Agent

Special Report: How safe do agents feel on the job?

It's Realtor Safety Month, but close calls and high-profile news put industry pros on guard year-round
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  • Vacant homes, open houses and internet leads allow for some of the most vulnerable circumstances in real estate.
  • Nearly half of respondents would consider carrying a gun, but few who do have ever been forced to use one on the job.
  • A big concern with carrying weapons is that in a situation gone wrong, they could be used against the agent.
  • Agents on the whole feel well-supported by their brokerages on safety concerns, but brokers could improve by being more consistent.

This month two years ago, Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter went missing after a home showing. A jury’s less than hour-long deliberation in January 2016 served her murderer justice, but leaves the real estate industry unsettled nonetheless. That the events of this tragic tale came out crystal clear during trial -- how she was targeted for being a “rich broker” -- makes them unbearably poignant. Her case, and others like it that sit cold, certainly give Realtors, the majority of whom are female, pause for concern. It could be any day. A male client has been down in the basement for just a little too long for comfort. Your potential buyer wants to meet right away at a vacant home, but darkness is falling. It’s probably nothing, you tell yourself, but all it takes is one risk. One person with bad intentions to take advantage of a vulnerable position. September is Realtor Safety Month, and hopefully every agent and broker is taking the opportunity to review personal...