Pledge encourages Realtors® to implement safety changes

By Kelly Leighton | Nov. 7, 2014 | 2 min. read

Dylan de Bruin wants you to take the pledge.

He is asking brokers, agents, and the public to sign the Realtor® Safety Pledge. The pledge vows to help “protect the lives of hard-working real estate agents… and to encourage responsible and safe showing practices for our clients.”

In 2011, on an April afternoon in Iowa, 27-year-old Realtor® Ashley Okland was shot and killed while working inside a model home. Today, Okland’s case remains unsolved.

DeBruin was a friend of Okland’s and was shocked and saddened by her sudden—and unnecessary—death. “On the heels of the tragedy, we held lots of discussions about ending open houses, and providing more safety measures for agents,” said de Bruin. “But the conversations petered out.”

Then, Realtor® Beverly Carter was murdered in Arkansas after showing a home in September of this year. Carter met the alleged murderer to show the property, and she was then kidnapped and murdered.

The talks began again. “We realized this cycle of violence would just continue,” said de Bruin.

So, de Bruin and Joe Schafbuch, brokers of Century 21 Signature Real Estate in central Iowa started the Realtor® Safety Pledge to encourage both Realtors® and the public to begin implementing safer practices.

For example, the pair advises Realtors® to meet with potential buyers at their office before showing the homes or asking for identification in advance. They also caution Realtors® about the risks involved with hosting open houses, and encourage using safe tactics, such as co-hosting open houses.

“Our prime objective is to continue the conversation,” said de Bruin. “We don’t want to let the dust settle. We want to move the industry forward together to encourage safer practices.”

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