Lone Worker Industry: Real Estate
Realtor lone worker safety has become a growing concern lately due to high profile news stories, such as Real Estate Agent Beverly Carter. Read about how realtors can benefit from lone worker safety.
This sector includes the companies and individuals involved in the process of selling and/or renting residential, commercial or industrial properties. Other responsibilities of those in real estate include investment management and services such as appraisals and inspections.
Those in real estate often show properties alone, putting themselves in a compromising position and at a social risk. In fact, the term “lone worker” was first coined in 1986 after the disappearance of a London, UK based real estate agent during work hours, Suzy Lamplugh. Suzy disappeared the day that she was called in for an appointment to show a potential client a property that was for sale. She was never found and was legally declared dead in 1993. It was her parents who brought the idea of lone worker safety into light by establishing the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to raise awareness about personal safety. Although spurred by a horrible tragedy, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust has allowed for the safety of many lone workers by suggesting precautions and preventative measures.
Unfortunately, since this event, there have also been many similar occurrences, one of the more recent and well-known cases being Beverly Carter, an Arkansas Real Estate Agent. Beverly was said to be a target because she was ‘a woman that worked alone.’ Sadly, Beverly was attacked, kidnapped and killed, displaying the need for even further lone worker safety precautions.
Social risk aside, no one is immune to health emergencies, especially when working alone as those in real estate often do. It is important to prepare for any unfortunate natural health condition that can be sudden and dangerous.
According to United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, between the years of 2010-2013, there have been a total of 279 work-related fatalities in the Real Estate and Rental and Leasing sector (NAICS Codes 531, 532, 533). This shows how truly important a lone worker safety prevention tactic can be, especially when it comes down to life or death situations.
Many realtors feel safe when working remotely because they are comforted by the thought that they have their cell phones on hand. Unfortunately, in emergency situations, cell phones are often out of reach, and in many reported cases, they have actually been used to work against the victim. This can occur by using the phone as a weapon, but another less thought of example of this is when an assailant uses a victim’s phone to text loved ones to say the victim will be late, thereby delaying any search for the victim. Additionally, cell phones are not discreet by nature and will certainly escalate the situation if an assailant sees the victim attempting to use one. The discreet nature as well as accessibility of SoloProtect ID makes a more reliable tool for emergency situations.
The SoloProtect worker safety solution allows real estate agents to take comfort in the fact that they can get help when they need it most. Additionally, they should always consider best practices for staying safe and avoiding these situations. Here, NAR offers 56 safety tips for realtors, and ABR offers tips regarding open house safety. In many instances, taking the right precautions can be a matter of life or death.