REALTORS observe "Safety Month" with proactive resources
"Every year real estate agents across the country are threatened, robbed, and physically or sexually assaulted while fulfilling the everyday requirements of their jobs. Some even lose their lives."
So reads the introduction to a National Association of REALTORS® presentation on Safety Month, being observed during September. The goal is to help members understand the risks they face through knowledge, awareness, and empowerment. "Such understanding can mean the difference between life and death," NAR explains.
To underscore the importance of safety, the association cites statistics showing since 2003 an average of 74 real estate professionals have been murdered on the job annually.
NAR research indicates the typical member meets half (50 percent) their prospective buyers and sellers that they do not know in a real estate office or a neutral location before first viewing a home, a strategy safety experts recommend.
Resources from the trade association cover safety at the office, safety with clients, and safety at home.
"Some of the tips might seem inconvenient, impractical or time-consuming," the author of one Realtor report writes, adding, "Incorporating these tips into your daily routine and making them part of the way you do business can make you safer."
To supplement the resources on NAR's website, Northwest Multiple Listing Service also maintains a "Safety and Alerts" section on its site, which contains member reports and warnings of fraudulent buyers, real estate scams, and suspicious activities.
NAR materials include a 3-hour safety course for use by local associations, along with a pair of free safety webinars. The "Real Estate Self Defense" course at Seattle King County REALTORS will be held at its Bellevue classroom on Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm. Members and non-members may register.
NAR's free webinars will be held on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27:
Pre-registration is required.
As part of an annual safety program, NAR conducted a survey of its members. Among the findings, NAR reported only 20 percent of respondents had participated in a Realtor safety course, and among those who had, 71 percent said they feel more prepared for unknown situations after taking the course.