Tim Bates, the Captain of the Detective Division of the Rome, NY Police Department in the USA has written a column in the Rome Observer with advice for real estate agents/realtors. The article comes in the wake of the recent murder of a real estate agent in Arizona.
Last week in Arkansas, real estate agent Beverly Carter was reported missing when she did not return after showing a home to a potential client. Tragically, her body was found a few days later and a suspect is in custody, who is believed to have targeted Mrs. Carter because of her profession and because she at times worked alone.
This tragedy should serve as a reminder to all real estate professionals or anyone else who may work in a field where they can be left alone with strangers, that it is important to always take extreme caution and follow procedures to help insure your safety.
In this day of social media and the ever growing internet, many agents use business networking sites to make and maintain contact with potential clients and colleagues.
If you utilize any sites like these, or have a profile that you give out in any other forms such as pamphlets or business cards, there are a few rules you should follow.
Never give out your home address or phone number, or give any clues that might allow someone to figure out where you live. Use either your agency address or a PO Box, and voicemail system. If you publish a profile picture, do not wear expensive jewelry or other costly accessories, and make sure there are no identifying or personal details visible in the background…
-Captain Tim Bates, The Rome Observer