(Check out a video of the agents in action at their self-defense class)
To help promote Realtor safety following National Realtor Protection Month, Addison Wolf Real Estate is hosting two self-defense classes for its Realtors on April 2 and April 9 at New Hope Karate. Nearly 30 of the firm’s 45 agents have signed up to participate so far.
“The reality is we live in a world where bad things sometimes happen,” says Robert Reynolds, a Realtor with Addison Wolfe and owner of New Hope Karate. “Being able to defend yourself in these rare instances is important. These classes will give Addison Wolfe agents an added advantage should they need to defend themselves.”
According to a March 2015 Member Safety Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), only 46 percent of real estate brokerages have standard procedures and recommendations for agent safety. Further, the report found only 18 percent of respondents have participated in a Realtor safety course.
Reynolds, who has three decades of experience teaching self defense and is a 5th Degree Master of Tang Soo Do, says the classes will focus on basic awareness issues as well as self-defense techniques. Those self-defense techniques will include:
- Multiple defenses to wrist and shoulder grabs by assailants
- Defense against a rear choke hold
- Take downs (if warranted)
- Where and how to strike an attacker
The NAR report noted Realtor safety concerns are heightened due to open houses, vacant properties, and properties in remote areas. In addition, the high community profile of most agents can sometimes draw unwanted attention.
Although Addison Wolfe doesn’t publicly disclose its agent safety protocols, it does recommend the following basic safety tips to all Realtors:
- Alert your office when you go to a showing or open house. Make it a standard practice to call your office at the conclusion of each.
- Always have two people host any open house.
- Let clients and prospects take the lead entering properties or various rooms. This allows you to be able to exit ahead of them if necessary.
- Always carry your keys in one hand and cell phone in the other during a showing. The keys can be a non-threatening weapon if needed.
- Arrive early to all showings and open houses and plan an exit strategy should you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation or if you feel threatened.