At a recent Realtor® education course, someone seriously floated the idea of teaching agents to use guns and advising agents to carry them when doing open houses. This is not a paranoid notion. Why do real estate agents get attacked? Because we are alone in houses with strangers.
I got my first adult lesson in horrible strangers when I was 21. I was selling my car. I put a sign in the window that said something like, “1978 Honda Civic, 53,000 miles, new head gasket. Call Rona 516 474-xxxx.”
I got a phone call at my home (not my parent’s home.) He asked for me by name. He described me. Then he asked me “How’s your juicy c—t.” He was unintelligible on that last, filthy, word. I said “what? My what?” over and over. When I finally understood what he was asking, I said, “Oh! It’s just fine.” And hung up.
I didn’t sleep again until I figured out how this man got my name, my phone number, and knew what I looked like. It had to be from the car window. I was wigged-out by this for weeks.
Lesson one: If a creep has your name, your phone number, and knows what you look like, he will use it for filthy purposes.
In 1993 a man called my real estate office. He asked for me by name, described me, then started jerking off. Déjà vu!
I didn’t sleep again until I figured out that this was the guy who lived across the street from an (empty) house I was listing* (before I became an exclusive buyer’s agent.) He came to the open houses, told me his sister wanted to buy the house, kept calling, kept jerking off. He stopped when I said I was recording the call and I would play it for his wife.
Lesson two: Real estate agents are alone in houses with people. Some of them are creeps.
Whenever I work as a real estate agent, I carry a weapon. I have since that day in 1993. Every woman needs a safety plan. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is.
The Realtor® association takes this seriously, too. I appreciate the advice they now publish to their members. It applies to all women, and some men, too. Back in 1993, I needed to go to a self-defense class to learn the same things.
Any weapon you chose has to be:
- Easy to access. If you can’t get to it in a hurry, you can’t use it.
- Easy to conceal. If a creep can see it, it might deter him. Or, he might just take it from you.
- Easy to retain. You must learn how to hold onto whatever weapon you pick.
Would you carry a lethal weapon? If you can’t use one against another person, you should not. Get some good advice on this before buying that gun or stashing that knife. Source
On my personal blog, I’ve been discussing women’s safety. If you want to read more, you are welcome.
*Part of my decision to become an exclusive buyer’s agent is based on how much I hated doing open houses, based on that day in 1993.