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Personal Safety – Complacency Can Kill

Good Morning Professionals,

With the news on the front page of the Victoria Times Colonist this morning about the murder of 24-year-old Lindsay Buziak while showing a house, I’m sure we’re all thinking about our own experiences with clients that just didn’t feel right. Remember, if in doubt, get out. That sale isn’t worth it. You might anger a legitimate client, but anyone worth dealing with would understand your need to take care of your personal safety. You might save yourself a headache from a difficult client or even worse, your life.

I never met Lindsay, but [edit for clarity: she had paged me to show one of my listings on Saturday].

Here are a few safety tips for REALTORS®:

  1. When you are introduced to new clients, meet them in your office first.
  2. Photocopy a client’s driver’s license, obtain the car make, and license number.
  3. Ask them to complete a client identification form and verify the client’s identity.
  4. Let your office know where you are, your schedule, and who you are meeting when going to a property.
  5. Limit the amount of personal information you share about yourself with a client.
  6. Be friendly with neighbours near the listed home and let them know when you will be showing the property.
  7. Program speed dial on your cell phone for 911 and use it when danger first appears.
  8. If you get a strange feeling about someone, pay attention to those gut feelings.
  9. Pre-plan escape routes from each level of a home, before you show it.
  10. Ask a friend to join you at a showing with a client that makes you somewhat uneasy.
  11. Arrive at the location in separate vehicles.
  12. Take a self-defense course.
  13. If you’re showing several properties, phone your office occasionally to check in (if you’re suspicious or fearful of someone, use these calls as a reason to return to the office immediately — BE CREATIVE).
  14. Never put yourself at risk to avoid social awkwardness. You have every right to be cautious. When in doubt—don’t.

The REALTOR® safety guide can be found here.

The real estate community in Victoria extends its deepest sympathies to Lindsay’s family.

Be careful out there.

EDIT: I’d love to hear your comments on safety. Any personal stories or suggestions? Use the comments form/link below.

Tim Ayres

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Dr. William Sauder Dies

British Columbia Mourns The Loss Of A Business Pioneer

Dr. William Sauder died today. Real estate practitioners will recognize the name from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. It is through this institution that we all earn our licenses and others continue their education through the Urban Land Economics courses offered via distance education. Premier Gordon Campbell had this to say of Dr. Sauder’s passing:

“Today British Columbians mourn the loss of Bill Sauder, a leader in the forest industry, in education and health. As chairman and CEO of International Forest Products Ltd. for over 25 years, he oversaw the company’s development and growth into one of Canada’s most successful operations. Bill combined his success in business with a personal commitment to outstanding community service that has benefited people and institutions throughout the province.

“Bill’s contributions to education and health research at UBC are almost immeasurable. He served the university in several capacities, including two terms as chancellor. Thanks to his and his family’s generosity, UBC has two Chairs and two Professorships in infectious and viral disease research, cardiology and stroke research. In 2003, a $20-million endowment from Bill and his wife Marjorie-Anne helped the university create significant new educational opportunities at its business school, since renamed the Sauder School of Business. At that time, it was the largest single private donation ever made to name a Canadian business school.

“Among his other contributions, Bill served as a director of the Toronto Dominion Bank, the British Columbia Development Corporation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and the Yukon, and on the executive committee of the board of directors of BC Hydro. He was also a director of the World Presidents’ Organization.

“Just last week, Junior Achievement British Columbia acknowledged Bill for his outstanding business contributions and for the legacy he has created for enterprising youth by naming him to their Business Laureates of B.C. Hall of Fame. In 2004, Bill was a recipient of the Order of British Columbia and, in 2005, he was awarded the Order of Canada for his services and contributions.

“Bill Sauder was an exemplary citizen. He was one of the builders of modern British Columbia in business, in education and in community life. We are all fortunate he called B.C. home. Our thoughts, prayers and thanks go out to his family who selflessly shared his time, energy and love of his province with us all.”

From the real estate community, I express our condolences to Dr. Sauder’s family in their time of grieving

-Tim Ayres