Agent safety is incredibly important, as traveling around the area to open houses, meetings, and showings can put agents in a vulnerable position. A 2014 kidnapping and murder of a real estate agent in Little Rock, Arkansas has finally come to some level of closure.
Makings of an Agent Kidnapping
Agent Beverly Carter told her husband she was going to meet a prospective client, but had no idea the conversation was a setup. When Carter arrived, she was kidnapped as part of a ransom plot, and then murdered when the agent kidnapping went awry.
Carter’s body was later found at a concrete plant, where the now convicted kidnapper and murderer once worked. The suspect was convicted guilty in court of first degree murder in January, 2016 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Safety Comes First
Agents go to homes for meetings with prospective clients regularly, and that is a part of the job. However, agents should use this horrible story as a reminder that safety comes first when working in real estate.
Just like burglars who look for open houses as a prime target, there are sick individuals who look at agents as targets for much more crimes.
Here are some useful real estate agent safety tips for your next meeting or open house:
- Try to go to meetings and open houses in pairs, whenever possible.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when to expect a call or text message that your meeting is over.
- Carry pepper spray and have it readily available in unfamiliar situations – this goes for both male and female agents.
- Make a point to keep track of colleagues in your office, and ask other agents in your team to stay alert to each other’s whereabouts when meeting new people.
- Follow your gut.