For days, a home buyer interested in a $6,000 home in Lawrenceville, Georgia called a local agent to arrange a showing on her listing, according to Fox5.
When she arrived to meet the prospect for a tour, the man was already present. In an obvious wig and a woman’s dress, says Cpl. Michelle Pihera with the Gwinnett County Police Department.
The agent did the right thing by allowing the man to view the home alone, while she stayed outside on the front porch, visible to the street.
Then the attack came
After he finished viewing the property, he met the agent on the front porch and began beating her. She was able to escape and got a passing vehicle to call 911.
The unnamed agent is said to be physically okay, but obviously shaken emotionally.
Police have arrested 38 year old Jeffrey Shumate for false imprisonment, battery, and aggravated assault.
The attack triggered an alert to all real estate companies across Atlanta.
The headlines are all the same
When a Realtor is attacked, the industry’s gut instinct is to victim blame. One headline we found on this attack reads “Agent didn’t follow standard safety procedures but escaped.”
There are endless things real estate professionals can do to stay safe, and she did one of them by staying outside. There are safety apps, an ID verification system agents can use, the buddy system, and good old fashioned gut checks.
But the truth is that agents are targeted because it is a crime of opportunity. Are there things real estate professionals can do to fine tune their instincts, methods that will help with their security, apps to track and check in?
Yes, and we’ll be exploring all of those in the coming weeks, as this is just one of thousands attacks made on a vulnerable population.