RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUN 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE June 2019 41 • A physical threat to REALTORS® warrants national attention. If a threat does not meet the criteria for a national alert, the appropriate local association will be informed. According to Goldberg, the REALTOR® Safety Network takes its cue from other alert systems, like the Amber alert or the programs in place on today's college cam - puses. When a threat is imminent and real, state and local REALTOR® associations can work with local law en - forcement to help prevent tragedies before they happen. "When you see a threat that's real, we have the ability to rally people and do something about it," says Goldberg. As Goldberg explains, the REALTOR® Safety Network utilizes the membership's ability to communicate and safeguard each other in the critical mission of real es - tate. "We're all in this together," he says. "This national program is another way of exposing more members to the importance of safety. I applaud the state and local associations that are already doing this, and I applaud the brokerages that have stepped up and developed their own approach to safety. We have to keep that awareness top of mind every single day." The program is also designed to protect against the growing risk of financial threats. "While the REALTOR® Safety Network is about personal safety, it's about oth - er types of risk mitigation, as well," Goldberg explains. "Whether it's someone impersonating NAR or others committing wire fraud, this type of crime happens all the time." For Goldberg, the REALTOR® Safety Network is an im - portant evolution in NAR's ongoing safety efforts. "It's not necessarily that there's more risk; there are just more situations that we all hear about," he explains. "We've been pumping the safety issue for years, and since the Beverly Carter tragedy and others, there are even more products and services being offered for members." One such product is the SentriSmart app from Sen - triLock, Silver Level sponsors of the Beverly Carter Foun- dation. The foundation, which is committed to agent safety, was named after REALTOR® Beverly Carter who was tragically murdered in 2014. "Agent safety is extremely important to SentriLock, and we take it very seriously," says SentriLock Market - ing Manager Lee Hunter. "The SentriSmart app, which is used in conjunction with our ultra-secure SentriLock lockbox, has an agent safety feature that gives agents an extra layer of protection during home showings." According to Hunter, when an agent approaches a home with a customer and accesses the key compart - ment of the SentriLock lockbox to gain access, the app automatically sends the agent a text message to see whether he or she feels safe. By simply clicking a but - ton, agents choose to either continue to receive periodic safety checks during the showing if they feel uneasy, or they can discontinue status checks. If at any time the agent is unresponsive to the safety check messages, an emergency alert, which includes the agent's location, is sent to a previously designated emergency contact. Additionally, thanks to the lockbox's Bluetooth inter - face, access to the key for a listed home is strictly moni- tored and limited. You can't get to the key without per- mission, and there is a record of who is entering a home, when they enter and how long they stay. While such products and technologies may seem ex - treme, they come with the territory of being a real estate professional. "We're in the type of profession where you're inter - acting with the public, and you have to know how to go through all the different steps of the process, like the open house, without putting yourself at risk," says Goldberg. Members of NAR have a range of ways to protect them - selves and mitigate risk. "There's no one right answer. It's an individual choice," says Goldberg. "The greatest benefit we can bring our members is to help look out for their welfare. We don't want to see these tragedies happen again. "I want every one of our members to take that extra step, whatever it needs to be, to protect themselves," adds Goldberg. "Don't be overly paranoid, but do the simple things, even if it takes a little bit longer. I want to make sure every member gets to go home at night and enjoy their family and do what's important to them." RE For more information, please visit nar.realtor/safety/realtor-safety-network. Maria Patterson is RISMedia's executive editor. "With 1.3 million members on the ground, we thought, why don't we do something to mobilize people when we have an active situation? Why don't we use all our eyeballs to possibly prevent a tragedy?" - BOB GOLDBERG CEO, National Association of REALTORS®

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