Realtor Announces CWP in Local Newspaper


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psyopspec
April 25, 2005, 08:50 PM
The Fargo Forum (http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=89872&section=news)

Realtor safety a concern after attack at showing
By Dave Forster, The Forum
Published Monday, April 25, 2005

In a business where she's often walking strangers through empty houses, Realtor Diane Nordhougen takes care not to put herself at more risk than she must be.

She meets new clients in her office first and takes a male co-worker along on rural trips. Her cell phone has 911 on speed dial. In uncomfortable situations, she tries to stay between the client and a door.

Nervous moments for Realtors in the Fargo-Moorhead area are rare, but news of a recent assault on a female agent has Nordhougen and others in the industry more vigilant than normal.

"It just put a shiver down my spine," said Nordhougen, a three-year employee at Park Co./ GMAC Real Estate.

She spoke of an attack that was reported only generally last week to members of the Multiple Listing Service, an association of Fargo-Moorhead Realtors.

The victim's account gave more details of the incident, which is under review for charges in the Cass County state's attorney office. Because the suspect hasn't been arrested or charged, the police cannot release the victim's name.

The woman spoke to The Forum on the condition she not be named.

"It was like just unbelievable fear," she said last week.

"If something would have happened to me, no one would have known right where to find me. ... Anything could have happened if I wouldn't have gotten away."

The woman said she went to a house for a private showing shortly before 11 a.m. on April 1 in south Fargo. The client, a man she briefly met about a decade ago while volunteering with refugees, was supposed to be there with his wife.

The other woman never came, though, and in the kitchen the man reached around her from behind, she said. She said no, withdrew and hurriedly gathered her papers. When she turned around, he tried to grab and kiss her, she said.

"I just kind of froze for a second and then pushed him off and ran out of the house," she said.

She called police three days later, on a Monday, when the man visited her office. She also told the Multiple Listing Service to warn other Realtors.

"It's a false sense of security because of where we live," she said.

The 39-year-old Realtor has been in the business for about a year. She said she never had job safety training, but after April 1 she bought a can of Mace.

"I didn't sleep for about the first week," she said. "The more I thought about it, the more I realized how lucky I was to get away."

Realtor safety doesn't apply only to women. Mark Mason, a Realtor in Fargo for 25 years, said men should be just as cautious of meeting a stranger at a vacant home.

"We have this sort of warm, fuzzy feeling in the Upper Midwest that we're insulated from these strange acts," he said.

Mason knows from experience that isn't true. About a dozen years ago he tried to show a property where a squatter had posted blood on a gate and a sign saying trespassers will be shot.

When Mason approached with a client, the man inside "freaked out" and started crying, Mason said.

"It was a nightmare," he said. "From that day on I have had a concealed weapons permit."

The Multiple Listing Service of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of Realtors has 458 members for residential properties. About 46 percent are women.

Safety training is a fixture at some of the area's larger agencies.

Codewords and buddy systems are common. Some agents call a co-worker before they go to a site, tell them the address and give them a time to start looking if the co-worker doesn't hear back from the agent by then.

"I tell new agents, 'Never, ever, ever meet a new client at a house,' " said Park Co. broker Kris Sheridan.

Coldwell Banker First Realty-Encore has a safety guide and a mentor system for a worker's first year. Barb Grande, the managing broker there, said she isn't aware of any attacks on her staff of 60 residential Realtors.

The high-profile nature of the job adds to the risk, Nordhougen said. Face and name recognition helps business, so it's common for Realtors to paste their photo on the Internet, on business cards, in magazines and on fliers.

Realtors also often show homes at night and on weekends, when their clients are available.

The problem is, Sheridan said, "our job is to show strangers a home, so trouble kind of comes with the territory."

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Very interesting article in an age and occupation where such an announcement is generally frowned upon. However, if I should ever need the services of a realtor, I know who to check out first :D.

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Texian Pistolero
April 25, 2005, 09:34 PM
I remember twenty-five years ago,

I was moving to Mesquite, Texas,

and was just working the list of available apartment complexes.

And without ANY particular planning,

I found myself in a REMOTE unit,

alone with an extremely attractive young lady, who wastrying to make a sale.

I was not THEN a perv,

but even then,

had to wonder,

pretend that this is a graded exercise?

Nowadays, I think that leasing agents get photo ID BEFORE they roll to the remote location.

This is an extremely GOOD idea!

These rules exist for A REASON!!!!!!!

Standing Wolf
April 25, 2005, 10:37 PM
From that day on I have had a concealed weapons permit.

Makes perfect sense to me.

When I was scouting around the western half of the United States prior to moving to Colorado, I looked at assorted houses with realtors, most of whom were women. They had no idea who I was. As it happens, I'm not a problem individual, but how could they have known one way or a dozen others? For their sake, I hope they're all packing.

.45&TKD
April 25, 2005, 11:30 PM
Can you imagine if it is your home where your real estate agent is assaulted? Don't hire a woman to do a man's job.

They don't belong in combat either.

(Only half kidding).

pete f
April 26, 2005, 01:14 PM
I used to sell commercial Real Estate for a few years, and I had a couple of bad times.

Once in a Professional building (all Dr offices and clinics) I had a guy who kept pushing open all the doors to the outside, even the ones that said fire exit only, finally i said "I really wish you would not do that" he said he was afraid of fire and wanted to make sure he could get out. I later found that three of the doors had not been pulled tight shut.
I just assumed he was trying to get one to hang open and then try and get in that night I called the local cops and told them and he was busted at 1 am pulling on doors on the building.

At a strip mall that had a common area behind it I was called and asked to make a showing at 6:30 pm, which was very odd, as almost all commercial real estate showings and transactions were done during business hours. He claimed he was working during the day and this was for his own startup business. When I got there there were two cars were parked nose out and all black windows, I went condition orange immediately and I notice one of the guys from the other car moving fast toward my car I slammed it hard into reverse and took off backwards. As I turned to get out of the lot I saw the guy who had been trying to go around the car was carring something in his hand. It may have been a gun but I do not know, but there were at least seven of them. I reported it with the guys phone number, and description of the car.

Both times I tried to use as reasons I should be able to get a gun under the old "may issue" system and I was turned down. The excuse was that until I was actually attacked I did not need a gun.

Assaults on real estate Agents are not uncommon at all. My Aunt and cousin both are in the business, both carry and both use nextel phones because with the walkie talkie feature you do not have to wait for dialling, just squeeze the button and tell who ever you last talked to you need help.

Johnnybgood
April 26, 2005, 02:24 PM
I was telling her about the laws in Arizona and she said "Really?, I would like to get a gun and the concealed carry permit" Alright for my 60 something mom!

ARperson
April 27, 2005, 02:09 PM
I am a realtor in Indy and my husband NEVER lets me leave without a gun. If it's in bad neighborhoods, he "makes" me our 1911 on the body.

Sometimes I am asked to escort other agents in my office.

Shorts
April 27, 2005, 07:10 PM
As a car salesman, I too carried. It wasn't the safest thing to hop into a car for a demo with a strange man by myself.

.45&TKD: Can you imagine if it is your home where your real estate agent is assaulted? Don't hire a woman to do a man's job.

They don't belong in combat either.

(Only half kidding).

Only half kidding huh? :rolleyes: One of those guys....

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