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REALTORS® Discuss Safety on Today Show

Erica Christoffer Customer Service, Helpful Tools, Safety, Young Pros in the Spotlight, YPN News 8 Comments

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Tamara Suminski, 2011 California YPN chair and 2014 president of the South Bay Association of REALTORS®, appeared on Today with 2015 NAR President Chris Polychron to discuss safety precautions REALTORS® are taking in wake of the horrifying kidnapping and murder of Arkansas-based real estate practitioner Beverly Carter.

Among the changes to how Suminski conducts business, she has committed to never hosting an open house alone. “REALTORS® everywhere are having significant conversations about safety,” she told Today correspondent Hallie Jackson.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Learn more about Beverly Carter and the legacy she is leaving behind.

For broker-owners, managers, and agents looking to make safety a priority at your office, here are seven tips to create security routines and procedures. Download NAR’s agent information, agent itinerary, and prospect ID forms and adapt them for brokerage use.

To learn more on how to stay safe in the field, visit REALTOR.org/safety.

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Comments 8

  1. I was in the business for 25 years and held several offices at local and state levels. We had safety awareness years ago and had incorporated that as a requirement class in our local orientation for every year. It is a great review for both old and new Realtors. All boards should have something similar. You can never be to safe especially in today’s world

  2. Wow… the ignorance is astounding. Never do an open house on your own again? How about SOMEONE suggests self defense classes to our agent community? I’ve heard over and over how agents are going to check ID’s and use the buddy system and NOTHING ever said about encouraging our agent community to learn self defense techniques… Im very disappointed in the leadership of our industry.

  3. As a follow-up, we are hosting REALTOR safety sessions at our local association, which will include hands-on self-defense after a facilitated session on best practices.

    The reason I won’t do an open house alone again is because there are many things that can happen in an open house, especially with a new listing that has overwhelming traffic. I can best serve my seller and the visitors by having a partner/buddy and I will have a better sense of what’s happening throughout the home. It may seem like an extreme measure to make this pledge, but even with a .01% risk, my personal safety is most important to me.

    Anything can happen, anywhere, at anytime. We should always be aware, but we can also mitigate risk by making decisions to run our businesses differently- find the gap and fill it with a best practice. Mine will absolutely be to have a buddy at an open house. Period.

  4. Nice, Shauna White.

    Self defense? Why would you criticize someone who chooses not to put herself in the compromised position in the first place?

    Do whatever you want for yourself, but don’t criticize someone for choosing to be safe – especially after the tragedy that just happened in Arkansas.

  5. Times have changed. The industry needs to change with the times. Many years ago, there was no internet. There was no MLS online. There were no virtual tours. There were no cell phones, iPads. There was a need for open houses. Though open houses were not safe then, they were a necessary evil.

    These days, buyers can view homes right in the palm of their hands and view homes on their computers which eliminates the need for open houses. If agents listed homes properly right from the start, there would be no reason a seller would even ask an agent to hold an open house.

    Let’s face it, the only reason agents hold open houses is for two reasons…

    1. to get new clients
    2. the home is over priced

    With all of the technology these days, agents can find new clients so many different ways other than open houses.

    Another thing that needs to change in our industry is stop meeting strangers at empty homes. How do we expect consumers to respect what we do when we ourselves don’t even respect what we do. By just dropping everything and running out to meet someone you don’t know and have no idea if the buyer is even qualified to purchase the home you are running out to meet them at.

    Do you meet your doctor in an empty home or your accountant, or your lawyer? No, you don’t. you go to an office which is where every consumer should meet us at, no matter what.

    If you value money more than your own life, I suppose you will continue to drop everything to meet with strangers and hold open houses. I myself value my life and my family way more than any amount of money!

    Be the change you want to be! Stop stranger danger now! Realtors for change!

  6. And I say again…why do people in this industry – especially females – continue to put their personal photo on anything and everything? Name another industry that does this. Predators target their victims based upon fetish and “the look”. We don’t put our photos on cards or flyers at the company I own. What the heck does it matter what we look like? Just inviting trouble.

  7. Jim, I don’t believe that woman putting their photographs on their marketing material has anything to do with the crime on Realtors. If someone wants to hurt someone, they will no matter what. Guys feel that they are indestructable and they aren’t. Crime can happen to anyone at any time however, we don’t have to invite crime.

    Ultimately, criminals will see what people look like regardless of whether they have their photo on the net. Someone can become obsessed upon meeting someone.

    Realtors will continue to find ways not to admit that meeting strangers at homes or holding open houses is a crime waiting to happen. You say “Name another industry that does this”… exactly.. name another industry where the professional runs out to meet new clients in empty homes or goes to a client’s home and uses it for an office for 4 hours and on top of that.. opens the front door and invites the world to just walk right on in… as far as I know, real estate is the only profession that does this. It’s demeaning and shows that we all have a lack of respect for ourselves and our profession… just to make a buck.

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