It’s been said that the chances of a real estate agent being attacked while showing a home is statistically very low. That may be true, but if you are the unfortunate few who become violently assaulted or even murdered, that probability for you then becomes a 100% certainty.
There are many arguments against carrying a gun. However, I think it boils down to a few fundamental questions.
- If you are alone, showing a home to a prospective male home buyer who ends up threatening to violate your body and life, would you rather have a gun available to you (knowing that you have trained regularly to use it) or would you prefer to have no means to protect yourself?
- Are you willing to allow a stranger determine whether or not you get raped and/or murdered?
- Do you think that someone who is high on drugs or a sexual predator will listen to your pleas of mercy in the moment he is about to attack you?
- Do you think that as a woman, you will be able to physically overpower a determined male criminal?
The surprised criminal, when faced with imminent fear of death, will typically (especially if being shot at) run away from you to save his own pathetic life.
Female Real Estate Agents Targeted by Criminals
Increasingly, it seems female real estate agents are being targeted by criminals. Most criminals who would choose to select a female real estate agent as a target for robbery, rape and murder is a special breed of criminal. They usually don’t have any empathy for their victims and obviously lack any moral compass, which is why they do what they do. They are not like you or me, which is why we would never choose to commit violent criminal acts against society. Unfortunately, we must all recognize that real estate agents (particularly female agents) have increasingly become targets of violent criminal offenders. If having a gun could prevent you from being bludgeoned, stabbed, raped or murdered, would that be a bad thing? If not having a gun resulted in you being bludgeoned, stabbed, raped and murdered, would that be a good thing?
Here is one recent (2014) and notorious example of a female agent being targeted for kidnapping and ransom:
Here’s another from 2010:
Here are several more stories:
Critics may argue that having a gun, in and of itself, does not make you safer and it could possibly be used against you. But that can easily be refuted. As a responsible “concealed carry” gun owner, if you regularly train with your gun, exercise situational awareness and have a plan, I believe that you are more likely to maintain the upper hand in such encounters. One of the things that may be in your favor, unlike with police officers, is that a criminal who attacks you, does not typically expect his victim (particularly females) to be carrying a firearm concealed. The element of surprise is what should give armed citizens the “tactical” advantage when under attack. The surprised criminal, when faced with imminent fear of death, will typically (especially if being shot at) run away from you to save his own pathetic life.
Like any new experience, it can be frightening to handle a gun for the first time. To some, this may even be unimaginable. But like learning to drive a car, once you practice using it regularly, it becomes more familiar and the initial fear should dissipate. That’s not to say that you should not have a healthy respect for a gun. To the contrary, you must understand that a firearm is a tool that when used, can result in serious harm or death of a person. However, with any modern firearm, there should not be a situation where the gun just “goes off” by itself. Guns generally don’t shoot unless the trigger is pulled (or there is an unexpected mechanical failure). As a responsible gun owner, you should learn and train when to keep your finger on and off the trigger.
For female real estate agents considering the purchase of a gun, you may want to read this article.
Here are a few safety tips when showing a home to a new client:
- Meet at your office first while other agents are around (don’t do this after hours when no one is around).
- Ask for identification.Tell all clients that this is your company policy that all clients’ driver’s licenses must be photocopied.
- Introduce your new client to a coworker. Criminals don’t want others to have seen them for identification purposes.
- Do instant background checks. There is an app by a company, Forewarn, which among other things, they say can perform instant background checks on potential clients.
- Never go alone on an appointment for home showings. Always bring another person with you when you meet a client at a home showing, especially if your new client is a man (if he claims he’s married and shopping on behalf of himself and his wife…see if he has a wedding ring on). If your male client claims that his wife couldn’t make the showing appointment when you arrive, reschedule the appointment. DO NOT GO INTO THE HOUSE ALONE WITH HIM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. NO COMMISSION IS WORTH YOUR LIFE.
- Let someone know who you will be with, their contact information, where you will be and at what time.
- If you have an iPhone, set up the Find iphone app and make sure someone you trust has access to it so your phone location can be tracked and available to law enforcement if necessary.
- Follow your gut. If for any reason you feel uneasy when speaking to your client on the phone or in person, again, DO NOT GO INTO THE HOUSE ALONE WITH HIM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. NO COMMISSION IS WORTH YOUR LIFE.
- Have a plan. You should always have a plan as to what you will do should something nefarious occur with your client. That can include carrying concealed, mace, a taser, or better yet, a firearm.
- If you do end up showing a male client a home, let him walk in front of you at all times and keep your weapon (mace, taser, firearm) concealed on your person. Never, Ever let a male client walk behind you.
- Never go into confined places where you could be trapped, i.e. avoid basements, wine cellars and attics.
- Whenever possible, drive in separate cars, particularly if your client is alone and male. Have your new client follow you from listing to listing.