PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. – A Facebook post is bringing safety awareness among realtors in Arkansas back into the spotlight and is also leading to an important refresher on what real estate agents need to do to protect themselves.
After looking on Facebook and seeing a local post about a man demanding to have a female agent show him a property alone it brings back memories for Carl Carter.
“I think back to my mom and the reality of the world that we live in today that we have to take safety seriously,” Carter said.
Carter’s mom, real estate agent Beverly Carter, was kidnapped and murdered in 2014 after being lured to a ‘home showing’ in Scott. Since then Carter and his family have started a nonprofit hoping to help realtors stay safe.
“They would reach to me and say I’m so sorry about your mom, here’s my story, here’s what happened to me, ‘I was raped while showing a property, I was beat up while showing a property, robbed’ and it just became so much and I felt a responsibility.
Carter said with the help of the foundation in honor of his mom, they have promoted safety among relations across the country.
“Make sure to identify who we are working with and uncover their motive, are they truly interested in buying and selling a home or does it seem they may have some ulterior motive,” Carter said.
Staci Medlock is a real estate agent with 20 years of experience and was a past colleague of Beverly, she said she follows a lot of the steps Carter mentions and uses technology.
“There’s apps like forewarn where you can kind of do a background check for their phone number, always Google and Facebook,” Medlock stated.
Medlock said that since Beverly’s deathm policies have changed and safety devices that are bracelets that track have been made.
Carter hopes for industry-wide national requirements that will further push safety to the forefront.
“To see that no one goes through what my sweet mom went through,” Carter said.
According to the National Association of Realtors, in the 2021 member safety report around 41 percent of realtors reported feeling unsafe during a showing while meeting a new client for the first time at a secluded location or property.
Carter said to make that number near or at zero percent everyone must work together to promote safety and make changes.