A few weeks ago, after the murder of Beverly Carter, there was lots of chatter about realtor safety, and someone on Active Rain blogged a list of apps for personal safety. I wish I could remember who penned that blog so I could give them a shout out, but alas I don't recall the author. I did, however, download two of the recommended apps. One of them I could never get to work (I couldn't load my contacts), but the other one - ASPIRE - turned out to a really effective and interesting tool.
ASPIRE is actually a domestic violence app, so when you search for it in iTunes it's called Aspire News (if you're in an abusive relationship a news app won't tip off your abuser that you have a potential lifeline at your fingertips). I was at my real estate association's self defense class yesterday and mentioned this app and folks were confused when they searched for it; they weren't expecting a "news" app, so that's important to know if you go searching for it. I think it works for realtors too, because if you need to use it in an unsafe situation, you won't tip off a creepy client that you're requesting help.
The app looks like a news app with a front page that contains a news feed of top stories, but when you tap on the toolbar three times anywhere within the app it sends a distress signal and exact location to your pre-loaded contacts. It also begins recording so they can hear what's going on. On the evening that I set up my contact list I entered the cell phone numbers for my husband, sister and mom and "tested" my contact list to see if it worked. I probably should have told my contacts I was doing that, because at 11 pm they received a siren-like alert followed by a text that said I was in danger and to send assistance to XYZ address (note that the app pinpoints your GPS so it sends an exact location to your contacts). The alert sound was so loud it got my sister out of bed and to her phone which was on a different floor of the house. She called me, breathless, to say "ARE YOU OK???" Sorry, sis!
I hope none of us ever has to use this app, but it seems like a savvy piece of technology that could potentially save a life.
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