The murder last week of real estate agent, Beverly Carter in Arkansas USA should be a reminder to agents that they need to be vigilant at all times, always have an emergency plan and avoid putting themselves in vulnerable situations according to RE/MAX WA Regional Owner, Geoff Baldwin. US agent, Beverly Carter, was abducted while showing a property and her body was found later in a shallow grave in nearby bushland. A suspect has since been arrested and charged saying to reporters that he targeted her because she was “A woman working alone and a rich real estate broker”. Agents should not be paranoid about safety but they should remain mindful that we do live in troubled times particularly with drugs and other pressures leading to robbery and violence every day in our community. It is very simple for an agent to be lured into a vulnerable situation by someone posing as a prospective buyer or tenant, especially if the property is vacant or the owners are not at home. The following are simple tips for agents who may be concerned about being isolated with a stranger; • Always ring the office telling them where you are and who you are with. • Tell the office you will ring them back to confirm your appointment is completed. • Ask the office to ring you if they haven’t heard from you. • Tell the office to ring 000 if you can’t be contacted within a certain time. • If you are really concerned do not go ahead with the appointment without taking along a buddy.
“There is no need for agents to become overcautious but a simple set of office guidelines put in place by the principal as part of the OHS policy can avoid a similar situation happening here in Australia” Mr Baldwin said.