From clients to networking events, you’ve managed countless relationships in your professional career. But what about your personal life? Maintaining strong and healthy personal relationships can alleviate stress and lead to a happier life. However, this isn’t always easy to execute, especially with difficult family members and other relationships that are here to stay. Even if you can’t change the difficult people in your life, the good news is that you still have the power to change the relationship.
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Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made a major announcement regarding a settlement involving mortgages that spurred the financial crisis of 2008. Continue reading →
As women, we are often labeled with unfair stereotypes that demean our gender and cause us to feel poorly about ourselves. Well, the company Always wants to change that and is doing its part to “rewrite the rules.” The company came out with an ad titled “#LikeAGirl” in which young women and girls are featured acting out activities in a way they believe the female gender does.
Beverly Carter was showing a new client a vacant property on Sept. 25 just as she would any other day for her job as a real estate agent in Little Rock, Arkansas.
However, that day was different. Carter went missing.
Friends, family members, volunteers and police spent countless hours searching, hoping and praying that Carter would be found safe. The body of the 49-year-old wife, mother and grandmother was found several days later in a shallow grave about 20 miles northeast of central Little Rock.
The Little Rock Police Department eventually arrested 33-year-old Arron Lewis after he was a person of interest and admitted to police that he kidnapped Carter. According to Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Simon Haynes, he was a stranger to Carter.
When asked by reporters why he chose Carter, Lewis said, “She was just a woman who worked alone — a rich broker.”
A survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 57 percent of agents are women, and women are often victimized for no obvious reason, according to a 2011 report on violent crimes against real estate agents.
The safety of real estate agents has been a hot topic since the death of Carter. Although Carter left her purse in her car and told her husband where she would be as precaution, it still wasn’t enough.
Many real estate agents put their lives on the line to show homes to prospective buyers who they may know nothing about. Not only was Lewis a stranger to Carter, but he also has an extensive criminal history including felony theft of property, obstruction of government operations and unlawful removal of a theft device. That type of information is not always readily available to agents before meeting unknown clients.
Real estate agents do not always meet clients at a secure location or get background checks done as well. Since it would take convincing licensing boards in each U.S. state to adjust the real estate safety awareness rules, agents may oftentimes take it upon themselves to find ways to decrease the chances of a potential attack.
One of the ways is to go through safety training, which is typically provided by a professional instructor, individual brokerages or regional estate associations, according to Tracey Hawkins, a former real estate agent who is now a safety and security expert and teaches real estate professionals. The training can benefit agents by showing them how to safely show homes.
Until more training is freely available, there are many tips and tools out there for agents to use that can possibly help keep them out of harm’s way.
Technology companies are improving the safety of real estate agents by developing apps geared toward assisting agents with how to meet and present homes to clients more securely.
The Guardly app provides protection whenever and wherever an agent is. With the app, emergency responders are able to view the exact location of an urgent situation by using Wi-Fi networks comparable to how GPS uses satellites.
MyForce is another security app that alerts friends, family and emergency response of the location of a person. When real estate agents get an unsettling feeling while showing a home, they can launch the app and have an alert ready to use when necessary. If the alert is activated, a highly-trained operator will be available to assist with a wide range of emergency situations.
Real estate agents meet many clients who are often strangers. Secure Show is an app that verifies the identity of a potential client and mutually shares information between the agent and buyer before meeting in person. As both parties go through the verification process, they can access information such as a driver’s license and photos of what they look like.
While innovative apps can help agents be more protected from potential threats, there are other ways for them to be safe that uses technology, fashion and essential adjustments in the way they prepare to show homes.
When a cell phone is accidentally left at home or the battery is drained, agents can rely on trendy yet tech savvy styles to protect themselves from harm.
At first glance, Cuff smart jewelry devices look like fashionable accessories. However, a closer look reveals the actual purpose of the decorative pieces. While wearing the device, a real estate agent can press the Cuff bracelet or necklace and send an electronic distress signal to people authorized to receive the alert messages.
