Ocean City Today

Coastal Realtors celebrate safety issues last month

Oct 19, 2017
CAR’s Safety Course for Real Estate Professionals was taught by Walt Taraila of Keller Williams Realty of Delmarva and was attended by 30 Realtor members, Sept. 27 in Berlin.

(Oct. 20, 2017) In observance of National Realtor Safety Month, the Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR) offered various safety resources and materials to its members through September.

On Sept. 27, CAR offered the Safety Course for Real Estate Professionals to its members, free of charge. The course was held at the CAR Training Center in Berlin and was taught by Walt Taraila of Keller Williams Realty of Delmarva.

The three-hour Continuing Education course covered a variety of topics, including personal safety, self-defense, and examples of potential threats, among others. The course also encouraged agents to share their experiences, ideas and suggestions for safety.

CAR shared safety tips with its members via social media and weekly newsletters. These tips offer safety information on an assortment of topics, including open house safety, garage safety, cyber security and home security. The tips are compiled by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

“Realtors don’t always know the people they meet for showings, so it’s very important that they take precautions to protect themselves,” said CAR President Don Bailey. “It’s also important that our members share safety protocols with home buyers so they know what they may encounter when working with a Realtor. There are good reasons that an agent may ask for your driver’s license or tell you they’d prefer not to carpool to a listing. All these measures are put in place to protect the Realtor and the client.”

Other safety precautions that home buyers may encounter include only viewing a vacant property during the day or always walking in front of your agent during a showing.

“Your agent may only show vacant properties by day so you can see what safety hazards exist, such as loose floorboards or other defects,” Bailey said. “And allowing potential buyers to take the lead when exploring a home is a common safety protocol and allows you to view each room in the property first and make your own impressions.”

NAR’s Realtor Safety Program was established more than a decade ago to empower and inform members of potential risks they face in their profession and how to navigate them safely. Safety information is available at www.realtor.org/safety.

However, the Realtor safety issue was pushed into the national spotlight in 2014 after Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter was kidnapped and murdered while showing a home to a person whom she thought was a prospective client.

According to NAR’s 2017 Member Safety Report, which is based on a survey of over 48,000 Realtor across the country, 38 percent of respondents experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information.

Many of the respondents reported that they carry a self-defense weapon, with the most common being pepper spray, followed closely by a personal firearm. Almost half of the participants said their brokerage has standard procedures in place for agent safety.

Visit www.coastalrealtors.org for more information about CAR.

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