An interesting article but sad that it is needed: Real estate safety enhanced
A new program will increase the safety of Vancouver Island realtors, as well as the communities they serve. Soon there will likely be similar programs for Vancouver realtors and those in other areas.
The tragic murder of Vancouver Island real estate agent Lindsay Buziak has led to the implementation of new measures to help realtors protect themselves and the communities they serve. Twenty four year old Buziak was slain in an empty Saanich home she was showing in February.
For many people Buziak's death highlighted the dangers agents face on the job and The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board is responding to these concerns with the launch of Realty Watch to increase the safety of the 1,195 agents it represents. The Realty Watch program, which has been used by Lower Mainland real estate boards for several years, equips agents with new technology that allows them to instantly communicate with each other.
Trish Widdershoven, Realty Watch Task Force chairwoman, pointed out that realtors can play a large role in crime prevention and helping to find missing persons since many of them spend most of their time driving around the community doing business, will act as "eyes and ears" for the police. Nanaimo RCMP Cpl. Dave Boyce, is optimistic that, "With nearly 1,200 realtor members connected to this program, Realty Watch will be an additional valuable took in the search for missing person."
Starting this fall panic buttons will also be installed in unoccupied homes for sale to further insure the safety of realtors working on the island. Its sad that this is necessary but better safe than sorry. Its interesting that since the incident in Abbotsford and more recently this one, many clients think we have 2 realtors at our opens for safety. While we have always done this as a client service (to make sure all potential buyers are fully served when we are showing our sellers' homes) I guess it does also provide a layer of safety.
(All cited quotes & figures are from the Times Columnist, March 27)