When Realtor® Beverly Carter was kidnapped and murdered on the job five years ago, her son Carl has used the tragedy to educate other Realtors® on protecting themselves in the industry through creating the Beverly Carter Foundation.
Carter will present Your Safety is Non-Negotiable: The Beverly Carter Story at this year’s Triple Play Convention, taking place Dec. 9-11 in Atlantic City.
“I take my sweet mom’s story to tell it in a way that we can learn from it,” said Carter. “The intention is to inspire positive change in an agent’s daily business.”
Carter acknowledges that while his mom’s story can be hard to hear, and even harder from him to tell, it is a story that needs to be told. “There is something for everyone to take away,” said Carter.
“I learned the importance of client verification immediately,” he said. “The second you have the first interaction with a potential client, begin the process of identifying who they are and their true intentions. It has been proven time and again many predatory criminals perform these crimes because they think they can get away with it. If you can ensure you are consistent with your client screenings, it will be a huge deterrent. You are sending a signal that they cannot get away with a crime when you’re involved.”
Carter said so many of us have a profile in our mind of what a “bad guy” looks like, but there is no set profile. Carter pointed out that his mother was kidnapped by a husband and wife and many Realtors® would trust a couple, especially a woman. But women are just as capable as crime as men.
“There has not been a single time that I have given my speech that there has not been at least one agent after who has approached me and then shared their story of how they have been victimized. After hearing story after story, I realized although there are great safety programs in certain states and NAR has done a great job, it just isn’t enough,” said Carter. “The mission of the Beverly Carter Foundation is to ensure that what happened to my mom and other victims is stopped.”
“We are largely based in safety education and victim support,” added Carter. “If there is a missing Realtor®, we chip in to help with advertising because not every story is like my mom’s story, which got amazing press. We do have an arm for advocacy and working to make safety a core competency in how we define professionalism in the industry. We want to see a day where safe practices are a part of our curriculum.”
While there have been challenges in building a nonprofit, Carter’s determined to educate others through his mom’s story.
“What has kept the fire in my belly is seeing and hearing people tell me that what we do is making a difference,” said Carter. “Tons of people tell me they have thought of my mom in a tough situation. I think we are truly making a difference. I pride my nonprofit on that we are coming at safety from truly a place of care and love. We are not trying to sell anyone anything or push people to a lifestyle.”
“I can assure every single person who walks through the door to hear my presentation will learn to make safer choices and do business better,” said Carter. “I feel strongly that I can impart ideas for how they can take ideas back to strengthen the safety culture in their office. As they walk out of there, they’ll be empowered to help save others.”