Real estate agents help individuals to buy and sell homes. Their experience is important to the process. Sadly, when it comes to the real estate business, some agents have been at risk lately. These agents oftentimes are alone with strangers at locations. Although female real estate agents do fight back, there have been deaths annually associated with real estate agents, and this number seems to be increasing over time . Why is this violence against women increasing and what can we do to protect these women from being hurt in some way? Ultimately, if you are a real estate agent or investor, it’s important to understand why female real estate agents attacks are increasing and what you can do to protect yourself adequately.
Risks Involved for Woman With Real Estate Agent Job
It’s no secret that real estate agents do fear for their personal safety. According to a 2018 Inman survey, 41% of women surveyed said it was a major concern. When real estate agents work alone, danger ensues. This makes agents, especially female agents, more vulnerable. Also, real estate agents work those they don’t know. They could be showing properties to addicts, those with mental health issues or even a felon that may be dangerous.
When it comes to properties, agents can’t control where they are located. This means it could be a more dangerous part of town or is an abandoned property altogether. Squatters can even be in the residence. This means that agents can never be sure what they will face when they are trying to help people sell or buy properties. Public advertising is important for real estate, so it isn’t hard for individuals to know where open houses are being held if they are looking to rob someone or cause violence against women in general.
Female Agents are Easy Targets for Psychos
Real estate safety experts agree that female real estate agents are targeted because they do work alone. They make scheduled appointments to show homes and advertise where they will be, so it’s easy to know where they’ll be for attackers. Social media is a tool used by these individuals in order to track prey as real estate agents use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to showcase where they will be having open houses. Not only can they be tracked to the open house, but robbers can also target their homes if they know they won’t be there. Violence, especially violence against women, is an alarming trend. Many real estate agents have begun to carry pepper spray, knives and even guns to protect themselves.
These attacks oftentimes are motivated by money. Real estate agents are commonly robbed of money or jewelry while showing a home. It is rare for them to be physically injured, however these instances have become more and more prevalent. Here are a few of the most recent attacks that have occurred to female real estate agents.
Ashley Okland from Iowa was killed while working alone at an open house in a townhome community. She was shot twice.
Janice Tinsale had an appointment to meet a client and his banker. Her client showed up alone. As she was locking the door, she was bludgeoned by the client and was told he wouldn’t leave until he got $4,000. When he went to his car to get paper for a ransom note, she was able to flee. The attacker is currently serving a 60-year prison sentence.
Beverly Carter was supposed to show a home to a potential male buyer. However, she was attacked by him instead. Apparently at first, he was going to hold her for ransom, but then decided to kill her binding her with duct tape. Her body was found buried near the home she was trying to sell. The killer was found and is serving a life prison sentence.
What Increases One’s Risk of Being Attacked
The risk is most often because they are alone. This is why some real estate companies have begun sending more than one agent to properties. Also, sometimes other individuals such as the seller of the house or a house inspector will be present at open houses to help deter attacks or robberies. Unfortunately, women are much more likely to be attacked by women as they are seen as weaker and less likely to be able to fight back.
How to Keep Yourself Safe as a Female Real Estate Agent
We dedicated more last month to real estate agent safety for woman, but here is a brief overview. Many agents have begun to carry a self-defense weapon. Also, they have installed smartphone safety apps that allow them to alert the authorities with a click if they fear something is off. According to the National Association of Realtors says that 47% of its members use this type of app now. Some of these apps include: GPS Phone Track for Android, AgentSafeWalk, HomeSnap Pro, SentiLock and SoloProtect.
Others have chosen to notify someone, whether a friend, spouse or partner or family members, where they will be. Many others have started working with a partner in order to protect themselves more. A safety alert device can also be worn that sends a distress call to police immediately. Guard Llama is particularly useful as it looks like a key fob and is discreet. Many real estate firms have even conducted safety classes for their staff to teach them self-defense. Ultimately, anything that is proactive in trying to prevent and/or reduce the incidences of violence against women as female real estate agents is a step in the right direction