AgentNews Brief

Realtor finds backyard shed covered with agents’ headshots

Police department says no crime has been committed, but local Realtors remain wary

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We can all agree — real estate agents deserve more appreciation than they currently receive, but one Abilene, Texas man appears to have taken his “appreciation” too far, putting the real estate community on guard.

According to KTAB News and the Houston Chronicle, Realtor Tommy Simons was with a client touring a home that recently went on the market. When he and the buyer walked to the backyard, Simons noticed a shed covered with photos of women that he quickly identified as fellow real estate agents.

“I’ve known all those ladies a long time,” said Simons in an interview with the Chronicle. “That’s kind of weird and kind of creepy. According to the police department, he’s not breaking any law. I don’t like it but what can I do.”

The Abilene Police Department said the owner isn’t breaking the law and hasn’t received any citations, but they do find the owner’s actions to be “very concerning.”

The owner told KTAB that he plans to take the photos down, but comments on new station’s Facebook page show that some of the community isn’t pleased with the outcome of the incident.

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“So, they can’t do anything about it until something criminal actually happens?” asked commenter Jennifer Charo Griffin. “Smh.”

“That is really creepy,” wrote Gina Witzke Decker. “Sounds like the beginning of an episode of Criminal Minds!”

Meanwhile, other commenters felt the women had put themselves at risk by advertising their photos on billboards and other marketing material.

“It is indeed creepy, but when you put your picture on your advertisement flyer or sign to display in people’s yard, you have to consider the fact that they might fall into the wrong hands,” warned April Davis.

The National Asssociation of Realtors’ (NAR) Adam DeSanctis said since the Abilene Police Department says no laws have been broken in this incident, Realtors in the area should follow a basic and important rule: “If you see something, say something,” which is exactly what agent Simons did.

DeSanctis also suggests that agents read NAR’s safety guide, which outlines simple ways to stay safe, such as letting a coworker know where you are at all times, asking someone to attend an open house with you, trusting your gut when something feels “wrong,” and taking a self-defense class.

The Abilene Association of Realtors was asked for a comment, but had not responded at the time of publication. This article will be updated accordingly.

Email Marian McPherson.