Realtor - Amanda S. Davidson: Realtor Safety | It’s Not Just a Concern When Going to Meet Prospective Clients

Realtor Safety | It’s Not Just a Concern When Going to Meet Prospective Clients

Realtor Safety | It’s Not Just a Concern When Going to Meet Prospective Clients

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for months but, for some time just couldn’t bring myself to relive something that happened to me last November. Realtor safety discussions often revolve around the risks involved when we go to meet someone to show a house. I think that’s the most common risk and likely the biggest one we face but, last year I experienced a different kind of safety concern. I wasn’t prepared when another agent’s client showed up at my office and proceeded to threaten me.

Realtor Safety  

It started off like many mornings do, just me and my assistant at the office. I was in the back in my office and heard the door chime, she works at the front and greets everyone that visits our office. I heard a disgruntled male voice and walked up to see who was there. I was greeted with you real estate agents are crooks and you will change the language in the lease now. I knew immediately who he was, his agent had told me she was having trouble with him wanting to change the language of the lease to accommodate him if he wanted to break it early. I introduced myself and explained that I wasn’t able to talk with him because he is represented by another agent and I don’t believe in violating the Code Of Ethics. That only fueled his anger so I offered to call his agent and put her on speaker so that she could be a part of the conversation. The situation was growing increasingly volatile with him pacing, refusing to sit down, getting in my face and tossing insults left and right.

Realtor Safety 

He was former military and used to leases that allowed him to move at any time due to his military orders. Due to no longer being active duty that wasn’t an option anymore. I was ultimately able to think of a way to add wording to protect my client in the event he wanted to break the lease while still giving him the option to end the 1-year term early. Not before he threatened me and tried to force me to make changes without my client’s approval. The line that really sticks with me was – my parents must be proud I steal money from people for a living, he was about 2 inches away from my face when he said it. He was out of line in every way but, I knew with his anger spewing I couldn’t go the confrontational route. I was genuinely scared for my safety which is a very rare occurrence for me. I am a very observant person and carry a gun when I feel circumstances are unknown. I don’t take chances in anyway when it comes to my safety but, I was not prepared for this situation at all. No gun, no pepper spray, nothing. The only thing I could do was try to diffuse the situation.

Realtor Safety 

I didn’t realize it at the time but, my assistant had slipped into a spare office and grabbed something I could use to defend myself if needed. She was poised by the phone to call the police. As it was happening I knew it was dangerous but, it wasn’t until it was over and he left that I started shaking and crying realizing how badly it could have ended. She was completely shaken too, it was hard to even process what had happened. It was also a huge wakeup call that we’re vulnerable even if we’re just in our office.

 

Realtor Safety

 

I am completely fine and only wanted to share my experience to raise awareness that as Realtors we aren’t just at risk when we go show homes. Taking the time to think about our daily routines and identifying times and places we could be at risk is important. I hope that everyone will take the time to do that, we all have different routines but, each one of them carries risk. We owe it to ourselves to do everything we can to minimize those risks.

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

 

 

      

 

Amanda Davidson

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group

Broker - Owner
Licensed in VA and DC

6485 Old Beulah Street
Alexandria, VA 22315

Cell: 703.431.3755
Fax: 703.562.7057




Comment balloon 63 commentsAmanda S. Davidson • August 12 2018 05:23PM

Comments

This is such a scary story. I have been scared on occasion when tenants had to be evicted. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 1 month ago

You are so correct in this article.  Thank you for sharing and I do hope that one lesson learned should be our motto "always be prepared for any and everything".  I carry this with me every day as I worked in a bank for over 30 years and have too many experiences dealing with disgruntle persons.  Be very mindful of this and always be on alert not only as Realtors but as people going about our daily lives.  Do enjoy your day.

 

Posted by Mary Ann Smith, (Keyes 786-278-6598 www.MarySmith.Keyes.com) about 1 month ago

Thanks for relaying this scary situation, Amanda.  All Realtors need to keep safety at the top of their minds.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 1 month ago

Good morning Amanda - we should not forget that our reception area or, for that matter, any reception area in every company needs to be prepared for this type of incident.  I know we had an emergency plan in one company.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 1 month ago

Oh my Amanda, I am shaking now just reading this. Anything could have happened. Sad that this happened to you, but glad that you wrote this so that others realize that this situation could occur...

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) about 1 month ago

I am glad that you remained safe and are doing ok, you should have never had to deal with that guy in that way, shame on him, what a terrible human being he is.

Posted by Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ (Arizona Focus Realty) about 1 month ago

I agree with Brian England, that man should be ashamed of the way he acted with you.  So scary, and will forward this to my office. as you never know what can happen. Thanks for sharing I know it probably brought back many bad and scary memories for you. 

