When Your Instinct Tells You to Run

Working as a real estate professional can put you in potentially dangerous situations. Two REALTORS® discuss how tragedy changed the way they interact with their clients.
Eye peeping through keyhole

© happyphoton - iStock/Getty Images Plus

Jen Stanbrough lost her close friend and fellow real estate agent Ashley Okland, who was shot and killed at an open house in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2011. Kitty Wallace was stalked for months, finding notes on her windshield from a man who had three years’ worth of her real estate ads in his trunk. These two REALTORS® say practitioners can’t ignore the inherent risks of their job and must adjust how they interact with clients to put safety top of mind. Listen to their stories for yourself.

Kitty Wallace

Wallace joined the real estate world from the lending world almost 20 years ago. She is an active REALTOR® and is the managing broker of RE/MAX in Cle Elum, Wash., a small rural community east of Seattle. Kitty, named Washington state REALTOR® of the year in 2016, has served as Washington REALTORS® RPAC chair, vice president of government affairs for Washington REALTORS®, Region 12 Fundraising RPAC Trustee and was the 2019 Chair of Major Investor Council at NAR. Kitty served on the REALTOR® Safety Committee in 2020 and expanded her advocacy efforts to the safety of REALTORS®. Kitty served as the Washington State Association president in 2020 and is currently serving as the chair of the Broker Engagement Committee for NAR.

Jen Stanbrough

Stanbrough is a real estate managing broker at RE/MAX Precision in Des Moines, Iowa. For over 16 years, Jen has found her passion helping guide her clients through the journey of purchasing or selling properties. Jen is actively involved in the National Association of REALTORS®, Iowa Association of REALTORS® and Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS®, where she is currently serving as the 2022 president. She also serves and supports many other charities, such as the Beverly Carter Foundation, EveryStep and more.


REALTOR® Safety Program Logo