In any profession safety must come before profit. Real estate agents are in a uniquely unsafe environment when alone they show a house. First off the owners are not likely to be in the house. Second the house is not a public space and some homes are more private than others. The larger homes are less likely to be “safer” than those in smaller-less expensive neighborhoods. So when Ashely Okland was murdered while showing a townhouse in West Des Moines in 2011 the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors became concerned. Now four years later the association “unveiled a three-pronged plan to protect real estate agents who often find themselves alone in empty houses with prospective buyers they have never met.”
I read this squib of a news release and wondered if real estate agents are really safe. “Beginning today, real estate agents can sign a voluntary pledge to not show any home to a stranger without first meeting the person at their office or a public place and asking him or her to submit identification. Realtors also can ask sellers to agree to those conditions when they list their home. “
This baffles me. How can a real estate agent know the intentions of a person who shows them a fake ID? Why not show homes as a team? Or why not require owners to use Dropcams by Nest? After all when you enter someone else's private residence why as a buyer would you ever expect privacy? And if someone intent on murder saw a Dropcam they would probably just leave knowing their image is recorded on a remote server?
If you have information to shed on this case and would like to do so contact our office. If you are the murderer and would like to turn yourself in contact our office.
- Iowa’s Cold Cases: Ashley Okland
- USA Today: Iowa officials hope for lead in Realtor's 2011 death
- Iowa real estate agent murdered in model home, CBS Crimesider