Just over 9 years ago, on September 25, 2014, the Arkansas real estate community was shaken to its core when realtor Beverly Carter tragically lost her life while on duty.
Carter, a 50-year-old real estate agent, had informed her husband that she was showing a house to a prospective buyer before returning home for dinner. However, this routine activity took a deadly turn when Carter was targeted, kidnapped, and eventually killed by Arron Lewis and his estranged wife who lured her to a vacant property under the guise of being interested buyers.
Carter's tragedy sheds light on the inherent risks faced by real estate professionals daily. The nature of the job often requires meeting strangers in isolated or vacant properties, making it a fertile ground for potential dangers. In honor of Beverly Carter and many others in the real estate industry who have lost their life while doing their job, it's imperative to underscore the importance of safety precautions.
Here are some safety tips curated from various real estate experts to help ensure that every agent returns home safely each day:
Initial Meeting in Public Places
Before meeting clients for property showings, it's advisable to have the first meeting in public places like an office or a coffee shop to discuss their real estate needs. This precaution can provide a level of security and an opportunity to gauge the client's intentions5.
Trust Your Instincts
If something feels off during interactions with clients or while at a property, it's crucial to trust your instincts. Your gut feeling could be a lifesaver.
Personal Information Disclosure
Avoid revealing personal information such as home address, personal phone number, or other sensitive details on public platforms or to clients. This measure helps maintain a professional boundary and safeguards personal information.
Wearable Safety Gadgets
Wearable safety gadgets like smart jewelry with built-in panic buttons can be beneficial. These gadgets can silently alert emergency contacts or authorities if you find yourself in a threatening situation.
It's advisable to screen clients before meeting them in person. This screening can include a basic internet search to verify their identity or requesting identification during the first meeting.
Emergency Contacts and Awareness
Have emergency contacts on speed dial and be aware of your surroundings. It's essential to remain vigilant, especially during property showings and open houses. Make sure someone knows where you are supposed to be at all times and instruct them to contact authorities if they do not hear from you by a certain time.
The horrific event that unfolded for Beverly Carter is a stark reminder of the safety measures real estate agents need to adopt to protect themselves. By adhering to these safety practices, real estate professionals can significantly mitigate the risks associated with their noble profession.
What safety precautions do you take while showing homes? Drop a comment below or share with the class in an upcoming CE Class!
DailyCrime. "Kidnap and Murder of Real Estate Agent Beverly Carter Traced on Web of Lies."
Heavy. "Beverly Carter Was Murdered by Arron Lewis & Crystal Lowery."
The Cinemaholic. "Beverly Carter Murder: Where is Arron Lewis Now? Update."
6ABC Philadelphia. "Agent Was Targeted Because She Was 'Woman That Worked Alone'."
GBREB. "How Safe Are You? 17 Essential Safety Tips For Real Estate Agents."
HomeLight. "7 Real Estate Safety Tips to Empower Agents In the Field."
Zillow. "Real Estate Agent Safety: 15 Tips You Should Practice."
The Close. "10 Realtor Safety Tips That Could Save Your Life."
Agent Crate. "32+ Realtor Safety Tips To Keep Yourself Protected."