Realtors are increasingly dealing with the downside of the interconnected, social media friendly demands of putting their personal information out there.
That is, it’s not just clients who want to get to know Realtors, it’s stalkers, too. This is the latest warning from the San Antonio Board of Realtors.
Be advised that more than 50 female agents have been contacted, via text and phone calls, over the weekend by a man who has obtained their information from Brokerage websites. He has been harassing members by repeatedly attempting to contact them and requesting an in-person visit. The phone calls have been during all hours and he has been leaving strange messages asking to meet with him or sending photos of himself to the agents. In one conversation he has been discussing personal information such as maiden names but it is undetermined how he has obtained the information.Sponsor Content
He goes by the first name of Michael and is located in the Boerne area with a phone number area code of 210. If you receive any phone calls that match this description please contact your local law enforcement and provide them the information. You should not answer his calls or texts.
Realtors in Massachusetts and other locales have dealt with similar problems:
"He starts off saying he knows them. Like, 'Hi Jenny,' 'Hi Donna, how ya doing? Do you remember me? You showed me a property a couple of weeks ago,'" said RE/MAX agent Dawn Rusin said in an interview with Boston's NewsCenter 5. "Then he starts acting strange, like, 'This is what you want? You just want to make money?'"
Rusin told the reporter that her firm, and others, now require new clients to come into central offices before and agent will agree to meet them remotely.
Just Yesterday, the Virginia Associtation of Realtors issued a safety warning about calls just like these.
They're now warning real estate agents to be aware of an individual who is persistently calling female agents to show them properties in remote places, at night, or in areas they do not generally cover.
“Show me anything you can this evening,” the caller reportedly asked one agent.
According to a news release, the suspect called several female agents multiple times within a few hours asking to be shown homes. He has also asked to see land properties at night.
“This is one of the situations that realtors face that sets off our alarm bell,” says Deborah Baisden, president of the Virginia Association of Realtors. “Realtors generally have their radar working and can identify a potentially threatening situation," Baisden said. "However, we are very concerned about our members’ safety and want to alert them to any suspicious behavior.”
Last fall, the point of the danger Realtors and agents face was brought home when Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter was abducted and murdered.
The accused murderer said Carter was targeted because "she was a woman that worked alone — a rich broker."
[Update: The warning by SABOR was updated and corrected.]