As the New Year approaches, the real estate industry can look back on 2015 and be proud of the accomplishments to continue to make realtor safety a top priority. At Windermere, we pride ourselves on making realtor safety a top priority. Industry leadership requires both constantly looking for new innovative products to help protect the health and safety of our agents and team members, and also promoting resources available from the National Association of REALTORS ® (NAR) – REALTOR® Safety Program
The NAR 2015 Member Safety Report reminds us of the need to remain vigilant. It asked members how safe they feel on the job, about their personal safety experiences and about the safety procedures and materials provided by their brokerage. Interestingly, the report found that while 96% of realtors have never been the victim of crime, 40% have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information.
During the 2015 REALTORS Conference and Expo, our agents and their colleagues from across the country had the opportunity to attend “Real Estate Safety Matters”, a safety class that serves as a primer on how to limit risk and protect themselves should the need arise. Realtor and safety course supervisor Tamara Suminski emphasized the importance of awareness and trusting your instincts. NAR also provides excellent year-round safety resources, including materials to share in the office or online such as safety presentations, videos, articles and webinars.
In September, Windermere began to pilot new technology from React Mobile for National REALTOR® Safety Month. Since then, we’ve provided about 150 Seattle-area agents with the React Sidekick Bluetooth panic button. The React Sidekick is a personal panic button that can be used to quickly and remotely activate a widespread emergency alert without the need to find, unlock, and dial from a phone that may be out of reach.
When the Sidekick is activated, whoever the agent has designated to be a part of their emergency network receives a “Help Me” alert text message and email that includes a link to their GPS location. Users can also choose to automatically post their alerts to Facebook and Twitter to let an even wider network of contacts know where they are and that they need help.
React Mobile is a featured safety provider in the National Association of REALTORS ® (NAR) – REALTOR® Safety Program and an example of our commitment to provide agents with the latest resources to protect themselves. As we approach 2016, our goal remains to give them an extra layer of security in situations when it matters most.