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) about 1 month ago

Oh wow, Amanda, how frightening... there are advantages to working from home and I virtually never go into the office when people are unlikely to be there and during those times the doors are always locked and if someone rings the bell, I don't open the door. In your shoes, knowing who that person was, I'd have reported them to the police right afterwards, but in your assistant's shoes, I'd have been calling them immediately. People like this need to be called out on their behavior.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) about 1 month ago

Wow Amanda,  This happens and we all need a plan of action with to take in case this happens.  Anytime you want to talk about it to get it off your chest, you have my number.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 1 month ago

Amanda, WOW, that would have been scary and glad it did not escalate into anything more volatile and you both are safe.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 1 month ago

Amanda- that truly was scary, and I'm glad that it didn't go further for you and your assistant. You're so right that agents are taught to be on guard at Open Houses and when showing homes but having someone approach you like this many is not something most of us would have thought about. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 1 month ago

I am glad you are safe. And that you were able to diffuse the situation.

It is a wake up call that all reception areas should have at least a counter and a wall/door between the two areas.

I do not take kindly to people like this...and I could care less what their background was. 

I am not saying my way would be right...but I would have handled it completely differently. I would have held my phone up with 911 showing on the face and my finger ready to hit the button.

I would have calmly said "we have two options...the first is to calm down and talk rationally and the second option is...I push the button."  I would have also said "if I press this button...the lease will be irrelevant as you will not be allowed to live there."

I personally and professionally believe that he should not be allowed to live there anyway as he has obvious anger issues and I would not want him in one of my rentals simply from a liability standpoint.  

Thank you for sharing and waking us all up!!

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) about 1 month ago

Scary indeed Amanda S. Davidson and a great reminder for all that you need to be aware of your surroundings and people within your space at all times.

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) about 1 month ago

Fortunately I work with hiogh level tech people who buy investment property so if is so much safter for me.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 1 month ago

It’s just always a good idea to aware of your surroundings at all times. It’s just basic good sense.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 1 month ago

High tech stuff can have its problems too but when there’s that much money involved, security is usually thought of first. Right on. Joe Pryor

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 1 month ago

Amanda, I am sorry you had to experience something like this and the good news is you are fine and nothing worse happened. Clearly the more I read stories like this the more I appreciate my pets rather than the humans....  you can never be too cautious and always be on your guard... not all military people are like that or just people in general...Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 1 month ago

Hello Amanda - I am glad you are safe and made the decision to publish this post alerting others to the possible safety concerns we all face.   Be observant. Be safe.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 1 month ago

Glad u are safe....the home office is such a great refuge...that never occurs to us.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 1 month ago

Frightening to say the least! Glad you are ok.

Posted by Denise Samouilidis, Jupiter Abacoa Sales & Beach Front Luxury Homes (Mirsky Realty Group) about 1 month ago

Sometimes a good scare teaches us what routine cannot...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 1 month ago

I am So glad this was featured  so that got a wide audience   We all need a reminder to be saf

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) about 1 month ago

So sorry this happened but glad you weren't alone and you had a bright, quick-thinking assistant ready to react.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 1 month ago

I am so glad you are safe. Keeping your cool probably was not only the toughest part but what kept you from being hurt. My receptionist also works for a company that teaches Realtor Safety, in and out of the office. 

Posted by Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes--, Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc. (Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc) about 1 month ago

Oh my, Amanda. I am so glad this worked out instead of devolving into something ugly. Be safe.

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 1 month ago

Congratulations on your feature recognition.

Thanks for sharing this difficult experience.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) about 1 month ago

Crazy is on the bus these days!  People will shoot you for no good reason.  Glad this ended well. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, The most important home I sell is YOURS! (RE/MAX Southwest) about 1 month ago

Amanda S. Davidson - Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry you had to go through this. In the heat of the moment, you handled it as best as you could safely, so pat yourself on the back. Harassment isn't just sexual - it's any type of intimidation, aggressive pressure. Even though the time has gone by, he was in your space. For the record, I'd still report it now so that it's on paper with the Police Department. If he got that hostile with you, it's not the first time. A hot head is still a hot head and he could do it again to you, someone from your office, or anyone for that matter. Save a life, others and your own. 

Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) about 1 month ago

Thankful it wasn't much worse because it so clearly could have been. People show up with guns when they're angry and unsuspecting people are harmed or worse. 

Keeping a sane head and not showing emotion saved the day.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 1 month ago

That was definitely a very scary situation. We must be alert at all times and be prepared for the unexpected. 

Posted by Joyce Marsh, Daytona Beach Florida, Proudly Selling Florida Homes and Lifestyles (Joyce Marsh at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty) about 1 month ago

Hi Amanda S. Davidson,

Wow..That was a definitely an unusual and scary situation. Glad to hear it worked out okay but we do have to be ever vigilant!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) about 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing Amanda

Posted by Vivian Lyons about 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing that story, Amanda, although it must have been so difficult to relive the emotions and fear, you experienced. I know someone who had a pretty scary interaction at an open house when no one but the bully was there.

