It is the sad truth that real estate professionals face risk every day. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is wholly committed to the welfare of its members and helping them stay safe from all types of criminal activity, including both physical threats and cybercrimes.
To raise awareness and help members protect themselves, NAR has dedicated September as REALTOR® Safety Month, the perfect time to reassess office safety protocols and focus on ensuring your agents—and your business—are as safe as possible.
It can Happen to anyone
It did happen to REALTOR® James Olsen, an Army veteran. “I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be in a situation where I would have a 9-millimeter handgun held to my head. These guys are out there, and if they attack me, more than likely they’re going to be going after someone else. This was a predatory assault,” said Olsen.
Agents may believe they’re not at risk because they’re male, they work in a “safe” neighborhood or they haven’t had a problem previously. In fact, statistics show that every demographic is affected and that most crimes against agents are predatory, meaning criminals are looking for weaknesses or vulnerabilities.
It doesn’t help that part of the job involves breaking some common-sense safety practices. Agents work alone, share their location with strangers, walk into vacant buildings, host open houses with the door unlocked and post their photos online and on outdoor ads. And sometimes agents are so focused on making the sale that they ignore warning signs. That’s why it’s so important that every REALTOR® follows safety procedures to mitigate risks and protect themselves.
According to the NAR 2022 Member Safety Residential Report, 27% of members, or about 400,000 REALTORS®, said they don’t have a safety protocol in place to follow with every client. And only about half of REALTORS® said their brokerage had standard safety procedures in place.
REALTOR® Safety Program
NAR strongly encourages brokerages to create a comprehensive safety plan, to promote a strong office safety culture and to reinforce safety best practices throughout the year. The REALTOR® Safety Program has what you need with a robust toolkit and extensive resources. You have access to a safety roadmap, training presentations, customizable safety-related forms, turnkey social media posts and dozens of safety tips, articles, reports, videos and webinars.
New safety podcast
NAR’s new Drive With NAR: The Safety Series podcast, created in partnership with REALTOR® Magazine, is the real estate industry’s first podcast focused entirely on safety. Hosted by Tracey Hawkins, the monthly podcast features REALTORS® or allied professionals discussing their first-hand experiences with physical threats, identity theft, online harassment and natural disasters. Listeners learn best practices and hear about tools and techniques to help them reduce their own risk.
Listen to the new safety podcast and take advantage of the multitude of resources offered by NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program. According to NAR’s Residential Safety Report, 80% of REALTORS® said the REALTOR® Safety Program information is helpful and 75% said they feel more prepared for unknown situations after taking a REALTOR® Safety course. Empowering your agents with information and training builds confidence, increases their capacity to protect themselves, their clients and their data, and makes them less susceptible to risky situations.
Take safety seriously
Learn more and access all NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program resources at nar.realtor/safety.