The tragic kidnapping and murder of Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter is inspiring real estate agents to change their fundamental work practices and take a pledge to ensure safety.
This comes even as the National Association of Realtors is placing a new emphasis on Realtor safety.
Dylan de Bruin and Joe Schafbuch with Century 21 Signature Real Estate in Central Iowa have established a pledge for real estate professionals to change how they do business.
Almost 900 real estate professionals have signed the pledge at the time this article was published on Wednesday.
The authors say they were inspired to make the call after the September death of Carter, and after the 2011 murder of a colleague, Ashley Okland, who was murdered after an open house.
Here’s the text of the pledge:
I pledge to…
Under no circumstances show a home to a stranger without first meeting them at the office or asking them to submit identification
Educate my clients that open houses are a safety concern both for the home owner and myself.
Limit open houses as a marketing strategy and/or make prudent and safe decisions about my open house marketing efforts
Follow my intuition, and not step into situations that I feel uneasy about
Use the buddy system whenever I am unsure or uneasy about a showing or meeting
Make myself available to my fellow agents as a "showing-buddy" should they ever feel the need to take someone along or feel unsafe
Seriously consider the nature of my personal marketing, and its potential impact on my safety
To view the pledge and the site, click here.
Arron Michael Lewis, 33, and his wife Crystal Hope Lowery, 41, of Jacksonville, Ark., have been arrested by Arkansas authorities in connection with Carter’s death.
Lewis was arrested shortly after Carter’s body was found at the end of September. Lowery was charged last week.
In late September, Carter's husband grew suspicious when Beverly went to show a home and didn't return within a few hours.
Lewis entered a plea of not guilty to murder but he all but confessed to the kidnapping in media and police interviews.
Lewis told reporters she was chosen because "she was a woman that worked alone — a rich broker."