• HAR urges members to make personal safety a top priority after numerous reports of suspicious activity related to property listings.
  • The most recent case involves jewelry thefts during open houses at high-end properties in Memorial and West University Place. The suspect is named Steven Breed and has been the subject of criminal investigations across Texas. HAR recently posted a safety alert including Breed’s mug shots on the Member’s Only Portal and in HAR Connect, so please review that information as soon as possible. (See his mug shots below.)
  • “Foot Fetish Creep” continues to periodically call REALTORS® whose listings are published in the Houston Chronicle real estate section.
  • HAR receives ongoing complaints about a man who calls, typically giving the name Andy or Eddie, and asking to be shown vacant properties above a certain dollar figure. He only calls female agents, and fortunately, the REALTORS® either sense that something is wrong and hang up or he hasn’t shown up when they have actually scheduled a showing.
  • We have also received calls from members who have been contacted by prospective buyers who might ask to look at properties above a certain price point but don’t meet any of the other typical behaviors. In these cases, we hope those are just legitimate people looking to buy a property. It is wise to be cautious but not so much so that it prevents you from doing business.
Please read the latest safety update here: http://bit.ly/x2rQ0C

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16 thoughts on “HAR Urges You to Put Safety First

  1. As for open houses (I believe they’re usually a waste of time) instead do really good video open houses with a link/bar code on a rider.  If your client still insists you do an open house, keep the door locked and stay where you can see who drives up, but they can’t see you.  If it doesn’t feel right, don’t even open the door.  Everyone stay safe!

  2. Realistically, I do not do open houses.  The percentage of people going to open houses are only people enjoying their Sunday off and also to get decorating ideas.  Only a small percentage will buy that particular home.  It’s great for the agent that may get a buyer lead for another home.  I am sorry, I am a Realtor but I will not do open houses.  Not in this economy or in any economy.  There are many other ways to sell a home.

  3. If you are a woman, go with your woman’s intuition. I now take my husband when meeting strangers. I love the Texas Law, indescent exposure is when a person exposes body parts in a public place, so if we are inside the house we went there because we wanted it. That’s what I told the Fort Bend DA after a man exposed himself and held me in a house in Chasewood many years ago. They said they would write him a letter and ask him to quit doing it. It was the same house on Chasewood Blvd. that another agent from our office had gone to the week before so we were in horror and I told the DA that two from our office had been there. Back then HAR said they wouldn’t warn us; afraid of a lawsuit. That was mid 1980’s and he was the homeowner.

  4. I never liked open houses…one more reason not to do them.  I do “Action type Open Houses”
    I schedule multiple clients at the same time on a two hour window.  And for that I always use the number one Realtor rule of thumb….I ask who their loan officer is and confirm their information…..loan officer has their info so no need for me to dig too much into their personal business.

  5. I have had a person who appeared interested in one of my listed properties but he wants to know the racial makeup of the community. When it is explained that it is against the law to steer clients to specific neighborhoods he then becomes threatening and abusive on the phone.

    1. I have also have had this happen, and the client SCREAMED at me saying I didnt know what I was talking about and threatened to file a complaint with TREC. I recommend to keep detailed notes, and notify your broker. Then if any issues arise, you have more support in your corner. Suggesting they drive the area after 5:00pm or on a weekend will allow them to get a good feel for their futrue neighbors, also Lara’s suggestion is another great way to put it back in their court.

  6. Ledecia, that is awful that you have experienced this kind of behaviour.  I’ve been lucky enough to only experience the hair on the back of my neck (if you will) standing up and I have literally just bolted out of a home and run to my car and locked the door (without ever really ever explaining my actions to the “public” that I was with at the time).  Funnily enough, I never received a call from the person that gave me this feeling, inquiring what the heck just happened and why in the world I would have just run out of the home.   I jokingly say, “that a good shoe in my world is measured by whether or not I can haul a** in them, if need be!!!”  Thankfully, I have only had to resort to this 2 times in 28 years of being a Realtor. 🙂

  7. Great suggestion! There are so many Realtors that have been attacked and
    do not report it. I was one of them, a long time ago. I tell all my friends and
    co-workers try and NOT DO OPEN HOUSE by themselves. Always have another person
    with them. Always have one person close to the FRONT DOOR in case of emergency.
    Trust no one, especially a well dress man who likes to take a long time to see
    the house and waits for everyone else to leave. Your partner should always stand
    inside the house where YOU can see HIM/HER. If you are alone inside, I always
    have my phone on with some else just listening while the client is looking. BE
    READY! BE PROACTIVE! TRUST NO.

  8. PUT A PEN , CLIP ON TO YOUR SHIRT AS A WEAPON … tip from the police officer … do it as a habit and also put one in your hair when you have a pony tail…BE PROACTIVE !!!

  9. I have a suggestion that most Realtors could do but may not think about…it would be a good idea to advise them to save Steven Breeds photo that HAR has provided into their photo gallery and then save it as your wallpaper during open houses.  That way they will have an instant reminder of what this criminal looks like and could possibly lock him out if recognized as he was approaching the home…just a thought…we all need to help each other stay safe in this crazy world!!
    Sincerely,
    Rici Birmingham
    Texas Home Group
    Direct: 281-794-3570

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