After a brutal attack on a Snohomish County real estate agent last weekend, the industry is pushing safety for its agents.
Amit Baruch teaches Krav Maga—an Israeli form of self-defense— to many in professions that require them to interact with volatile people, including police officers.
“I’ve got doctors in here, I’ve got attorneys in here,” and real estate agents.
That’s what Amit told us as he showed us around the studio he uses in Bellevue.
Realty as a dangerous career may surprise you, but it certainly doesn’t surprise Amit, whose day-job is as a mortgage broker.
"I know that they meet strange people in unknown places, vacant homes, things that are just inherently dangerous.
It's what your mom told you not to do—that's what real estate agents do for a living," he explained.
Last weekend, one of those real estate agents was holding an open house near Lake Goodwin when—according to his Facebook post now shared hundreds of times throughout the real estate community, he was attacked.
He writes a man pretended to be interested in the house while two others assaulted him.
He managed to escape but with severe head and facial injuries requiring ten staples and seven stitches.
“I think it is shocking,” Bob Wold, president of the Snohomish County Camano Association of Realtors and a realtor himself told us.
However, the attack is not an anomaly.
"I've had up to 35 people in a home before," Wold said.
So situational awareness during an open house is imperative; he keeps his keys and cell phone in his pocket at all times.
“I’m also trying to pay attention to who is leaving. When I go to lock up, is there going to be any surprises waiting for me upstairs?” Wold said.
Wold says he encourages other realtors to meet first-time clients somewhere other than their house.
“We would like to try to meet them at an office first, a public place, a coffee house.”
The association also brings in instructors like Amit, who teaches a lecture style safety class for agents.
It's a seminar that helps them devise an emergency escape plan.
Amit will be doing that class at the Seattle King County Association of Realtors next month.
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