REALTORSafety2011
A new survey from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) found while 96 percent of REALTORS® have never been a victim of crime, more than two-thirds (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.

The survey asked members how safe they feel while on the job and nearly 3,000 Realtors from across the country answered questions about their personal experiences, and the safety procedures and materials provided by their brokerage. The survey found one-third of members surveyed carry a self-defense weapon. Female REALTORS® are more likely to carry pepper spray, while male REALTORS® more commonly carry a firearm. Thirty-eight 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.

Awareness, prevention and defense tactics are key to staying safe, according to Karen Trolan, president-elect of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. This is why this month, the local trade association is sponsoring “REALTORS® Training Realtors,” a free safety and self-defense training class that will teach agents risk awareness, safety tips, and how to protect yourself and survive in a hostile situation.

“Safety is so important for agents. Because they interface with the public all the time, both female and male agents should know how to protect themselves,” said Trolan. “REALTORS® Training REALTORS®” will be held on Friday, March 27, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Pacific Coast Academy, 14170 Blossom Hill Road, Los Gatos. Taught by REALTORS® Laura Welch (Century 21 M&M), Carla Bunch (Marbella Properties) and Trolan (Alain Pinel Realtors), the class is FREE, but space is limited to 45 participants. Register online at ims.silvar.org, or call (408) 200-0100.

Trolan added that awareness of potentially dangerous situations is just as important as the self-defense. “The training will focus on three important aspects of safety – awareness, prevention and self-defense,” said Trolan.

The National Association of REALTORS®, the California Association of REALTORS®, and local REALTOR® groups like the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, make safety resources and materials available to their members throughout the year. Additionally, the REALTOR® associations dedicate the entire month of September to bringing more awareness to REALTOR® safety among members.

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