REALTOR® Safety Alert
Don’t sacrifice safety for a sale!
Last week an ACAR member trusted her gut and used caution when meeting a potential client from the Springfield Township area whose conduct raised several red flags. The red flags: only wanting to work with a female agent, referencing how she looks in her photo, inviting her to a barbeque after the showing, calling from a blocked number, etc. Collectively his comments and some additional odd behavior lead the agent to search Summit County Records. Her search revealed a criminal history including rape and stalking. After her encounter with this individual, she’s urging fellow agents to follow the safety steps below. Don’t compromise these safety precautions because you are busy! The Guidelines listed by ACAR helps keep REALTORS® and its members safe.
First-time meeting with clients
All agents must arrange to meet prospects and clients whom they have never met in the office rather than at properties, out of doors, or at home.
All first-time clients must provide a driver’s license, state ID or other official photo ID. The office will make and retain a copy of this ID for security purposes.
Agents who are uncomfortable meeting with clients alone or hosting open houses alone can request a “buddy” agent or employee to go with them.
Distress code system
All employees, including officer personnel, will be educated on a single “distress code” to be used by agents calling in if they feel threatened
Handling Obscene or Harassing Phone Calls
Last summer several women REALTORS received obscene phone calls; most likely from the same individual. The male voice and words used were similar. The calls have started up again. Below are tips for handling obscene or harassing phone calls.
- Document each obscene call you receive. Do not engage the caller. Disconnect as soon as you realize who has called. However, document the gender of the caller, a description of the caller’s voice, the exact time and date of the call, the exact words the caller used, how old the caller sounded, the caller’s accent, any background noise and whether or a phone number or name displayed on your cell phone.
- Visit your local police department in person or request an officer visit your home to file a report. Provide your documentation of the obscene calls. Your documentation serves as evidence that will help the police and the cell phone carrier investigate the harassment.
- File a complaint through your cell phone provider’s customer service department. Tell your provider you have already filed a report with the police about the incident. Provide a copy of your documentation if the provider requests it. According to police, your cell phone provider can assist in the investigation by setting up a “trap” on your phone line to discover the telephone number from which the harassing calls originate.