Elkhart County Board of Realtors in Indiana is to become the first real estate board in the state to begin using a safety app, according to an article in Goshen News.
The cell phone app is able to track real estate agents movements and will provide their offices with real-time security information. It was created by two Arkansas men after the kidnapping and murder of realtor Beverley Carter. Safety concerns have been a concern for many realtors who frequently have to visit vacant homes and who may have appointments with people who are often complete strangers. The real estate board chose Real Agent Guard because the app is a cloud-based, so any information sent by real estate agent cannot be stopped by stealing their smartphone or by breaking it, providing colleagues with at least a geo-tag of the real estate agents last location.
As a result of this increased security, agents are also being encouraged to take photographs of the people they are currently showing property to, as well as their vehicle license plate and even their driver’s license before posting the information to the security site. Another feature is the ability to set an alarm to sound at the end of the appointment time. If the real estate agent fails to disable the alarm then a notice is automatically sent to their security contact.
Although this might seem intrusive for potential property buyers, most are likely to understand the need for increased security and many realtors have experienced incidents that have made them uncomfortable. Although real estate agents may frequently take other agents with them, using this app should help them feel safer. Additionally, the increase in security can help protect clients. According to the article, approximately 85% of the alerts received by the security company are health-related and may involve realtors slipping on ice or having other health-related issues.
Elkhart County Board of Realtors has 309 members and although it is the first in the state to adopt a safety app, its president is hopeful of persuading other nearby realtor boards to begin using safety apps as well.