Most customers probably do not know who Beverly Carter is, or was. She is the latest casualty in the real estate business. She was murdered by a customer she was showing a house to. She wasn’t at a wild party, or walking down a dark street or friendly with the wrong person. She was answering a call from a stranger to show him a vacant house.
Unlike other businesses, Realtors put their photos in the paper, say they will be at an open house (alone) and even give the address, they advertise their phone numbers, take strangers into their cars and drive them into the country, they meet people at their homes in the evening (after the children are down) and then drive home alone in the late evening. They are moving targets for rapists, thieves and murderers. We are either very brave or foolish.
When I show a home to a customer, even to friends and relatives, I have them walk into a room or walk upstairs ahead of me. The gentlemen often step aside and say, “After you.” But I insist they go ahead of me and offer some excuse such as I’m slow climbing stairs. What I am doing is drilling into my memory bank that I must never walk ahead of a customer, turn my back on him, in case he might attack me. I do it with my friends and relatives, not because I fear them, but to reinforce my safety instincts so I won’t forget them at a crucial time.
Every day people call Realtors and ask to see a home. Maybe it is closer to your house than to her office and when she tentatively asks you to meet her in her office, you point out that it is much more convenient for you to just meet her at the house. Do you ever think to suggest that, since she doesn’t know you, meeting at a public place not far from the property you wish to see? Offer her the security of first being seen in public with her before she takes you into an unoccupied home? What if she were your wife or sister meeting a stranger . . . in the country . . . where cell phone reception is iffy . . . and the property is somewhat isolated? When you offer an agent that courtesy and security, it makes it easier for her to insist upon it with another person – who might or might not have mischief on his mind. It is a simple little thing to offer a woman Realtor, but by reinforcing safety it becomes a habit that might save her life someday.
Life is good and getting better!