Beverly Carter's Family Joins REALTORS®

May 13, 2015

Pleading for the real estate community to learn from last year’s murder of Arkansas agent Beverly Carter, her son implored practitioners during the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. to make safety a higher priority in their businesses.

From left: NAR Vice President Mike Ford; Steve Brown, executive vice president of Crye-Leike, REALTORS®; Carl Carter; Chad Charter; Carl Carter Jr.; and NAR President Chris Polychron.

“Please don’t let my Beverly Carter — my wonderful mama — be more than one in a million,” said Carl Carter Jr., who was joined onstage at NAR 360 on Tuesday by his father, Carl Sr., and brother, Chad. “It really could be you, and I don’t ever wish for any of your family members to be standing where I am today.”

Standing alongside National Association of REALTORS® President Chris Polychron, who has made REALTOR® safety a top priority during his tenure, Carl Jr. said that in the time since his mother’s death, he has found “so much peace because every time I saw that beautiful woman, I kissed her on the cheek and told her how much I loved her.”

Beverly Carter was kidnapped from a vacant home in Scott, Ark., last September after meeting a supposed prospective buyer for a showing. Her body was found days later in a shallow grave. The alleged killer, Arron Lewis, reportedly told police that he attacked her because “she was a woman who worked alone, a rich broker.”

Carl Jr. said the general perception of people in the real estate field is that they are very successful, so that makes them prime targets. He said every practitioner should take self-defense classes to be better prepared for threats. “Be careful because you’re awesome, and, unfortunately, that makes you a target,” he added.

Carl Jr. also imparted wisdom he’s gained since his mother’s death: rely on faith more, cultivate your own happiness, and make sure the people in your life know you love them. But he also asked professionals not to let the circumstances of his mother’s death sour their opinion of working with the public. “Empathize with your customers,” he said. “No one likes to be treated like a bad guy. You have to understand your customers are good.”

He ended with a message of hope for all agents and brokers: “We pray for your prosperity. We pray for your health. We pray for your safety.”

It was a powerful moment that capped an event meant to show the positive momentum behind the REALTORS® agenda. Here’s what else you’ll want to know about from NAR 360:

  • U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro told REALTORS® that despite a 20-year low in home ownership, they will always be central to helping people achieve the American Dream. “I have zero doubt that home ownership will be as important in 50 years as it is today and that REALTORS® will continue to help families own a home of their own,” he said. Castro told REALTORS® to focus on civic engagement as a way to affect change in the industry, saying they should be sharing their stories and their clients’ stories with local leaders as well as Congressional leaders.
  • Move Inc. CEO Ryan O’Hara announced a graphic redesign of realtor.com® as well as a new feature coming soon that will allow brokerages to add hyperlinks to their listings that will link directly to the property on their own sites. The feature will come at no extra charge to realtor.com® subscribers. He also said realtor.com® will be launching the “biggest and boldest” advertising campaign in its history next week aimed at communicating to consumers that REALTORS® are the best and most reliable providers of real estate data and services. The series of eight commercials introduces Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks, known for her roles in “The Hunger Games” and “Pitch Perfect,” as realtor.com®’s new spokesperson.
  • REALTOR® Party Director Kenny Parcell revealed dramatic improvement in RPAC fundraising this year. There are currently 275,000 RPAC investors so far this year, 41,685 more than there were at this time last year, according to Parcell. That includes 2,347 major investors, a number which has climbed 3 percent since this time last year. RPAC has raised a total of $16,013,477, 9 percent ahead of the amount at this time a year ago.

—By Graham Wood, REALTOR® Magazine