Vivian Martin murder: Memorandum to address violence against Realtors

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers has signed a historic memorandum of understanding with Agent Alarm, a national security company, designed to help address the recent wave of attacks and acts of violence against real estate professionals in America.

One of the most serious attacks in 2011 resulted in the death of Vivian Martin, a local real estate agent living and working in Youngstown, Ohio. Martin was beaten to death by three men in an abandoned home, posing as potential home buyers, looking to purchase a home that she had listed.

The memorandum of understanding was signed during NARES’s 65th Annual Midwinter Conference in Miami, Feb. 21-25. Under the agreement, Agent Alarm will partner with NAREB to develop and implement a “Real Estate Agent Safety Plan,” utilizing state-of-the-art technology and safety products. They will also provide training sessions, industry-specific strategies, resources and information that will educate and empower NAREB members to enhance their personal and professional safety.

“Based on the recent wave of violence against real estate agents and other real estate professionals, often lured into showing homes under false pretences, I began searching for a knowledgeable partner in the safety and security industry that had the expertise to help us develop strategies to help keep our members safe,” said Julius Cartwright, NAREB’s national president. “So when I was approached by father-and-son team, Chad and Alexander Salahshour from Agent Alarm, it presented an incredible opportunity for us to partner on this unique initiative.”

As an example of the technology that will be made available to NAREB’s members, Agent Alarm has developed a mobile safety application, an app that turns a user’s cell phone into a personal safety device. The training and technical support for this new app, will be the job of Agent Alarm.

“At times like this, when more homes and buildings are falling into foreclosure and vacancy, it’s critically important to make real estate professionals aware of the safety concerns their job presents,” said Chad Salahshour. “We’re excited to work with the NAREB; Mr. Cartwright and the leadership team have demonstrated a complete commitment to the safety of its members and their livelihoods. It’s our goal to ensure that its members are even more educated, informed and prepared for emergencies.”

Additionally, Agent Alarm and the NAREB have teamed up to create the Vivian Martin Scholarship Fund. “We’re pleased to be founding supporters of the Vivian Martin Scholarship Fund. We believe in supporting good causes and there’s nothing which aligns with our goals more than the Vivian Martin Fund. We know our contributions and efforts are going to help families who have lost love ones to acts of violence, and to us, that’s priceless” said Salahshour. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the Agent Alarm app will go towards this cause. The Agent Alarm application will be available for widespread distribution shortly.

Since its inception in 1947, NAREB has entered into Memorandums of Understanding with a number of organizations and government agencies to expand, improve and promote the real estate industry.

“Our Memorandum of Understanding with Agent Alarm is a natural progression of our mission to continually address personal safety issues and promote available products that can provide a sense of security for our members across the United States,” reiterated Cartwright. “Simply stated, we must do whatever it takes to protect real estate professionals as they go about their daily business.”

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers was formed in 1947 by African American real estate professionals out of a need to secure the right to equal housing opportunities, regardless of race, creed or color. NAREB has a vast network of industry professionals including: Realtists®, brokers, sales agents, appraisers, mortgage brokers and loan officers as well as practical experts in pre and post counseling, loss mitigation, foreclosure, property management, housing construction, and development. For more than 60 years, NAREB has participated in meaningful legal challenges and has supported legislative initiatives that ensure the availability of fair and affordable housing for all Americans. NAREB is the oldest real estate trade association in America.

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