Agents can also add extra security in the form of a Pod that can be added to a keychain, necklace or headband. Pods were developed by First Sign, which has a partnership with MaceWear, the makers of the original pepper spray. Once pressed, the Pods can send an alert that an agent is in danger and add extra peace of mind.
When a cell phone has no power agents can look to its case for extra protection during a stressful situation. The pepper spray phone case bySpraytect allows agents to use the painful substance by pulling, rotating and firing at an attacker. The case comes in several colors and combines safety with style.
Along with safety apps and gadgets, there are also helpful tips agents can use before meeting a buyer and possibly prevent a violent attack.
According to realestate.com, agents can keep their phones on a charger to make sure it is always available. Also, the website recommends that real estate agents steer away from using “glam shots” in advertisements to deter the wrong type of clients.
Other tips include not advertising listings as “vacant” or “currently unoccupied” so strangers don’t know that an agent will be in a location that no one goes to. Agents can also conduct a reverse phone search on clients who call to see if there are any red flags about where that person is calling from. Moreover, while showing a home, agents can park by a road, unlock all deadbolts and use a remote control to unlock their car more quickly.
As an extra precaution, agents may also consider carrying mace, pepper spray or a Taser with them while showing a home or meeting a potential client for the first time.
Although these tips can help prevent an attack on real estate agents, the most important tips are meeting clients in your office first and not holding open houses alone, according to the Business Know-How website. The more agents know about potential clients, the chances of being harmed decrease.
Another crucial tip, that doesn’t include the use of a mobile device or protective jewelry, is for an agent to trust their instinct. Agents can ask colleagues to go with them to show a home if a first meeting with a client makes them feel uneasy.
Whenever a crime occurs within the real estate industry, it is another reminder of the hidden danger agents face every day. As horrific as the crimes are, they bring more awareness to keeping agents safe.
The last day of the National Association of Realtor’s “Realtor Safety Month” was the day Carter’s body was found. In an interview with the Washington Post, Chris Polychron, the association’s incoming president, said he would make safety a top priority when he takes charge in November. It is a step closer to making agents as safe as possible.
To view the original article please see our magazine titled “Break it Down” Vol 3, Issue 6 by Clicking Here
A few organizations are championing for women entrepreneurs, helping to accelerate their careers and provide them with resources for success. One of those organizations is Inforum Center for Leadership (ICL). This organization helps women grow their leadership capabilities and gain executive possibilities. ICL especially helps to support women in STEM companies (science, technology, engineering, and math). They do this through their inGAGE program which has assembled 33 women mentors since its installation. Currently, the mentors have helped grow and/or start 16 companies, creating 43 new jobs. ICL has also raised $10 million in seed money.
Whether you own a small business or large real estate firm, it’s important to create a positive and pleasant work environment to not only promote happiness but encourage a solid work ethic amongst your employees. If you work from home, you can still use the following tips to spruce up your home office and add excitement to each work day.
People who work in the housing industry can often feel pressured to always be on top of their game. They have to constantly smile, be bubbly and upbeat. Since these people meet with clients regularly, they may feel it necessary to always put their best foot forward. While this is a nice thought, sometimes it’s just not possible. When we try to reach this impossible standard, it can be easy to feel mentally drained. Not to mention, we can feel phony and even anxious. So what can we do to help ensure that we’re keeping some of our mental energy to ourselves? The answer is self-care.
Today, Freddie Mac announced its net income for 2014 which amounted to $7.7 billion, down $41 billion from the financial results of 2013.
Women in the housing industry are always on the go. Whether you’re in escrow, real estate, or a mortgage broker, your stomach needs to stay satisfied and you need to take care of yourself. When hunger strikes, we tend to be low in energy and our metabolisms can slow down. The solution: pack nutritious on-the-go snacks. Snacks can help ward off hunger pangs, keep you fuller longer and decrease overeating during mealtimes. Check these out: