Real Safe Agent
Lee Goldstein, CEO & Founder of Real Safe Agent is launching a Crime Prevention App for Real Estate Agents.
When the news struck of Beverly Carter’s death this past year, the industry received a startling reminder of the importance of Agent safety and training. The culture of our industry often requires rushing out to meet with clients and the risk of “losing the sell” often puts agents at risk. Lee Goldstein felt a personal compulsion to take action after hearing the story of Beverly Carter, as it was all too familiar to other stories, to other stats, and there didn’t seem to be a clear path or solution that would prevent future incidents like these.
“Simply telling people to always take someone with you has not been effective in reducing crime in our industry.”
Lee set to work in discovering why agents weren’t taking preventative measures when showing a home. They were worried about sounding an alarm on what seemed like an abstract concept. The idea of being a victim felt unlikely, where the potential of losing the sell or missing an opportunity felt very tangible and real. It was potential money out of their pockets. When Lee interviewed 30 female agents and 20 male agents on “When showing a prospect you’ve never met before how often do you feel uncomfortable to the point where you wished someone was with you?” the answers were staggering. Every woman said often or always, and 19 of the men said less than sometimes with only one saying rarely. Why if agents are saying they would like this safety net, are they not implementing it? That’s where Real Safe Agent comes in. Real Safe Agent allows an agent to know if other agents have been uncomfortable or been attacked by the prospect that contacted her. Additionally, the system allows an agent to find another agent to accompany her on an appointment. If an agent goes on an appointment alone Real Safe agent allows the agent to have another nearby agent casually drop in when she first becomes uncomfortable. A “drop-in” is where an agent stops by the property as if they are previewing the home. This provides another agent on the scene to keep the requester from feeling uncomfortable or outnumbered, without blowing the sell. The client doesn’t know that an agent was requested to pop in, so it seems like a natural process. When Lee explained this process, I immediately thought, “But isn’t that putting the second agent at risk?,” Lee had thought of that too. That is why Real Safe Agent allows the responding agent to listen in via the requesting Agents phone. They can see video and hear the audio of the conversation happening so that they do not inadvertently walk into a dangerous situation. If the situation escalates before an agent in the region can respond, the app even has back up measures built in, like a trigger to call 911 by shaking the phone similar to how you would shake it if you were fending off on attacker or attempting to run from a dangerous situation.
The system also has the ability to identify predators who are “victim shopping” or harassing agents so associations can get that information to agents quickly.
The App is robust and so is the research behind it. Lee has connected with WAV group for one of the most comprehensive studies on agent safety to date. They are interviewing agents who have been victimized as well as convicted felons who’ve committed crimes against agents. They are zeroing in on warning signs and patterns to create sales questions that agents can ask to reveal if a prospect is dangerous without risking a sale with a legitimate prospect. Additionally, study results will be used to help pass laws that will protect agents. Real Safe Agent has also created a very in-depth safety training course based on criminology and predator profiling . The course materials and train-the-trainer classes are free to all agents, brokers, and associations. When Lee mentions that; “according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there has been a 300% increase in violent crime against people selling or leasing real estate since 2006.,” you can understand why real change is needed and how Real Safe Agent has the potential to bridge the gap.
TGG – Jacy Riedmann
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