Tuesday
August 30, 2016

Ohio Brokerage, Association Offer Safety App

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Ohio Brokerage, Association Offer Safety App

Since the murder of an Arkansas real estate agent gripped national headlines in 2014, brokerages and REALTOR® associations alike have been promoting greater safety resources for real estate professionals.

Safety apps: Phones Offer Touch of Safety

In the latest steps, brokerage HER, REALTORS®, announced that it is providing a safety phone app, Real Agent Guard, to its 1,200 Ohio real estate agents. Also, the Ohio Association of REALTORS® voted to make one component of the app available to all of its members.

Among its features, the app provides a list of “safe harbor” sites where agents can meet clients for the first time (the feature that the Ohio Association of REALTORS® will offer); records video of open-house visitors; provides a “panic button” to alert police or their brokerage office if they sense danger; and alerts offices and colleagues when an agent is meeting with a client, providing the location, and can require an agent to provide a check-in at certain times, notifying the office that the agent is in danger if check-ins are missed. The Ohio Association of REALTORS® says it is considering rolling out the rest of the services on the app.

“The culture has dramatically changed in our industry,” HER President Michael Mahon told The Columbus Dispatch. “Last year we had numerous cases in which agents were put into uncomfortable situations.”

Forty percent of real estate agents nationwide say they have faced a situation in their job that made them uncomfortable, according to a 2015 survey by the National Association of REALTORS®. That said, only 4 percent of the 2,804 real estate professionals surveyed have been the victim of a crime.

Source: “Ohio Real Estate Agents Getting Phone App for Personal Safety,” The Columbus Dispatch (Jan. 20, 2016)