Attacks on Realtors are on the Rise - Never Show Property Alone Again!

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Agents Armor LLC

When is it ever truly safe to be in an empty home…alone with a perfect stranger?  The truth of the matter is that we are never safe in such circumstances and it is contrary to any recommendations that we have ever had concerning the issue of keeping ourselves safe.  Yet we do it…everyday.  We are Realtors and it is simply part of the job.  In 2011, we saw the deadliest and most violent year for Realtors with 11 killed and over 940 reported assaults on Realtors.  It was truly a horrendous year and it is imperative that we take steps to avoid becoming a future statistic.  Here is my story…

I spent Agents Armorover 11-years in the military and 22 years in law enforcement…retiring just last year.  During this time, I spent about the last 8 years as a licensed real estate agent here in Florida.  I met a great woman, Brandy, who is a real estate broker herself, about seven years ago and I found myself worrying about her…a lot.  At the time, I was working full time as a police Sergeant but still closing a deal here or there.  Sometimes, I could not go with her on showings, or sit an open house, and I felt that there had to be more that I could do.

I decided that in addition to providing her with pepper spray and, later, a firearm…I needed to do more.  I realized then that one thing we (particularly Realtors®) carry in our hands at nearly all times is…our smart phones.  We are ALWAYS on them!  Why couldn’t I develop an “app” to help keep Brandy safe?  There were other apps out there, but none were specifically tailored to what we do in our business and I knew that I could do more…so I did!  I began developing and, soon, was able to give something to Brandy that she could use to protect herself.  Initially, the app was essentially limited to checking in and providing GPS coordinates….but has since developed into so much more.  I decided to call the app, Agents Armor™, and moved forward with the idea that we could put this into the hands of all of the real estate agents in North America…and keep it very affordable.

Agents Armor Main Screen

Through the process, I decided that an app was not enough.  Agents need training and Brokers rarely have the time to provide that training.  Most brokerages pay little attention to a threat until it actually happens…a response reaction.  This is not only bad for the agents, but can open a brokerage up to significant liability.  We have to be proactive in our approach to our safety and take the steps now to help us in the future.  So…I also developed the Safe Agent Real Estate Agent Safety Training Program™.  I offer it free to all of our subscribers and am confident that any agent or Broker will find this turn-key training program very valuable in their personal safety strategy and their businesses.

As Realtors® we think a lot about how to grow our businesses, but rarely consider that we work in a very dangerous environment at times.  We never think that it is going to happen to us….but neither did the 11 agents killed last year of the 940 that reported assaults.  Oh…and guys…just so you know, 30% of ALL CRIMES committed against Realtors…are committed against male Realtors, so you could use this too.  If you would like to learn more about Agents Armor™ and the Safe Agent™ program, feel free to visit www.agentsarmor.com to learn more (check out the How-it-Works video) and feel free to contact me as well!  ActiveRain members get the super low price of only $19.95 PER YEAR of coverage if you use Promo Code "AR1995" at checkout!  This pricing will get you the a ONE YEAR license to use Agents Armor™ AND access to all of the tools and materials for the Safe Agent Real Estate Agent Safety Training Program™!  Brokers, Boards, and Associations can get volume discounts based upon the number of covered agents. 

BE SAFE and don't wait until something happens to you, a fellow agent, or loved one before you begin thinking about personal safety in the field.

Comments (41)

Ricardo Ruiz del Vizo
Agents Armor LLC - Sarasota, FL

Sandy...thank you so much for your post and thank you again for being smart!  In my defense classes, one of the most important things that I tell women is to listen to their gut and follow your instincts - you did!  Great job!  I am sorry for the other person, but hopefully through education and the use of tools, we will be able to work towards a much safer environment! 

Nov 27, 2012 06:53 AM
Ricardo Ruiz del Vizo
Agents Armor LLC - Sarasota, FL

Olga, open houses have even made me feel uncomfortable at times...and I am a 6'1 220lb man.  You are well advised to have a healthy fear in that environment.  One great thing about Agents Armor is that if you use the app properly and lose cell service or your phone is otherwise disabled - it will still check on you.  If you fail to respond, your friends, family, peers or broker can check on you or send help.  I would be happy to explain this in more detail if you would like. Thank you for the post and please stay safe!

Nov 27, 2012 06:56 AM
Ann Nguyen
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Truckee, CA
Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale
Ricardo...I will check out the app. Safety is something realtors cannot take for granted. Thank you for alerting us to the danger!
Nov 27, 2012 09:07 AM
Art Welch
Superstars Realty - Buckeye, AZ
Broker

Arizona is a carry state, I always have a sledge hammer, pepper spray, and of course Ruger.  I have had to pull the Ruger once at a home robbery.  Glad the police were close by

Nov 27, 2012 10:17 AM
Ricardo Ruiz del Vizo
Agents Armor LLC - Sarasota, FL

Ann, You are very welcome and thank you for understanding the importance of your personal safety!  Make sure to check out eh How-it-Works video!

Nov 27, 2012 10:18 AM
Kathleen Garvey
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver - Denver, CO
Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales

Great idea Ricardo! An idea might be posting on one aspect of your product...per blog.  Keep it simple, brief  yet focused on the benefit to the agent.  There aren't enough blogs reminding people to be careful and I love that you decided to create a useful safety tool for the real estate industry! Very nice indeed...thank you!

