WASHINGTON (March 2, 2015) – A new survey from the National Association of Realtors® found 96 percent of Realtors® have never been the victim of crime, but 40 percent have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information.
Some of the most common circumstances that resulted in fearful situations were open houses, showing vacant and model homes, working with properties that were unlocked or unsecured and showing homes in remote areas.
“When I became NAR president last year, I pledged to make Realtor® safety a priority and develop new education and resources for the industry,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. “It is important to know how safe or unsafe our members feel, what causes them to feel unsafe, and what steps they are taking to keep themselves out of harm’s way, so that we can respond and provide the best tools tailored to our members’ personal safety needs.”
The survey asked members how safe they feel while on the job and nearly 3,000 Realtors® from across the U.S. answered questions about their personal experiences, and the safety procedures and materials provided by their brokerage.
The survey found that one-third of surveyed members carry a self-defense weapon. Female Realtors® are more likely to carry pepper spray, while male Realtors® more commonly carry a firearm. Many agents, 38 percent, have participated in self-defense classes as a proactive safety measure, and 13 percent use a smart phone safety application to track their whereabouts or alert colleagues of an emergency. Also, before showing a property, the typical Realtor® meets about half of their prospective buyers, whom they haven’t previously met, in a real estate office or other neutral location.
Many Realtor® associations, real estate brokerages and offices also make safety resources available to agents. Eighteen percent of members have participated in safety courses provided by their Realtor® association. Forty-six percent of respondents said their brokerage has standard procedures for agent safety in place; however, 54 percent said their brokerage either had no safety measures in place or they were not aware of them.
The safety of its members is a top priority for NAR, and the association will continue to expand its Realtor® Safety Program in 2015 by unveiling new materials and applications for members and associations throughout the year.
NAR established the Realtor® Safety Program to empower and inform members of the potential risks they face in this profession and how to navigate them safely. Webinars, safety materials and tips are all made available through the program, with the entire month of September dedicated to bringing more awareness to Realtor® safety among members.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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