This story of the missing Realtor in Arkansas has really caught my attention. Normally on my SM platforms, I like to be whimsy and lighthearted but tonight, I am anything but those things.
If I told you that I was going out at 7pm on a Wednesday night to meet a complete stranger that I met on Craigslist at a vacant house, you would tell me I was crazy.
Yet we agents do this EVERYDAY!
Fellow agents and brokers, please think of your safety when showing properties. Brokers may want to think of consulting with someone to do a safety briefing for their agents. Like and follow her page. I really hope things work out for the best for her, but it doesn't look good now that they have their suspect and no victim. Send prayers, and by all means, STAY SAFE!
In the Army, we called it "situational awareness". Always know where you are, whats around, who is around and what their doing. Here of some things I do as I am meeting with new clients and/or doing vacant property inspections. I think of this stuff EVERY time I step out of my car. When complacency sets in, that's when the bad stuff happens.
1. Someone should know where you are at all times.
2. Pre-screen your buyers thoroughly (good business practice too)
3. If something seems off, abort. Find and excuse to leave.
4. Never have someone between you and a door.
5. Know your exits and have car keys ready.
6. As you are pulling in to a neighborhood, be aware of well lit, public spaces nearby. That way if you do have to bust out, you know exactly where to go to be safe. This could be critical if you are injured.
7. Have your phone with you and ready to dial a safety contact or 911
8. Lock the entry doors behind you as you enter. I do a lot of vacant property inspections, this one is huge.
If you carry a firearm, know how to use it proficiently. Be prepared to use it. By that I mean, you have to KNOW ahead of time if you have it in you to pull the trigger. Being prepared is not looking for an excuse to draw, but handling yourself accordingly if that time comes. If you don't think you will, then don't carry a weapon. If you don't have the stomach to fire, then your weapon becomes a liability to be used against you. Just the sight of the weapon or warning shots will not necessarily deter a deranged individual.
Godspeed Mrs. Carter. I hope and pray for your safety and well being tonight.