From the Victoria BC Real Estate Blog comes this shocking story about Lindsay Buziak, a 24-year old real estate agent who was found dead, murdered, in a vacant house she was presumably showing. Her website shows a picture of a beautiful young woman in the flower of her youth.
It’s such a tragedy. And Tim Ayres of the Victoria BC Real Estate Blog has listed some personal safety tips for real estate agents that are worth replicating:
- When you are introduced to new clients, meet them in your office first.
- Photocopy a client’s driver’s license, obtain the car make, and license number.
- Ask them to complete a client identification form and verify the client’s identity.
- Let your office know where you are, your schedule, and who you are meeting when going to a property.
- Limit the amount of personal information you share about yourself with a client.
- Be friendly with neighbours near the listed home and let them know when you will be showing the property.
- Program speed dial on your cell phone for 911 and use it when danger first appears.
- If you get a strange feeling about someone, pay attention to those gut feelings.
- Pre-plan escape routes from each level of a home, before you show it.
- Ask a friend to join you at a showing with a client that makes you somewhat uneasy.
- Arrive at the location in separate vehicles.
- Take a self-defense course.
- If you’re showing several properties, phone your office occasionally to check in (if you’re suspicious or fearful of someone, use these calls as a reason to return to the office immediately — BE CREATIVE).
- Never put yourself at risk to avoid social awkwardness. You have every right to be cautious. When in doubt—don’t.
All good advice. There’s only one thing I can add.
Get a gun.
Learn to use it.
This might be difficult or impossible in Canada, and in some jurisdictions here in the United States, but if you are attacked in a vacant house that you are showing to a “client”, you don’t have time to phone your office to check in, or call 911. Pre-planning escape routes won’t matter much if you’ve been grabbed already. Even if you do manage to call the cops, by the time they arrive, it may be too late. Self-defense classes are a great idea, but it takes years and constant practice before one can get good enough to defend oneself against an attacker. That goes triple if you’re a woman without the physical strength to fight a bigger, brawnier male attacker.
The video below is worth watching:
I don’t personally own a gun, but if my job were to meet strangers every single day and to take them to vacant houses, I’d get myself pistol certified in a hurry.
Tim Ayres says not to put yourself at risk to avoid socially awkwardness. I add not to put yourself at risk to avoid political incorrectness. Get a gun. It can save your life.