An Excellent Safety Tip for Real Estate Agents Who Show Homes
To work in a profession such as real estate — which involves meeting people one does not know in often intimate settings — can be unsettling, uncomfortable at times, but the fear for safety is heightened when a real estate agent is kidnapped, like what happened yesterday in Elk Grove. You can listen to your gut instincts as a safety tip, which rarely lead a person wrong, but not everybody is attuned to gut instincts, which is evidenced by, say, how many times some of us get married.
The real estate agent in Elk Grove was showing a new KB home on Rio Formosa Way in a development of tract homes when the so-called buyer drew a gun and handcuffed her. The details are little sketchy. It sounds like the man made her walk from room to room; however, he didn’t steal anything, apparently, and he ultimately, after about an hour, let her go, unharmed. Still, for 60 minutes straight, that poor real estate agent must have been terrified.
The suspect is described as African American / Hispanic in his 50s, driving a red truck.
Our office has a policy for agents who show homes. It was also quick to point out in an recent email that Lyon Real Estate always suggests that agents meet potential buyers in the office first. We all know that is not gonna happen because some agents will still meet at the house. I suspect, and I don’t know this for a fact, that Lyon’s lawyers are probably worried about liability, about a potential victim suing the broker for not properly protecting its independent contractors.
Here is what I would suggest. I saw this scene in a movie aboard an aircraft, I should admit, while flying to Vanuatu last month, called The Drop. James Gandolfini, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, crime in Brooklyn, excellent movie. Outside a house in a rough neighborhood, Tom Hardy approaches Noomi Rapace to tell her there is an injured dog yelping in her trash can. Noomi’s character, wary, asks to see his driver’s license, snaps a photo of the license with her cellphone and says she sent it to four people.
Appears to be a good plan to me. If you’re a real estate agent about to show a home, you can ask the buyer to show you a driver’s license. I would say it’s a new safety procedure required by your office. Then, snap a photo of that driver’s license with your cellphone and immediately send that photo to a person you trust, telling that buyer you are forwarding the photo to your managing broker, as required, and 3 others.
I bet a buyer would think twice about messing with you.
Just an idea. I will certainly use that safety tip.