By Penelope Piantedosi
As realtor assaults continue, we all agree that a workplace safe from intruders should be the norm. Everyone knows that employees are entitled to a reasonable expectation of safety on the job. The typical activities involved in earning a living should not expose us to unnecessary danger. Sadly, the world we inhabit today does not allow us to regard personal safety as one of the perks of employment.
A recent incident of sexual assault and attempted kidnapping reported out of Jacksonville, FL, is a vivid reminder of such an unfortunate reality. A female sales associate of Watson Realty, tending the front desk of her office, was confronted at knife point, assaulted and subsequently forced to drive to an ATM machine to withdraw money from her account. Such crimes are all too common in a variety of common work and recreational activities. Real estate agents, due to their frequent and unguarded exposure to the public, are particularly vulnerable. The hazards of meeting potential clients in undisclosed locations, for unspecified time periods & without adequate backup measures in place, presents an open door for predatory behavior. However, in this example, the victim was simply sitting in a familiar office, where she had every reason to expect that business would be conducted as usual – free from threat to her person.
As Realtor Safety Month approaches, it is high time for our industry to take an active role in promoting awareness of these problems and providing solutions that are designed to meet the peculiar needs of their employees. Continuing education is a prerequisite to meeting this need, but, in addition, there is now available a practical software application with a hands-on formula to complement these efforts in a way that has never been tried before! The LOIS safety system is an ideal component of this effort to assist agents in protecting themselves. Avery Piantedosi, Founder and CEO of LOIS states “It’s time for the real estate community to adopt a ‘best practice’ in the area of safety for Realtors. This has been an ongoing issue with no proactive solution. LOIS hopes to be a significant part of that solution”.
Let’s hope that becomes a reality very soon.
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