - Portsmouth, NH
Home Tips for Women

Glad to know this type of application exists. I make it a rule when going into an unknown situation, to call and talk to someone ... and arrange that I will call back in 30 min. If they don't hear from me, they are to call and they have the address if they need to call the police.

Jun 21, 2010 12:47 AM
Betsy Schuman Dodek
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate - Potomac, MD
SearchPotomacHomes.com

Great reminders and tips!!! Thank you for reminding us to be alert and be safe!

Jun 21, 2010 01:01 AM
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

I am glad to read #4 that both were found safe. I was unclear about that. 

Jun 21, 2010 01:03 AM
non non
Frisco, TX

thanks for the reminder

Jun 21, 2010 03:27 AM
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Thank you all for taking the time to read our post and make comments!

Chapman Realty: Thank you for sharing your agent's experience with us all and for the reminder that we need to think about family and colleagues.

Vick Pacheco & Bernadine Hunter: When working in unfamiliar locations or with new clients it is always best to keep your guard up and think of ways to be safe.

Sharon Paxson: It would be ideal to always take someone with you to Open Houses. For times when you have to go alone, which seem to be the majority of the time for many Realtors, you can always take Moby as your companion!

Maya Thomas: Thank you for sharing those statistics with us. Open houses seem to be a safety concern for a lot of Realtors.

Paula Hathaway: Thank you for joining Moby! We developed Moby so that Realtors can empower their safety and have peace of mind while working.

Tina Gleisner: Moby works in a very similar way! If at any time your friend is busy or you are in a hurry you can just use Moby to check-in on you periodically. With Moby you would also be able to send your up-to-date location to emergency services/friends.

Please feel free to add your own safety tips! Follow our twitter account @mymoby for more safety tips. You can sign up to try Moby yourself through our website.

Jun 21, 2010 05:58 AM
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Thanks for that comment Corrine!

Sometimes our schedules get so hectic that we forget to tune into our environment. It is safe practice to once in a while take moment to check out what is going on around us. We have had a few people comment that Moby’s check-in application reminds them take a moment to actively think of their environment and their safety.

 

Jun 21, 2010 07:26 AM
Susan Goulding
Crown Key Realty, Inc; Tracy & Mountain House Sales and Property Management - Tracy, CA
Northern CA - Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate

I've briefly looked at MyMoby, I'm going to go right now and take a harder look at it.

 

I was reminded the other day, that sometimes too much information is BAD information.  I was on FourSquare - posted "out with my family at ..... back in a couple of hours....." How stupid is that -- now anyone knows I'm not home.

 

Same with  "leaving xyz headed home to a quiet empty house".  Social media may make us rethink our safety.

 

Getting on MyMoby right now.

Jun 21, 2010 12:02 PM
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Susan thank you for your great comment! You gave a great example of the current shift in online-offline privacy. And just like you, many of us worry about disclosing too much information online, especially if that information lets the public know our exact location.

At Moby our highest priority is to keep Moby users safe, and a great part of this includes keeping their information Private. Moby only discloses your information when you need it to and only to those contacts you have previously chosen (such as a family member, colleague or friend). You can find out more about who we are from our Who is Moby section in the MyMoby website.

If you have any questions at all please feel free to e-mail us info@mymoby.com or tweet it to @mymoby.

 

 

Jun 21, 2010 01:14 PM
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

I have never heard of mymoby.  Is it only for blackberry users?  I have a droid.  
These tips are very common sense but yet we continually put ourselves in situations where  we could be in danger.

Jun 21, 2010 01:37 PM
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Thanks for the reminders and tips. We tend to get comfortable in our daily routines and FORGET to remain vigilant. The Moby app seems brilliant, although there are still a lot of places where I live that don't get reception.

Jun 21, 2010 02:33 PM
Sal Poliandro - NJ Bergen County Realtor
RE/MAX Properties - Ridgewood, NJ
Broker Associate

Great tips, thanks for sharing.

Jun 21, 2010 03:40 PM
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Susan, thank you for your comment. Moby is currently in the Beta testing phase, and currently only on the BlackBerry platform. We will be supporting iPhone and Droid (Android) phones later this year. If you’d like, you can register for the Beta program and tell us what kind of phone you have, and then we will let you know once we support your device.

Jun 21, 2010 04:56 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It's important to be safe, especially given the work we do.  I'll take a look at your application and see what I think.

Jun 21, 2010 05:28 PM
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Hi Christine, it's great you will be taking a look at Moby! Please feel free to let us know what you think about Moby, and if you have any questions we would be more than happy to answer them.

Jun 21, 2010 05:47 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

My girlfriend is my real estate partner and I never let her go into an empty house alone, especially if we get a direct call from someone to see the house that is not using a Realtor®.

 

Jun 24, 2010 04:12 AM
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

This is a good post about safety and the importance of not being too complacent. I agree with Susan's comments on social media platforms (hey we're out of town . . . ). Make sure you check the privacy settings on some of these social media platformss - last week I was getting really wierd texts that made me very uncomfortable and in the end he told me he saw me on FB. So I changed all my settings, including the privacy settings on each photo album.

Jun 24, 2010 06:27 AM
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Joe: Your girlfriend is very lucky to have you as a Real Estate partner! As the saying goes there is safety in numbers

Sharon: Great advice! Those privacy settings sometimes get tricky and we are not always aware of what information the public can see. In terms of Facebook, this website allows you to see which parts of your profile the public can see: http://zesty.ca/facebook/

Jun 24, 2010 07:30 AM
Stephanie Arnett
ERA Town & Campus Realty - Starkville, MS
SRS, IMSD, Broker Associate, REALTOR

THANK YOU!!

Jun 24, 2010 12:38 PM
Stephanie Arnett
ERA Town & Campus Realty - Starkville, MS
SRS, IMSD, Broker Associate, REALTOR

Also, went to moby.com and couldn't download anything.  Is it available yet??

Jun 24, 2010 12:52 PM
Moby
Moby - Santa Monica, CA

Stephanie, we are still in our Beta Testing phase which means there is no direct download link yet. However, you can register and we will contact you with a link to download the application. We are currently testing on the BlackBerry platform but will be supporting iPhone and Android shortly.

Doris, thank you for your comment. It's really great that you are sharing these reminders with your other "family".

 

Jun 24, 2010 03:35 PM

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