Murdered Realtor Beverly Carter reminds us just how dangerous our profession can be.

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This morning, news broke that shattered the real estate community and filled us with dear, empathy, and anger all at the same time. Arkansas Realtor Beverly Carter, who was reported missing last Friday night after disappearing from a routine home showing, was discovered dead. Carter, 49, an experienced real estate professional who worked for Crye-Leike Real Estate in Scott, Arkansas, hadn’t been heard from after driving out to show a listing on Friday, September 25. She called her husband, Carl Carter, at 5:30 pm, and told him she was heading out to show a foreclosed home at 14202 Old River Drive. She was meeting a client she hadn’t met before.

Her husband never heard from her so around 9pm became concerned and contacted police. When deputies drove out to the house, they found the front door open but no one inside. Beverly’s Cadillac SUV was still parked outside and her purse was inside with only her phone missing, but there was no sign of her. A full-scale investigation ensued, along with more than 100 local volunteers chipping in for the search for Beverly. Her husband did receive three incomplete text messages from her phone a day later, but it’s very likely they were sent from someone else as a decoy.

“I just want my wife back,” said Carl Carter in a heartbreaking interview.

Police issued a warrant for kidnapping and picked up a suspect in the case, Aaron Michael Lewis, a 33-year old local man. After interrogating him, they discovered the body of a deceased Carter buried in a shallow grave.

As we first read this, of course our first instinct is to send our prayers and best wishes to the Carter family. But we also can’t help but ask, “Could that have been me?” No matter if you’re a Realtor, loan officers, escrow officer, home inspector – or anyone who works in professional real estate – the risk of attack or incident is all-too real, and shouldn’t be handled lightly.

In fact, the news is littered with attacks against Realtors from past years, from all over the country and under a variety of circumstances. According to a survey from Moby, a real estate safety app, about 42 percent of female real estate professionals and 18 percent of male professionals say they have occasionally felt unsafe in the course of their job.

The same Moby study, don’t in conjunction with a REALTOR safety report, found that most attacks occur:

1)  When the victim is alone,
2) In suburban or rural areas,
3) During weekdays in the afternoon, most specifically – Thursday afternoons,
4) 1 in 3 attacks were against male real estate professionals, and
5) They estimated that far more attacks and incidents went unreported.

Think about the factors involved – real estate agents have a high public profile, it’s easy to get their contact information, their photos are everywhere, anyone can call up and say they are a home buyer, and they frequently show empty or vacant homes, foreclosures and short sales, host open houses, and drive around with clients they don’t know well in their car.

So in an effort to keep our beloved friends and associates in real estate completely safe – especially female Realtors – Blue Water Credit is putting together a comprehensive guide with strategies how real estate professionals can stay safe. Stay tuned to our blog or sign in to receive the Realtor Safety Guide.

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In the meantime, we’d love to show our prayers and condolences to Beverly Carter’s loved ones. Please contact us if you’d like to be a part of sending a thoughtful card and gift to her family and coworkers.

Thank you so much,

Blue Water Credit

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