Local Real Estate Agent Attacks Force Action

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While many real estate agents say they love their job, some agree they don't always feel safe.

"We put ourselves in a position everyday of being hurt or being killed. We have agents across the country that we're seeing terrible things happen to them," said Thomasville Remax Owner and Broker, Julie Bryant.

Just last October, a Thomasville real estate agent was bound, robbed and left in a vacant country home, by a man she thought was a customer.

"That kind of put us on alert that we are in a very dangerous environment today and we want our agents to be safe and be cautious and just be aware of what we need to do," said Bryant.

Agents from a number of real estate companies came together Friday to learn ways to help prevent an attack from occurring.

The class was hosted by ALLPRO Safety Coordinators and Southwest Georgia Technical College.

Safety consultants urged agents to always retrieve customer's personal information, use the buddy system, and always have an escape route planed.

They also taught residents to follow the person they're showing a house to, never meet a customer at the location, and try to avoid holding an open house alone.

"They do have within their grasp the power to make good decisions that could not only save their life but also save the life of their co-workers and colleagues," said Southwest Georgia Technical College Criminal Justice teacher an co-owner of ALLPRO, Rachelle Denmark.

Denmark says real estate agents should always use preventative measures to keep safe. But when an unsafe situation occurs, they should always be ready to protective themselves.

And while physical maneuvers are the last line of defense, many agents now say they feel properly equipped to handle an unsafe situation if it arises.

"I think this class is wonderful that we can go out here and learn things we can watch for and what we can do if we do get in an uncomfortable situation," said real estate agent Lisa Taylor, who had a rough encounter with a customer several years ago.

Taylor says agents are required to take ethics courses, and believes safety courses should be required nationwide.