Local realtors change safety policy after Arkansas murder

Local realtors change safety policy after Arkansas murder (Image 1)

The murder of an Arkansas real estate agent has prompted realtors in Nashville to change some safety policies.

Beverly Carter was showing a house in Pulaski County, Arkansas, on Thursday when she disappeared.

Carter’s body was found Tuesday morning in a shallow grave.

Aaron Michael Lewis, 33, is being charged with her kidnapping and murder.

Benchmark Realty, which has locations in Nashville, Cool Springs and Murfreesboro, is now changing policy as a result of the Beverly Carter abduction.

“It hits very close to home,” said Benchmark Realty CEO Phillip Cantrell. “It’s something that, if we look back at the recesses of our memory, we all have done exactly what Beverly Carter did.”

Real estate agents sometimes put themselves in high-risk situations, like going alone to meet clients at empty homes.

Cantrell is asking his agents to take precautions, including always meeting prospects for the first time at the office and always making a photocopy of their picture ID, recording their license plate number on it, and leaving it with an administrator.

He’s also asking his agents to take separate cars to showings, if possible, and never show a home alone if they don’t already know the prospect well.

“We try to encourage our agents, and we’re trying more so now to know as much as possible about the prospect rather than just walking into a blind situation,” Cantrell said.

Benchmark put more tips on its blog: http://benchmarkrealtyblog.com/.

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