The recent murder of Arkansas realtor Beverly Carter has many real estate offices around the country rethinking how they treat home showings and train new agents.
Kidnapping and murder of realtors isn’t common. However, unsafe and uncomfortable situations for realtors, particularly females, happens frequently.
“He immediately got irate, telling me what he had done to another realtor in another town and what he intended to do to me.” recalls Topeka realtor Beck Burghart.
“I’ve had a couple of experiences where I felt uneasy and I dialed 911 on my phone. So that if something happened, I’d be able to just push the button.” says Topeka realtor Jeanette Johnson.
These incidents are something that realtors view as ‘part of the job,’ but say, needs to change.
The days of showing up and expecting the realtor to drop what they’re doing and meet a complete stranger are over.” says Burghart.
Buyers in Topeka are already noticing a difference – realtors want to know more about you before agreeing to meet.
“Don’t be offended if we ask for additional information, take a picture of your vehicle, take a picture of your license plate. It’s for our own safety.” says Burghart.
And buyers – don’t expect the realtor to lead you through the house.
“You [realtors] always want to be behind your buyer so that you always have an exit.” says Burghart.
In light of last week’s event, some local real estate companies are sending realtors in pairs. Burghart says that’s just not feasible for her team. They often each show more than 50 houses a month.