SAFETY: Realtors BEWARE!

By
Real Estate Agent with www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

A Sotheby's International real estate agent in Santa Fe was attacked and abducted at gunpoint yesterday and made to withdraw money from her bank account prior to getting away from the perpetrator.  The woman who committed the attack got away, but the FBI has a notice that the CEO/BIC of Sotheby's (Denise M. Keron) will be receiving details of the incident and how the perpetrator operated.  They asked to distribute this alert nationally. 

Please remember:

1.  Let someone in your home or office know your showing schedule and Buyer's contact information if possible.  Otherwise, you can leave that information on your showing service schedule (online) or a simple note on your desk will do.
2.  Keep a personal alarm (or pepper spray or other defense mechanism) in your car in the event that you are asked to drive somewhere against your will.
3.  When showing a home to a 'new' Buyer whom you have just met, always face the client and never lead them upstairs--always follow.
4.  ALWAYS carry your cell phone and car keys on your person when showing homes in the event you need to make a quick exit.

If you have other tips, please add to our community for a refresher for those of us who take our safety for granted!  Also, if you live in the NM area, and have any information on the above mentioned perpetrator, please contact the FBI.

Stay safe!

Debe

Debe Maxwell, ABR, CNS
Realtor®/Broker, Relocation Specialist
Helen Adams Realty
2301 Randolph Road
Charlotte, NC  28207
704.491.3310  Direct
704.845.1036  Fax
Debe@DebeMaxwell.com
http://www.debemaxwell.com/

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Rainmaker
109,181
Jill Wente
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Gary Greene - Spring, TX
Realtor, CRS, MCNE, CHMS
Debe: I had my first uncomfortable showing in the last four years a couple of days ago. I thought I was cautious and aware of my surroundings when I went to show a property but after this incident I decided I was far from it. The biggest change that I am going to make is when I meet a client for the first time at a property I am going to leave a message on my office phone of the make and model of their car along with the license plate number.
Dec 09, 2007 04:14 AM #29
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

OHH, VERY good advice Jill!  I'm glad you are okay and hopefully that incident was a warning to you to beef up your personal 'security' habits.

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 09, 2007 05:01 AM #30
Rainmaker
354,895
ActiveRain City and State Listing Group
Christiansted, VI

In this day and time, it is an uncomfortable suggestion, but we must realize that there are some folks in the world who will hurt others. The police and friends cannot always be there to assist in a rescue.

It is OUR responsibility to protect ourselves, family, friends and those that cannot fend for themselves.

Maybe you could consider getting a certified gun instructor to teach you the safety requirements and skills to carry a gun. Get state certified for a Concealed Carry Permit.

I've had my permit for over 10 years and find that those of us that have gone through all the mental health checks, training and background checks and choose to carry, rarely break ANY laws or harm anyone that is not attempting to harm us.

With proper instruction its amazing how safe you feel. Just keep your ego contained.

 

Dec 09, 2007 06:55 AM #31
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Uncomfortable or not, Don, we must change with the times and I think that is a great suggestion for those of us who are not able to protect ourselves as well as others.  Thanks for the post!

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 09, 2007 07:16 AM #32
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Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Debe...

2 of my favorite safety tips are:

When touring a home with a new client you have never met before, or with a prospective buyer at an open house, always FOLLOW the client through the house (not the other way around), that way you are always watching the client instead of them being invisible to you since they would be behind you.

When holding an open house, before you plant your signs in the yard, always identify at least one readily accessible alternative exit from the house besides the front door.  Remember that to be readily accessible it should be unlocked, and if it is a back door leading to a fenced yard that the fence must also be unlocked for it to work as an exit.  If you're being chased you will lose valuable time dealing with locked doors or fences!

I also like the code word idea that others have mentioned.  No matter where you are or what you are doing, safety must always be a priority for each of us.

Dec 09, 2007 07:24 AM #33
Rainmaker
99,985
Joey Remondino
RE/MAX Preferred Properties - Vienna, VA
Broker, GRI, E-Pro

Good points, It is unfortunate that these sort of things have to be considered but thats the world we live in. Again thank you.