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad (Solutions Real Estate ) about 1 month ago

That is unfortunate and scary.  We can only guess what his issues are but whatever they are it is no excuse for abusive behavior.   You handled it because you had to.   It is unnerving to have it happen in your office.

I and two fellow female agents were with an aggressive buyer at the vacant house he was purchasing when he got in the ladies faces.  He was yelling and ranting (I don't even remember why) and they were rock solid but I did step in between them because he was large and angry.  I calmed him down but it was unnerving to have a 6'6" 260 lb man angry at you.  Later when he was gone we mused that he was probably bullied as a kid and had issues.  

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) about 1 month ago

Check out the app... A couple of female Realtors in my office came up with it and it is a great option. PROtect, a smart and simple personal security app. GET THE APP HERE

Posted by Collin York about 1 month ago

I am happy you were not hurt in the process.  It could happen to any one of us at any time.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Rose Mary Justice, Synergy Realty Pros (Synergy Realty Pros) about 1 month ago

I had a similar incident last year. Client out of control. Yelling. I steered him out of my office and down to my brokers office. When he got no support from her he left threatening to call the real estate commission (he was a former commercial agent). It was frightening. All I could think about was getting him away from my team. I called his broker to warn him. We never heard back from him and I told the front desk to never let him into the building again.

Posted by Pat Wattam about 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing.  I"m glad this didn't escalate further.  We all take our safety for granted at times.  My husband and I were just discussing safety precautions when traveling to private homes.  Truthfully I never thought about something like this happening in an office.  It just goes to show that we need to be alert at all times.

Posted by Landis Pettus, Your FL Loan Signing Pro (954) 488-2403 (Florida Premier Mobile Notary Services LLC) about 1 month ago

Be vigilant, you never know what will set someone off and some of the worst are the ones that will come to your place of business to "spew"

Good for you to carry and hope you never have to use it, but it's those times you don't have a "solution" that seem to make us adapt to the situation at hand.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) about 1 month ago

Oh my goodness, Amanda! I was scared just reading your story and have to say that I don't know that I would have done anything differently - you handled it so well. The comment about your parents - the guy has a major problem (as if we didn't know this already) and you cannot take what he said to heart. As our parents tell us, consider the source!

I will tell you that CPI installed a silent button at our front desk for us to press should we ever be afraid or need assistance. I would recommend having one installed.

And, I think had your assistant phoned the police, it may have been a wake-up call for this 'terorist!' I'm really sad to hear that he's ex-military - those who serve and have served would be terribly disappointed in him.

How did the situation end? Did he sign the lease or did your owners tell him to take a hike?!

Sending you hugs...I am SO sorry you had to go through this.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 1 month ago

I am so thankful that this incident ended well and glad you shared your story.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 1 month ago

Excellent post!  In this uncertain world we live in, it is incumbent for everyone to take measures to protect themselves.  Your situation could have taken a different turn, and you’re very lucky that it had not.  Thank you for utilizing your unfortunate situation to remind all of us of the dangers that lurk...

Posted by Carol Tunis, Carol Tunis...a "HouseSold" name! (Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage) about 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing your experience.  Realtors are always aware of the dangers showing homes but being in your own office is another matter.  Fortunately you had a good assistant with you and perhaps he was aware of that otherwise may have acted differently.

Posted by Elizabeth Y. Foulds, Your St Michaels Realtor (Long & Foster Real Estate) about 1 month ago

I also have my carry permit, not because just because of customers/clients, but situations we may not expect or be prepared for. I try to be sure I am aware of my surroundings, but, we can become complacent. Sometimes I find that I am not always prepared for situations that could end differently. Also, I have picked up pepper spray to keep in my truck but this is a good reason to pick up more for the office. I think it is important for everyone to learn self defense and how to deal with certain situations. Thank you for sharing your story.

Posted by Debbie Gunnip, Second home market (Davis R. Chant Realtors) about 1 month ago

Amanda S. Davidson Thank you Amanda. You would think that your own office is not the place to be worried about safety.  I practise in Georgia and if you have a permit, you can carry your gun anywhere except a few places that are off limits by laws.  But then, the bad guys don't pay attention to the laws so we need to pay attention to our surroundings.  Thank you again

Posted by Pete Baranowsky Jr, Selling Good Homes, Priced Right, Quickly (The Castle Team at Maximum One Realty Greater Atlanata) about 1 month ago

I was getting stressed just reading your overview of this event. You're right - we have to ALWAYS be watchful even if we are in our office or home. I know people who are volatile like that, and it can definitely be scary. I'm glad you were able to diffuse the situation.

Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 1 month ago

Thank you for sharing your very difficult story. We are at risk of running into an unstable person at any time and place in our lives; always have been. It’s difficult to always be prepared for the worst. The ability to diffuse another person’s volatility is a valuable tool.

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) about 1 month ago

Very frightening, Amanda. Reading the comments make me realize your's was not an isolated event. You did a marvelous job of not allowing the situation to escalate. 

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley (Pacific Union International) about 1 month ago

Amanda S. Davidson Thank you for sharing this very scary ordeal.  I am so glad you are okay and are now able to share it ... we cannot be too careful -- no matter what profession we have -- there are many tensions in our world today and it can be the smallest spark that causes the emotions to go off kilter.

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 MONTH REALTY) about 1 month ago

We haven't had anyone come to the office for a shouting match yet, but if they do we are in good company here and able to stand up to bullies like that.  Sorry you had to experience that.  

Posted by Kevin Mackessy, Dedicated. Qualified. Local. (Blue Olive Properties, LLC) about 1 month ago

When I worked in HR, we were told to always be able to get to our office door to run if we were threatened. Never put your desk in a place that puts you on the wrong side of the threat. You should be able to make a quick exit if you are feeling threatened. That will be something to think about in our real estate offices as well.

Posted by Anne Corbin, Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia (Fritz Realty LLC) about 1 month ago

What a horrifying nightmare! We never know when we will find ourselves in a dangerous situation. Sharing your story will give others something to think about, allowing them to plan ahead for a similar confrontation.

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 1 month ago

Wow! I am so sorry that happened to you.   It's crazy the lengths an "Entitled" person will go in order to intimidate someone into doing what they want.

Posted by Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro (Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty) about 1 month ago

An imposing angry man is intimidating. He obviously grew up very poor to accuse you of stealing people's money, and the fear of him losing money pushed him to the edge. You did well handling him, and even though you shouldn't have to, it can happen to anyone. You might want to consider taking a self defense class with the hope that you'll never need to use it. 

Posted by Mary Jo Quay (Remax Results) about 1 month ago

How scary, Amanda! I am glad you are OK. It is truly frightening to realize that some would wish us harm for something we really don't have control over - and even if we did - that they would wish or threaten harm!

Posted by Marney Kirk, Towson, Maryland Real Estate (Cummings & Co. Realtors) about 1 month ago

Hello Amanda, great post congrats on the GOLD STAR and several female agents have been raped over the years in Las Vegas.

I am so glad you are OK and it's always best for some ladies & men to have another agent with them for these types of situations. That Glock looks like one of my pistols and I have many handguns, a CCW to carry concealed. I very rarely carry especially living in California with all their strict handgun laws. But Las Vegas and parts of Alaska are very dangerous and a good reason to carry ;o)

Vegas Bob doesn't mess around playing games with these types of people. If they threaten my life and or my families lives at home or out and about and I will plug them if need be.

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) about 1 month ago

Amanda, I posted this on our MLS Facebook page....everyone needs to read this.

 

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty, Martha Hilton, Broker) about 1 month ago

It reallyl is a scary world out there, and we need to be vigilant!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) about 1 month ago

That is crazy. I think I would have had someone call the police while I talked with him nodding and saying whatever to keep him calm until they got there. Glad your assistant thought to grab a form of protection!

Posted by Rae Dolan, Real estate agent serving the Katy area (Buying Katy / Rae Dolan) about 1 month ago

Wow Amanda - I would have been scared, too!  Not only was he in the wrong place at the wrong time, he was spewing at the wrong person.  He needs anger management!  So glad that you're safe and thing didn't end differently!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) about 1 month ago

I am so very sorry that you faced such an intimidating and scary situation, Amanda S. Davidson ... but also very happy to hear that you are okay ... and that your assistant was at the ready if anything happened.  I think she would have been justified to call the police in this event ... and perhaps should have.

This incident makes me happy that I have made the decision to keep our office's front door locked.  We have few walk-ins, mostly appointments ... but it's been known to happen with unexpected visits from clients too.  My wife had been pushing me to take this action for a long time.  I gave in about 6 months ago ... for my sake and my staffs.  Maybe it's something you should consider moving forward?  Something to think about anyway ...

Stay safe, please ....

Gene  

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) 24 days ago

I have a friend who manages 500 rental units. He gets the occasional dispute regarding security deposits, condition of property, etc. He does get tenants who storm about and yell at him. It's part of the process sometimes. Negotiations come in all forms. If he'd branished a gun or made it known he was carrying then I'd escalate it to a police call. 

Posted by Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS, "One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources" (The MJKelly Team) 12 days ago

I am a great believer in (a) walking out of an office if I feel threatened (happened to me once) and then (be) calling the police (which I should have done then but didn't). At no time should we put up with that type of beheavior.

Posted by Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®, Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea 11 days ago

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