Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter's tragic, senseless murder has prompted me to reflect critically and heavily on my own trusting nature and the changes I'm making. When I started out in real estate I was working distressed properties on a HUD team in neighborhoods all over the Kansas City metro area, including a lot of sketchy, high crime areas. Don't laugh, here's my slightly flawed logic on how to remain safe:
1. Try not to go by yourself. If you must go alone, always let someone know EXACTLY where you'll be
2. Go early in the morning, drug dealers and thieves sleep late since they operate at night
3. Get in, do your business and get out, quickly
4. If you encounter people, look them in the eye, speak to them and engage them
5. Always be closer to an open door than whomever you encounter
6. If the door isn't secured, don't go in, call for backup
7. Most people look mentally stable, however, not all of them are
8. Always carry yourself with confidence and make your presence known
9. If you have a conceal and carry permit and a gun, carry them, both, I do.
10. Listen to your gut, period. Always.
The sad truth of the matter is...Beverly wasn't in a high risk area, she did what most of us do when someone calls and wants to look at a property, she agreed to meet him. She did her job and lost her life doing what we all do, every single day in the life of a Realtor.
Rest in peace Beverly, your death will not be in vain, I will be more conscious and observant to operate safely AND I'll remind other agents to do the same.