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Is the Realtor Profession Becoming More Dangerous?

by Chicago Agent

2011 has been a dangerous year for Realtors, but there are ways to heighten your safety.

September is the National Association of Realtor’s “Realtor Safety Month,” and to coincide with the month, real estate website AgentGenius conducted surveys and interviews to assess Realtor safety in 2011. The site’s findings were both frightening and educational.

Andrew Wooten, the president of Safety Awareness Firearms Education, tracks safety rates for the real estate profession. Wooten said 2011 has marked a new high for violence against Realtors.

“The past 12 months have been the most violent I have seen in 26 years working in the real estate industry. We’ve seen an increase in attacks, murders and suicides,” Wooten said. And this after recent news that one in four male Realtors come armed while on the job.

Surprisingly, though, there were few trends or commonalities in any of the crimes, despite extensive study by both AgentGenius and Moby, which designs a personal safety app for Realtors. According to AgentGenius, the studies were able to pinpoint these minor correlations:

  • The majority of the attacks on Realtors in 2011 occurred in the afternoons on Thursday or Friday.
  • Nearly one in three victims are men.
  • Most attacks did not occur inside major metro areas.
  • Guns are used roughly half of the time in attacks.
  • Robbery was the intention going into the attack but frequently resulted in murder
If there is no clear them, then why are Realtors such a target? For the professionals that AgentGenius spoke with, it’s a matter of perception. Despite the fact that many Realtors are struggling with low home prices, weak consumer demand and tough credit markets, the image of the successful real estate agent remains a staple of commercials, billboards and other popular mediums of communication. As a result, negative ideas can develop about the profession.
Though perception can be difficult to combat, Realtors can – and should – take every precautionary measure possible. This includes safety courses from Realtor safety experts; investments in personal monitoring devices; lessons in self defense; and any additional courses that will make you feel safer on the job.
It is, after all, your safety – and it warrants attention!

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