September is REALTOR® Safety Month, and Citrus Valley Association wants to remind members to take safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings.
If confronted by someone, the best thing to do may be to scream and run. Use physical force only as a last resort, but be ready. These are the first of many important tips safety and self-defense instructor Karen Trolan shared with REALTORS® at a Silicon Valley Association of Realtors’ (SILVAR) Realtor safety and self-defense training session in Los Gatos.
Trolan says prevention is the best self-defense. Attackers look for unsuspecting vulnerable targets.
“If you act like a victim, you could be one; therefore, be prepared and follow general safety tips, like being aware of your surroundings. Don’t put yourself in a bad situation,” she says.
When it is clear that escape isn’t possible, shout, “Back off!” as loud as you can and push the attacker right away. This will surprise the attacker and let them know you are not an easy target. Trolan explains when you are in a confrontation, you only have a few seconds and a few moves to try, so before the attacker gains full control of you, you must do everything to inflict injury so you can get away.
Trolan, assisted by three helpers with black belts in jujitsu and other self-defense training, showed more than 20 REALTORS® how to use their hands to strike the assailant on the upper half of their body and, using fingers, palms, elbows, knees and feet, how to aim at parts of the body where you can easily do the most damage.
“In a physical confrontation use self-defense. It’s hurt or be hurt,” says Trolan.
Trolan later reviewed some open house safety tips and shared several safety apps they can download that can help track their movements, vet clients, or remotely activate emergency alerts.
Trolan is past president of SILVAR, and began teaching the REALTOR® safety and self-defense classes for members of the local trade association three years ago, because she was concerned about the rise in crimes against real estate agents, some of which have ended in tragedy.
“Real estate professionals are targets because they carry a phone, purse, or wallet, and are often alone. REALTORS® can be in potentially dangerous situations when they are showing a home or meeting new clients who are strangers. Men, as well as women, have been targets,” says Trolan. “All REALTORS® should learn at least basic safety and self-defense techniques.”