 

Joey

Dec 09, 2007 07:31 AM #34
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thanks Joey!

Steve:  Great new points! 

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 09, 2007 10:22 AM #35
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Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Thanks for the great post. I often think about safety. Last week I had a call on a listing asking for me to show it in the evening. I took my fiance with me and he walked the house with me and the prospect, as it is a tri-level and the only egress is the bottom floor. I always follow as well, and always let someone know where I am . .

 

Thanks - Sharon

Dec 09, 2007 11:28 AM #36
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thanks Sharon!  Those evening showings are the scarriest for me and I think you were very smart to have your fiance go along as well.

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 09, 2007 11:48 AM #37
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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Debe, we should all take precautions when showing properties, but my thing is real estate agents' driving habits!  I've done a few posts - and I'm sure that our chances of being killed or injured in a DWY (that would be Driving While Yapping - on a cell phone) are far greater than our chances of being hurt or killed at an Open House or showing appointment.  
Dec 10, 2007 12:10 AM #38
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Patricia,  I actually got my only traffic citation a couple of years ago (only a warning ticket, thank goodness) while driving and yapping with a client!  I learned my lesson and realized that it could have been worse--accident, liability, etc.

Thanks for the feedback!

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 10, 2007 02:24 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,006,260
D B
Quakertown, PA
e-PRO, Realtor - Bucks County PA - 610-952-3578
Debe:  EXCELLENT posting!  Very informative.  THANK YOU
Dec 10, 2007 09:08 AM #40
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

WOW! Thanks Don, that means alot coming from 'Mr. Frontpage'!  Thank YOU!

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 10, 2007 11:24 AM #41
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Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

This is important advice! I've been known to take a digital picture of new clients without them knowing as they walk up to the office or the home and then I hide the camera. This way if something should happen, the police will find the camera with the date and time stamp.

Dec 10, 2007 04:37 PM #42
Rainmaker
481,207
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA
SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP

Debe,

The world in which we live leads to this unsettling ocurances.

My Broker had self defense classes this past year.....and meeting to insist that when dealing with a new and unknown customer....be cautious and try not to go alone to meet.

Dec 10, 2007 10:25 PM #43
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Todd & Dan:  Thanks for the feedback!  Todd, I have not heard of the 'photo op' that you suggested but, I think that's a great idea if possible without them knowing!

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 10, 2007 11:13 PM #44
Rainer
178,223
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe
LivingInBirmingham.com - Birmingham, AL
Debe, that is such an unfortunate situation to ever have happen to anyone, but at least we can learn from it so that we can prevent it from happening again to any of us. We get alerts via our MLS when we log in of anything that happens in our area. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the reminder.
Dec 12, 2007 02:36 AM #45
Rainmaker
362,623
Carolyn Nelson
Realty One Carolina, LLC - Burlington, NC
The Best Broker in Alamance County!

One of the agents I work with always make it a point of obtaining a copy of the DL and search the public records of everyone before she arrives at the home. She also makes it a priority to inform at least three individuals.

She also uses her camera phone to the fullest. She takes a picture of the license plate and individuals before she walks into any buildings and emails it over. So far, no one has questioned her method.

Safety First!!!!

Carolyn Nelson, Carolyn@Onlinerepa.com | www.revaprofessionals.com | Direct:  877-717-4491 | 980-233-8938

Dec 12, 2007 01:23 PM #46
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Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX
Hello Debe, Thanks for the reminder. I have made it habit to carry my keys between my knuckles in case I need to strike or fight back. If you place the keys between your fingers with the jagged edge out and clinch them they could act as a set of iron knuckles of sort only sharper. I was taught to strike at the eyes in case of an attack and to scream and fight back. Doesn't that sound like a great aerobic workout??? duh. Deb
Dec 12, 2007 01:30 PM #47
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Carolyn & Deb:  Thanks for the excellent additions!  I have heard the 'key' tip and used it for several years but, for some reason have stopped--I need to start that again!  As well, with technology as advanced as it is, the camera phone shots should be second nature to us now and we SHOULD utilize that trick!

Debe in Charlotte, NC

Dec 12, 2007 10:24 PM #48
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