• The first real estate agent safety course sanctioned by the Texas Real Estate Commission has attracted 75 agents after a month.
  • Agents are learning about key times when they might be at risk and are being given the opportunity to apply for their concealed carry handgun license.

Some agents download apps to their phones to keep them safe while on the job; others might take a self-defense class. And in Texas, some agents can now apply for a concealed-carry firearm license through a Texas Real Estate Commission-sanctioned course.

A new course training real estate agents in safety — the first Texas Real Estate Commission-sanctioned course that includes the option of applying for a license to carry a firearm — has attracted more than 70 students in its first month and is likely to expand to Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.


Instructors (in the back) and agent students.

“In the month since we started, we have had 75 agents go through, and we are booking all the way up to March,” said Ron Johnson, co-creator of the course and an agent with Bernstein Realty.

Johnson, who launched CHL (Concealed Handgun License) Express two years ago, has launched the Houston-based course with Lloyd Hampton Real Estate Education.

Agents must have a proficiency with a firearm and a firearm to attend. Some brokers in Texas do not allow their staff to carry firearms, said Johnson.

“If murdered Arkansas agent, Beverly Carter had had a concealed handgun license, she would have had one more chance,” said Johnson.

The course gives agents five hours of real estate agent continuing credit (MCE) and costs $169 per person; it covers topics such as general personal safety, situational awareness, non-violent conflict resolution and good safety habits

License-holders will also be made aware of when and how they may legally carry a handgun in Texas and the conditions under which they can carry handguns on their business premises. They will also be given firing range practice.

Johnson, who works with his wife, Janice, at Bernstein’s in Houston, Texas, said: “I usually accompany Janice on open houses or at any questionable times.

“Open houses are really dangerous,” he said. “You are bringing in one, two, three or four families. How do you keep on top of them; how do you know where they are?”

He uses the publicdata.com website at open houses. “I use it all the time — I will take a photo of a license plate, run it on publicdata.com, and by the time they get to the front door, I say, ‘Oh, it’s the Brown family!'”

“If you know who they are, it minimizes the bad guys’ reasons to get away with it,” he said.

Johnson urges agents to take someone with them to a viewing if they have any feeling of danger.

“It’s about being aware and trusting your gut. So many agents don’t do that,” said Johnson.

Email Gill South.

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