THE 10 COMMANDMENTS

of Agent Safety

Real estate safety has been thrust in the national spotlight after the murder of Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Clark following a showing of a foreclosed property.

 

The tragedy has prompted real estate agencies and associations across the country to  remind all agents that their work can be dangerous and to take extra precautions in their jobs as they meet with strangers and show homes.

 

The Birmingham Association of REALTORS® first released its “10 Commandments of Agent Safety” in 1988 and has been using its list of strategies to teach its members how to be safe on the job ever since.

 

Here are the association’s commandments for agent safety:

 

1. Do not meet a stranger at any property. Instead, ask to meet at your office or in a public place so others can see the potential buyer too. Take a partner, like another agent or family member, with you, too.

 

2. Take your car. Avoid riding in a stranger’s car.

 

3. Avoid working after dark. Try to show property only during the daylight and close open houses before dark. If working after sundown is unavoidable, buddy up with a partner.

 

4. Dress for safety. Dress professionally and avoid wearing expensive, flashy jewelry. Do not carry large amounts of money with you.

 

5. Arrange a showing itinerary. Use a standard form and always leave a copy at the office or with a family member. Be sure to let the client knows that a copy exists, too.

 

6. Use a prospect ID form. Prior to showing a property, have a printed form that asks for a prospect’s information: name, address, auto make and model, auto tag, driver’s license, local address, and two references. Verify the information before you leave.

 

7. Use an agent ID form. Make sure your office knows your car's make and model and license tag, plus any other important contact information.

 

8. Set a coded distress signal. Be able to call the office or home with a message that appears harmless to a prospect but would serve as an alert to others that you’re in harm's way.

 

9. Stop working immediately if you pick up on something suspicious. If you notice inconsistent answers from your client, or any abnormal behavior, or anything that signals that something is off, stop working and trust your gut instincts.

 

10. Notify your broker immediately. The broker should decide what action to take at that time.

 

Source: "The 10 Commandments of Real Estate Agent Safety," Birmingham Business Journal (Alabama) (Oct. 1, 2014)

CNN: Risky business: Real estate agent's killing hits home for Realtors.  LINK

 

ABC News: Real Estate Agent Barely Escapes With Life After Attack by Client.  LINK

 

USA Today: Realtors take steps to improve safety for their agents.  LINK

 

Orange County, CA: Frightening attack on real estate agent underscores need for safety.  LINK

 

Realtor Mag: New String of Attacks Against Agents.  LINK

 

WSB-TV2:  Man dressed as woman accused of attacking real estate agent.  LINK

 

Zanesville, OH: Real Estate Agent Attacked.  LINK

 

Huntsville, AL: Alabama real estate agents on guard.  LINK

 

KCTV 5: Real estate agent attacked at open house in Gilbert.  LINK

 

Huntsville, AL: North Alabama real estate agents on guard...  LINK

 

WSB - Atlanta: Friends rally around real estate agent attacked.  LINK

 

WALB - 10 News: Eufaula real estate agent attacked, brutally beaten.  LINK

 

Indian Express: Real Estate Agent Attacked - Dies After 4 Months in Hospital.  LINK

 

Top 7 Cases: Seven Heinous Cases of Violence Against Real Estate Agents  LINK