Oklahoma realtors are re-evaluating how they do business after the murder of a colleague in Arkansas.
The victim, Beverly Carter, went by herself to a showing with a stranger, which is a common occurrence in the real estate world.
Keller Williams Realtor Kirsten McIntyre admits that going alone to open houses or showings comes with the business. For her safety, she always sends her husband the address of the home, the client's name and cell phone number, as well as a picture of that person's license plate once she arrives.
However, Carter's murder in Arkansas has changed things.
“It's really just kind of rocked the realtor community,” said McIntyre.
Arron Lewis is accused of kidnapping and killing Carter after meeting her at an empty home. Carter believed Lewis was a prospective buyer.
An Oklahoma City area realtor was targeted over the weekend at an open house, too. She said a man distracted her inside a home in the 10000 block of Volara Dr. in Oklahoma City while his accomplice stole her purse and laptop. The two men got away in a silver Nissan 350Z.
“On top of what happened in Arkansas and then also the realtor in Yukon, that really has made people kind of stop and look at how they do business,” McIntyre explained.
McIntyre said she is no longer doing showings alone with strangers. She said many other metro realtors are going back to the basics.
“Having perspective buyers meet them at the office, hand over a driver's license, know who they are dealing with, make sure they have a copy of the prequalification letter to double check with the lender that it's a legit buyer,” McIntyre told News 9.
McIntyre said the key is strength in numbers, even if working as a team slows you down.
“What's more important, getting that sale or risk running into someone like she ran into in Arkansas,” McIntyre added.
Some realtors have gone as far as buying flashlights and cell phone cases that have stun guns built into them.