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Real estate agent’s murder has pros here on high alert

News last week of the abduction and slaying of Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter has Realtors in the Greater Lehigh Valley talking about concerns for their own safety.

News last week of the abduction and slaying of Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter has Realtors in the Greater Lehigh Valley talking about concerns for their own safety.

The tragedy brought to light the very real dangers real estate agents face every day by going into unfamiliar places with people they don’t know. And it’s inspiring action and reflection among industry professionals – including a call for a safety workshop even though some were just held in September.

Realtors such as Gail Hoover of ReMax Central in Allentown took to Facebook to express her concerns and remind clients why sometimes they have to appear overly cautious when meeting people for the first time.

For example, she requires new clients to meet in her office – and usually supply name and identification – before going to a home.

“I know you are ‘just looking’ and don’t want to give out any information. You want to get information,” Hoover said. “Too bad. If I don’t know you, we meet in the office first.”

She said that way you get to see them first and also people in your office get to see them. If someone was planning something other than house hunting, knowing they can be identified may discourage them.

“If someone was planning something shady. They’re not going to go for that,” she said in an interview.

Loren Keim, broker and owner of Century 21 Keim Real Estate in Allentown, said the death of Beverly Carter is a painful reminder of how dangerous the real estate profession can be.

“We’ve had close calls right here in the Lehigh Valley over the years,” Keim said.

He also referenced the 1997 killing of Northampton County real estate agent Charlotte Fimiano, whose body was found in a house she was supposedly showing to a client.

Stacy Wescoe
Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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