Throughout 2015, the National Association of Realtors has enhanced and expanded upon its more than a decade old Realtor Safety program, developing new materials, creating additional resources and providing members with everything they need to feel empowered and confident in their personal safety.
"When I became NAR president, I pledged to make Realtor safety a top priority," said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Arkansas. "During my tenure as president, we introduced new classes, valuable safety materials and online webinars featuring industry experts to ensure that our members have extensive resources to preserve their safety while on the job."
NAR has expanded its distribution methods for safety tips beyond traditional pamphlets and guides. Once a week, NAR now shares safety tips via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The small, easily sharable image-based tips offer safety information on an assortment of topics, including open house safety, cyber security, home security and more.
NAR also commissioned the 2015 Member Safety Report, which 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. The report found that while 96 percent of Realtors have never been the victim of crime, 40 percent have found themselves in situations where they have feared for their safety or the safety of their personal information.
The goal of the survey was to better understand what causes Realtors to feel safe or unsafe, and what steps they are already taking to keep themselves protected, so that NAR could develop and provide new tools that members want and need.
The commitment to safety has also been incorporated into the 2015 REALTORS Conference & Expo, here this week. Realtors had the opportunity to attend Real Estate Safety Matters, a safety class that serves as a primer on how they can limit risk and protect themselves should the need arise.
"Safe business is smart business," said Tamara Suminski, a Realtor and safety course supervisor. "We all have these personal stories of close calls, and I want to make sure my Realtor family knows that taking a risk with their safety is rarely worth the reward."
Suminski emphasized the importance of awareness and trusting your instincts. "Sometimes we don't listen to our intuition enough; we say 'who would harm me?' However, crimes will be committed as long as criminals have the opportunity. We have to make sure we don't give them the opportunity," she said.
Safety resources for members and associations, including materials to share in the office or online, safety presentations, videos, articles, and webinars are all available online at www.realtor.org/safety. Information on safety smartphone apps, safety products and a list of safety experts are also available.
The National Association of Realtors, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.