Today’s headlines are shocking. They read as follows: a real estate agent reports being robbed at gunpoint and left in the trunk of his car; an agent goes missing after showing a home to an unknown person; a local real estate agent found dead.
Independent real estate agents are being targeted by criminals and in some cases are being attacked when showing properties, inspecting vacant homes or simply walking to their vehicles. It is in these environments that these solo entrepreneurs are particularly vulnerable and their perpetrators seem to be taking advantage of these circumstances at an increasingly alarming rate.
One of the worst cases came from a model home in Virginia where agent Beverly Carter was attacked and brutally murdered by an unknown assailant on October 2014. Despite being in the nice, quiet Glen Allen neighborhood, she was still unsafe and vulnerable to the unknown.
Fox recently reported the terrifying tale of a man who was able to attack two real estate agents in one day down in Florida putting the usual quiet neighborhood of St. Petersburg on high alert. Both women were showing homes in the area when they were attacked by this unknown man in broad daylight.
The first victim was held at gunpoint, bound with zip ties around her hands and feet. The assailant attempted to contact the agent’s husband to demand a ransom before eventually stealing her car. Fortunately, the woman was able to escape and get help from a neighbor. Later, the same gunman robbed another agent.
Still another agent was accosted in a Gilbert, Arizona home during an open house. Police reported that a man posing as a potential home buyer fondled the female agent before taking off on foot.
Here’s one victim’s reaction
The real estate agent victim in Arizona came forward in hopes of stopping the suspect from harming more people like her. Here’s what she had to say…
“I know how to protect myself, I know how to box, I’ve taken self-defense courses, I had mace with me, I had a knife with me, I didn’t use any of it.”
Crimes like the ones described above happen in the blink of an eye, and victims are hardly afforded the time or opportunity to react, let alone call 9-1-1 for help. Despite being armed and well trained in self defense, the agent still was not able to call for help or defend herself from her attacker. In the end, the criminals won. They got away.
How do you prepare for the unknown? How do you (man and woman alike) prevent something like this from happening to you?
First, a few REALTOR safety tips
Realtors can take a few precautions that can help reduce their risk of attack.
To reduce vulnerabilities, agents should not park in the driveway or anywhere they can be potentially blocked by a possible assailant.
It’s also recommended that realtors setup an exterior check-in area where potential clients are required to sign in before viewing a home. A small table or booth will be in full view of neighbors and passing motorists which could scare off a potential attacker.
If you’re working alone, for example, without a backup, you should always inform someone of your whereabouts including where you’re going and when you’re expect to return. This could be a family member, spouse, friend or colleague that will become suspicious if you don’t check-in or return from an appointment in a timely manner.
ANNOUNCING: A new personal security device for REALTORS!
More and more agents are starting to carry a personal security solution in the form of a small panic button that looks like a regular ol’ key fob and attaches directly to your keychain, purse or briefcase.
Here’s a screenshot:
Keeping this device with them at all times, real estate agents can signal for help without the need of fumbling for a weapon or mobile phone.
Moreover, this discrete security remote dispatches 9-1-1 (THE POLICE) to your exact location with the push of a button. Plus, it works nationwide.
Introducing the Guard Llama
The Guard Llama is a personal security company helping professional in the real estate industry feel safer at work.
How does it work?
The Guard Llama Security Remote syncs to your smartphone via bluetooth, and uses the GPS from your mobile device to inform local authorities that you are in trouble.
Furthermore, the Guard Llama system bypasses the old 9-1-1 process and sends your security profile and your exact location (including altitude) to the closest police officer.
In fact, the Guard Llama system can get you help up to 70% faster than a traditional 9-1-1 call.
Why the Guard Llama?
In response to dozens of REALTOR related assaults and killings including the Beverly Carter murder, the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® has made it a priority to raise awareness around the subject of member safety, as well as, to partner with organizations like the Guard Llama that are innovating in the space of personal security and safety.
The Guard Llama is NAR and Minnesota Association of REALTORS® endorsed and through our new partnership, Minnesota Association of REALTORS® members receive an exclusive 50% discount.
Regardless, we picked the Guard Llama because they have the all-round most-complete personal security system for real estate professionals:
- They are a security app built for iOS and Android, and they are
- a wearable remote that alerts authorities with a click of a button;
- plus, they built their dispatch software and center to be 70% faster than traditional 9-1-1 services; and finally,
- they’re the exclusive security vendor for NAR REach.
If you’re serious about REALTOR safety, than you want a Guard Llama.
This personal emergency response system solves several current 9-1-1 problems:
- It’s discreet and blends right in with your regular car key fob.
- It doesn’t require you to use your phone to contact 9-1-1 for help.
- It bypasses 9-1-1 dispatch and directly sends your profile and coordinates to the closest police
- It dispatches your exact GPS location plus altitude in seconds while modern day mobile GPS
triangulation systems can take up to 30 minutes to find you.
- It gets you help 70% faster than traditional emergency alert systems.
- More importantly, it connects you to a trained emergency officer that can help immediately.
The Security Remote is normally $49.99 but with your 50% discount, it’s only $24.99 and it’s guaranteed for a full year. At the end of the year, you can renew your service and get a replacement Guard Llama Security Remote for free. How cool is that?
24/7/365 security monitoring services are normally $19.99 per month or $239.99 annually, but if you’re a member, you get 50% off.
That’s about $145 dollars in instant savings and service for the whole year, nationwide.
But that’s not all!
You can add a child in college, a spouse you want to protect, a family member, friend or employee to your account for just $9.99 per month.
How to buy?
We’re really excited to offer this to our members! Safety must come first, and we truly believe real estate professionals deserve to feel safe and secure in every environment.
Click here to get the special discount for MN Association Members.
Click here to get more info about the Guard Llama Member Safety Program.
How to get in touch with Guard Llama?
You can email them at email@example.com or you call them at 855-423-0066. Ask for Adam
Whether you’re showing an open house, inspecting a vacant home, visiting an unsecured property in an unknown location, or coming home from the office, you can have peace of mind knowing that the police is only a button press away.
Remember, here’s the link to checkout .
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.