Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – In observance of National REALTOR® Safety Month, the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal) is distributing safety information to its members and encouraging them to practice an abundance of caution to reduce their risk of being targeted by predators.

Throughout the month, Coastal is sharing safety tips with its members via social media and weekly newsletters. These tips offer safety information on an assortment of topics, including open house safety, garage safety, cyber security, home security, and more. The tips are compiled by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and are distributed in an easily shareable format.

“REALTORS® don’t always know the people they meet for showings, so it’s very important that they take precautions to protect themselves,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “It’s also important that our members share safety protocols with home buyers so they know what they may encounter when working with a REALTOR®. There are good reasons that an agent may ask for your driver’s license or tell you they’d prefer not to carpool to a listing. All these measures are put in place to protect the REALTOR® and the client.”

NAR has designated September as National REALTOR® Safety Month. NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program was established more than a decade ago to empower and inform members of potential risks they face in their profession and how to navigate them safely. A wealth of safety information is available at www.realtor.org/safety.

However, the REALTOR® safety issue was pushed into the national spotlight in 2014 after Arkansas REALTOR® Beverly Carter was kidnapped and murdered while showing a home to a person whom she thought was a prospective client.

“And just last month, a man was arrested in Colorado after he posed as an interested buyer at an open house and, once he and the REALTOR® were upstairs in the master bedroom, he threatened her with a knife, rope, and bear spray,” Flax said. “The REALTOR® was able to escape, and she was lucky. This is scary stuff, and we don’t want anything to happen to our members as they continue to serve the people of the Lower Eastern Shore.”

According to NAR’s 2018 Member Safety Report, which is based on a survey of over 3,000 REALTORS® across the country, 33 percent of respondents experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information. Many of the respondents reported that they carry a self-defense weapon, with the most common being pepper spray, followed closely by a personal firearm. About 71 percent of the participants said their brokerage has standard procedures in place for agent safety.

For more information about Coastal, visit www.coastalrealtors.org.

More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®

The Coastal Association of REALTORS® is fortunate enough to represent over 1,000 real estate professionals in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties. These members are engaged, informed, and active in their communities. They support the American dream of homeownership, as well as the purchase and use of all types of real property. They are local. They are accurate. They are trusted. They are REALTORS® and affiliate members.

For more information on Coastal REALTORS®, visit www.coastalrealtors.org. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Rayne / 410-641-4409 / sarah@coastalrealtors.org