Loggers, fishers, pilots, roofers and garbage collectors — these are the top five most dangerous jobs in America, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is possible that by the end of this year, politician will be added to this list as well.
Either way, real estate agent is missing from this list, but perhaps it shouldn’t be. It may not be as obvious as some of the aforementioned jobs, however, this truly is an inherently risky career. As Realtors, we work with the public on a daily basis, most of the time in a one-to-one environment. We generally work alone, publicly advertise, hold open houses in vacant homes, meet strangers in listed homes and, many times, chauffeur them in our cars. Although most people really are who they present themselves to be (qualified buyers searching for a piece of real estate to either invest in or call home), some people are not.
Recently, our brokerage opened up a satellite office in St. George. Since I love the sun and the red rocks almost as much as I do the snow and mountains, I volunteered to make the sacrifice of initiating the set up. While there, I ran into a gentleman at a small gym I was working out in. He mentioned he had moved there from California (refer to last week’s article) and had lived in his little HOA community for the last year but was thinking of selling and building in the newer community coming in just east of where he was located. I informed him that I could help him, since I had, ironically, just come down there to set a satellite real estate office. We exchanged phone numbers and I told him we could chat more about his options later.
That night, I received a call from him. It was a bit confusing. He told me he could either stay here, move to Florida, move to the new community or refinance. Attempting to clarify his direction, I asked him what his end goal would be in doing any of those things. He informed me he was single and interested in finding someone that he could be with, and he wasn’t going to find it in the community in which he currently resided.
Now as Realtors, we tend to dabble in a wide variety of roles. Cupid is not one of them. I said, “It sounds like you have a lot to think about. I can only talk on the pros and cons of any decision you make in regard to real estate and housing. If you have specific questions about that, let me know and I’ll be happy to help you. Take some time, think about your options and then reach out when you feel ready to do something.” At this point, my gut was telling me something wasn’t right. I couldn’t put a finger on it, but it was almost palpable.
The next day was article-writing day. I decided to write it poolside. I had brought my husband and two of my daughters down with me to St. George. My husband was attending to business but my girls came with me to the pool. Less than five minutes after I arrived, so did my new contact. He attempted to chat, again about how much he wanted to find someone, preferably with children, since he never had the experience of having a family. I immediately felt another lurch in my gut. I told him I had an assignment with a deadline so I needed to focus. Not long after, I took the girls and left, feeling a parade of red flags popping up in my wake.
A few days later, I returned home. I was showing homes when my phone rang. It was him. I sent the “I’ll call you later,” auto response, but to no avail. He immediately called again, and again, and again. I sent a quick text letting him know that I was going to have my business partner, who lives in St. George, reach out to him since I wasn’t going to be back for a while. I quickly called my associate and told him to call this dude since he seemed frantic.
Later that day, my partner called me back to let me know that this guy only wanted to work with me, not him and hung up on him. No deal. I was being stalked. I blocked his number and reported him to his HOA.
This dude does not want to mess with me. I know my job’s inherent risks and I am prepared. We all should be. It is truly a dangerous profession.