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Op/Ed

When it comes to REALTOR® safety, sometimes there is no lesson to be learned

With the recent headline and tragic loss, we must acknowledge that sometimes tragedy can’t be prevented with realtor safety apps, buddy systems or awareness.

We write a great deal about Realtor safety because we believe awareness, education, and preventative measures are great ways to lessen the risks of being attacked. While we fervently believe there are many things you can do to keep yourselves safer when showing properties, we also believe that some preventative measures, especially apps, can lead to a false sense of security and simply fall short of keeping you safe.

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The safety utility belt

This is why we advocate education, awareness, buddy systems (where you tell a friend/colleague where you’ll be and agree on an “emergency” code word you can employ if needed), and technology.

No one thing is the answer; you need a full complement of preventative measures to maximize your safety and even then, unfortunately, nothing is certain.

Mourning a recent loss

Recent headlines in Wilmington, North Carolina, detail the tragic death of Benjamin Privott. Privott was a Realtor and a musician.

He was also the victim of a random act of violence.

Privott was outside walking his dog when he was attacked and stabbed to death by a 15-year-old teenager. He was found a short distance from his home.

New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said Tuesday afternoon that his office is working to bind the juvenile accused of murdering Privott to Superior Court to be tried as an adult. 

Sheriff Ed McMahon stated the 15-year-old was arrested in connection to the death and was charged with first-degree murder. He was also charged with breaking and entering and attempted armed robbery. This has neighbors worried about their safety as well.

Awareness and prevention

Even though the suspect is off of the streets, neighbor Christian Burgess said he still feels uneasy. Burgess stated, “They may have caught that guy, and it was a random incident, but the fact it was a random incident doesn’t mean it couldn’t occur again.”

Burgess and fellow neighbor Brad Landreth are holding a neighborhood meeting in hopes of starting a neighborhood watch organization. Hopefully this will raise awareness and prevent anything similar from happening. However, it still makes it difficult for any other Realtors, or other professionals, to enter the neighborhood.

While it was one, isolated incident, once your sense of security has been violated, it makes it difficult to do your job.

Tragedy can happen anytime, anywhere

Safety should be at the forefront of Realtors’ minds, every single day. Unfortunately, we live in a world where safety is a growing concern, and sometimes violence is random and no amount of preparation helps.

This is not a teachable moment, rather a time to mourn a loss in the ranks.

#RIPPrivott

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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