Nov 27, 2012 10:37 AM
Colleen K. Cotter
Keller Williams - San Diego, CA

Thank you, Ricardo.

Also have a partner at your open houses.

Nov 27, 2012 12:28 PM
Ricardo Ruiz del Vizo
Agents Armor LLC - Sarasota, FL

Thank you Kathleen!  I like your idea and do try to post short safety reminders via twitter on a weekly basis.  Feel free to follow me @agentsarmor.  Also, please check out our website (if you have not already) and watch the How-it-Works video at www.agentsarmor.com,  Thank you again and please be safe!

Nov 28, 2012 02:26 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Great reminder on the dangers that we dont think about when we rush about trying to get all of the showings done, it is far to easy to forget to take the proper precautions.

Dec 02, 2012 01:11 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Sounds like a useful tool, I will check it out.

Dec 02, 2012 02:29 PM
Lilas "Lela" Ashkarian
Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate - Marathon, FL
Ashkarian PA, ABR, CRS, E-PRO, GRI,SFR

You Share because you care... I will check in to this ... thank you ... have the very best and safe day in your life...

Lela Ashkarian

Florida Keys

Dec 05, 2012 09:55 PM
Ricardo Ruiz del Vizo
Agents Armor LLC - Sarasota, FL

I just want to remind everyone that your safety should be a dominant concern in your life.  I know that we all never want to think of the unthinkable happening to us...but these things do happen and are happening more and more often.  Three cents a day is a small price to pay to add such a valuable tool to you personal safety toolbox.  The Safe Agent program also offers a great deal of insight into personal safety and how you can best protect yourself in your work and personal life.  thank you Lela for your comments.  Discount pricing to AR members for another week.  Use Promo Code "AR1995".  Thank you all and please Stay Safe!

Dec 05, 2012 10:10 PM
Fred Strickroot
Fred Strickroot - HomeNet - Tampa Bay Area - 727-478-8997 - Trinity, FL
Tampa Bay Area Homes For Sale

Looks like a good deal! Thanks.

Dec 05, 2012 10:42 PM
Johnny Davis
Florida Realty Investments - Clermont, FL
Where SOLD Happens!

I carry my "app" on my hip. It's concealed, but you can tell it's there!!

Dec 05, 2012 10:44 PM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

I did not realize that attacks are on the rise. It has always concerned me and even more now. If you feel uncomfortable with a showing DON'T GO...It is better to be safe than to end up as a statistic..

Dec 06, 2012 12:07 AM
The Isaacs Team LLC | Compass
1313 14th St NW DC 20005 - Washington, DC
Compass

Interesting app and a very well produced website and video. Although we 100% refuse to meet a client anywhere but our office the first time, we can't be too careful at open houses, etc. I'll take a close look at this. The price is low and it seems much better tailored to agents than the other agent security app I use. Like the option of sending directly to law enforcement and the image capture of ID and vehicle description inclusion. My personal contacts are as busy as I am and messages can go many hours, even days before being noticed. Good luck with your company!

Dec 06, 2012 12:32 AM
James Endo
KW Bay Area Estates - Los Gatos, CA
ABR, CPRES, CRS, SRES... Since 1987!

Great article and always a smart reminder to be smart, especially when going into someone else's property or home.  You never should assume that everything is always roses.  Be careful and conscious.  And Like Susan Isaacs said, know who you are bringing, especially into a vacant house.  No matter male or female, be cautious and aware.  I will check out app for me and others too.

Also, I am sure you know that entering a home can be hazardous to your health too!  Be sure to knock on the door hard and let out a yell that you are there as a Realtor to show the house.  I see other agents and even buyers just run through the front door but I always express to my clients to be cautious.  You could run into a vicious dog, a surprised, occupant, or someone who is "borrowing" the home!    I have found dogs in house and yard, people that are alarmed, people in shower when I show, and I always make my presence known.  Be aware, be smart, let others know where you are. 

Dec 06, 2012 01:06 AM
Bret & Meredith Amon
LIV-Sotheby's International Realty - Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne, Frisco,

I worry about my wife everytime she goes out-- thank you for this information

Dec 06, 2012 06:07 AM
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

Bury me not on the lone prairie...the desert is much warmer! 

Heck, I always watch the traffic around the home before going in, wave at everyone who passes by - people KNOW I'm there, and they KNOW that I KNOW THEY KNOW!

There are homes that seemed to iffy to go near, and I've driven away.  I've seen enough trashed out houses to bother with looking at another one.

People are not the only threats.  Wild animals can gain entry to abandoned or vacant homes and 'Stand Their Ground' when you enter.  I found a dead and dried rattlesnake at one house - the AZ sun was not going to take "no" for an answer!

 

Dec 06, 2012 01:19 PM
Michele Peterson
Sellstate Realty First - Roseville, CA
Sellstate Realty First

Ricardo,

These stats are frightening.  I have seen many homes that are vacant and have people move in.  At times, and not with my best judgement, I have gone right in and thrown them out of my listings. Calling the police later...

Not safe!

The other safety concern is our fellow realtors.  This week already, I have walked into 5 homes where the front door was wide open, Patio door wide open, doors closed, but not locked and this creates a safety issue for the next realtor - Me!.

Watch out for yourself and those who will follow you.

Double check before you drive away.

Jul 10, 2013 12:05 PM