Violence against Realtors on the rise
As September marks the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Realtor Safety Month, real estate associations and brokerages are taking a closer look at their safety measures in an effort to keep agents safe. The first annual Realtor Safety Report revealed that there is a rise in violence against real estate professionals, especially in recent months. Realtor safety expert Andrew Wooten, President of S.A.F.E. said, “The past 12 months have been the most violent I have seen in twenty-six years working in the real estate industry. We’ve seen an increase in attacks, murders and suicides.”
Various entities have responded in kind, from associations stepping up education and bringing in experts like Wooten to address self defense and fine tuning gut instincts. The NAR offers various tips and videos on their site to give Realtors preventative tips and ideas on leaving behind clues in the event something does happen.
ResistAttack giving out free mace
Although men are attacked in volume as well, two thirds of attacks in the last year have been on women, so Resist Attack has set out to cut their ad budget and in place of that budget, is attempting the commendable feat of giving every woman in America free pepper spray which the Moby Safety Survey found is the most popular safety device used on the job in real estate with 20% of people already carrying some form of pepper spray.
Associations & brokers using technology
Additionally, associations are seeking tech tools to aide members’ safety and today, the Mid-Atlantic real estate Multiple Listing Service, MRIS has announced a partnership with personal safety app and AG supporter, Moby. There are a lot of safety apps on the market, but most are simply an alarm button while the Moby app is actually connected to a national security monitoring center with integration of emergency services.
MRIS with its 42,000 customers is not the only association or group to directly offer Moby to its members, but was brought on by the Iowa Association of Realtors after the still unsolved murder of Ashley Okland, and is offered through MiRealSource, Michigan’s largest broker-owned MLS as well as Women in Default Services, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry Alliance Program and is a Keller Williams Approved Vendor and Preferred Supplier to Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.
“Safety is a top priority in the real estate industry, and MRIS is pleased to partner with Moby to introduce the latest technologies to enhance existing business and security plans,” says John L. Heithaus, Chief Marketing Officer at MRIS. “Moby leverages leading GPS and professional monitoring technologies to keep our customers protected while doing their jobs, which helps ease the concerns of friends, family members, and colleagues. MRIS is bringing Moby to customers through MRIS.com, as a further commitment to keeping its customers safe.”
According to Moby, “Designed to keep safety in reach, Moby is a smartphone app that alerts a user’s chosen contacts with a request for assistance, and provides an interactive map of the user’s location. Alerts can be triggered by a single button, and powerful location sharing features provide peace of mind and added safety. For a small additional monthly fee, alerts can be monitored 24×7 by Moby’s security monitoring center.”
“The real estate industry consists of many professional organizations whose members frequently find themselves working alone, in a new neighborhood, at night, with an unknown client, every day of the week,” says Conal Campbell, Director of Alliances for Moby. “Most of us don’t face that type of work environment or those types of risks, and we are pleased to be working with innovative organizations like MRIS that are doing whatever they can to make all aspects of selling a home as safe as possible.”