REALTOR® Safety Week: Be Careful Out There

September 1, 2006

Headlines like the one in the March 6 St. Petersburg Times—“Seemingly interested home buyer attacks REALTOR®”—should give you cause to wonder: Could that happen to me?

As part of its commitment to help ensure the safety of its more than 1.3 million members, NAR has designated Sept. 10–16 as the fourth annual REALTOR® Safety Week to raise your awareness of potential on-the-job dangers and the safeguards you can take to protect yourself. This year NAR is also emphasizing the importance of protecting yourself and your clients from identity theft. To help prevent identity theft, NAR and the Federal Trade Commission, along with other associations, are sponsoring a joint campaign for consumers, “AvoID Theft: Deter, Detect, Defend.”

In July NAR mailed REALTOR® Safety Week Kits containing presentation materials, articles, and tips to all state and local associations to help them promote safety in the office, at home, and on the road. The kits include a video—“Don’t Be a Victim: Personal Safety for REALTORS®” (Item #V150-25)—and wallet-sized REALTOR® Safety Tips Cards (Item #V150-50) that are also available through the Store. The video is $12 and available on VHS tape; the safety tips cards are available in quantities of 100 for $10.

A three-page handout, “Protect Your Personal and Electronic Information,” offers tips for guarding against identity theft and advice on what to do if you think your identity has been stolen.

All of the safety materials in the kit are available at For more information, on the identity theft prevention campaign, visit

Safety Tips

  • Always keep a charged mobile phone at your side.
  • Meet all new clients at your office; verify their identity.
  • Avoid being at the office alone.
  • Take a personal safety course.
  • Know the route to and from each property you visit.

Online help from Hostway

Create a personal online presence quickly or take your existing Web site to the next level with Hostway Web Services for REALTORS®, a new member of the REALTOR Benefits(sm) program.

The Agent Starter hosting plan starts at $22.95 per month and includes 800MB of disk space, 50GB bandwidth, a dedicated IP address, a five-page real estate-specific Web site design, and 24/7 phone and e-mail support. The Advanced Agent plan, which starts at $64.95 per month, includes 2GB of disk space and unlimited bandwidth, along with the other features. Both plans have been created specifically for NAR members and allow practitioners to make regular updates to their site and to feature an open house calendar, floor plans, searchable listings, multiple photos, virtual tours, and maps and directions.

NAR members also receive discounts on Hostway products and services, such as a 10 percent discount on online data backup services and 5 percent off Hostway’s managed pay-per-click search engine marketing campaigns.

GotVMail keeps you in touch

Be even more responsive to customers and clients and gain greater control over incoming calls with the VirtualOne phone system from GotVMail Communications, a new REALTOR Benefits(sm) program partner. With VirtualOne, small real estate brokerages have access to phone capabilities typically employed by large companies. Features include a virtual receptionist that answers and forwards incoming calls, a dial-by-name directory, 24/7 automated messages about real estate and your company’s services, and call forwarding to any phone, anywhere.

The service, which can accommodate one to 20 employees, starts at $9.95 per month. There are no contracts to sign or additional equipment or software to buy. NAR members receive 400 free minutes plus, for a limited time, free activation—a value of nearly $50.

Chuck Paustian is a former REALTOR® Magazine senior editor.

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