• Welcome to AppraisersForum.com, the premier online  community for the discussion of real estate appraisal. Register a free account to be able to post and unlock additional forums and features.

Women's Safety

Status
Not open for further replies.

Kelly S

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
As a female trainee appraiser, I wanted to get some feedback regarding safety. I have been in some less-than-ideal situations where a homeowner or RE agent has hit on me and while their lack of professionalism ticks me off, I know it could be a lot worse.

While shooting comps recently, a man came storming out of his condo and stood in front of my car screaming and yelling about "why was I spying on him", "do you work for the laywers" etc. I tried to explain that I was an appraiser and finally zoomed off when he moved to get closer to my car door. Needless to say, I was pretty shaken up. My concerned boyfriend made up cards for me to hand out to anyone that asks that basically say that I am an appraiser taking photos of comparable sales, etc and it has the California OREA website and phone number if they want more information.

I'm in the greater Los Angeles area, and my boss has said that she's not going to send me to certain areas anymore, which is fine by me. But I know that the way things are today, wackos can turn up anywhere - even in the "safe" parts of town.

I carry pepper spray in my car and always bring my cell phone in my pocket when doing inspections. I also wear running shoes and comfortable clothes. I have taken a basic self-defense class and although I don't run fast, I can run for a long time (recently finished my first marathon!)

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated, especially from other female appraisers who may have gone through similar situations.

Thanks!
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
Kelly,
I do not remember where I saw it, but the National Assoc. of Realtors are coming out with a Realtor safety call back service. Maybe you can check out their site, or Franky G. will remember the link. But basically, it will work like "On Star" where you call in to let them know you are out of the office, when they need to call you back, and if you don't check in..... they track you by GPS. Now I know holding a phone out and yelling STOP is not going to hold off any nut case, but this sounds like a really cool system.

As for another idea, consider getting some magnetic signs to go on the side of your car with your company name, logo and company (NOT your personal) phone number.
 

Travis McGee

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
I am a female appraiser that has been appraising for 10 years with few problems- only a couple of times that I did not get out of the car due to what looked like to me were drug dealers hanging around near a home- and then I don't think I would have gotten out of the car if I were a man!

Besides using due caution and instincts, if going on inspections makes you so nervous, are you sure this is the field for you? I am not asking to be rude- just noting that it takes a certain "toughness" to be an appraiser- I am five foot two so I don't necessarily mean physical toughness-more of the way you handle yourself-that is something you may develop as you go on in the field-the only time I feel uncomfortable is the occasional vacant house-I do have a mixed shepard breed dog I sometimes bring on those inspections.

P.S. Did have two uncomfortable incidents early in career- on two separate occaisons, upset people who thought I was taking their picture instead of the house, followed me in their cars, and cut me off to confront me- I stayed very calm and polite- in those instances, I felt it was an advantage of being a woman, as people can get even more confrontational with men. The men also have other problems we don't have- I have two male registered appraisers- they have been asked to leave subdivisions, because nervous home owners thought they were casing the neighborhood by driving around! Go figure.
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
they have been asked to leave subdivisions, because nervous home owners thought they were casing the neighborhood by driving around! Go figure.

I have a good friend that is a private investigator for insurance fraud. He gets many of the same "whadda doing taking pictures :twisted: " questions. Just flips his badge and says, Public Road... I can picnic here if I want. B)

As for me, all the sheriff deputies know my car description by now. :D
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Kelly....

It is really pretty safe but you still need to be cautious. I put car signs on my car 10 years ago and have never regreted it, in fact, they have produced business for me.

Do carry a cell phone, always tell someone where you are going, and, if necessary, have someone go with you if you are frightened. Several of the ladies on the forum pack heat. I don't choose to do that any more but then I am not as good lookin as Pamela or Dee Dee :rofl:
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
If you can, carry a gun. People are running on a much shorter fuse nowdays. I've seen people get shot at simply for driving too slow. I have a female trainee, and I don't send her to do anything where she's getting out of her car by herself.

Roger
 

Terrel L. Shields

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 2, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
Several of the ladies on the forum pack heat. I don't choose to do that any more but then I am not as good lookin as Pamela or Dee Dee
Me neither, i so ugly the mice jump on chairs when I come into the room.....I carry a gun but only carry 1 bullet. If it looks like I am about to be beaten to death, I'll just use it on myself! Avoid all that pain.

Seriously, my RA was stopped two days ago by a homeowner next door to the property she was photoing because he was going thru a divorce and thought his ex had hired a detective to check him out.
 

Ramona

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Maryland
Some good advice here, as always, although I would caution you not to carry a gun without first taking a gun safety and training course, so that you actually know how to use it. Trained police officers have a hard time drawing, firing and hitting their target when under extreme pressure, you could hurt yourself, or a bystander, or just have your gun taken away and used on you if you have no training. I grew up in a home filled with guns, learned gun safety from my father (a hunter and collector), and had considerable target practice. I'm a good shot, and careful, but I don't carry a gun on assignments. I carry a straight razor. Perfectly flat, fits in a pocket, easy to get to and pull, and one flip of your wrist and it is open and pointing the right way. I have not pulled it to date, but it is comforting to me to have it with me. Advice from my father when he trained me to use it, "A knife is really all point, and a sticking tool. A razor is all blade, and can be used with your hand in nearly any position, as well as being intimidating. People will back away from you with a razor in your hand, because it can cut to the bone with very little pressure on your part". They are a bit expensive in knife shops, but many antique stores carry them more cheaply.

The sign on the car door is a good idea if you are nervous about taking comp pics. If I am approached by an owner, I smile, say hi and give a wave, then set the brake, get out with a business card and my clip board with their listing on top. Introduce yourself, give the card (you never know when it will result in more business down the road), show the listing, and confirm info about the property and the sale. Saves a call tracking down a realtor to confirm, and puts the owner at ease. I do that even in bad neighborhoods, and have gotten good info from the owner, and other neighbors hanging out about rental properties, investor rehabs (the neighbors seem to know how much rehab was actually done, compared to a listing gushing about a full renovation), etc.

The most afraid I have ever been, was in a $800K gated community. Taking comp pics, a guy trimming a hedge stealths up to my car window and starts haranging me for being a witch and Satan-worshiper, and tells me I'm going to burn in hell, etc. Appears that long red hair is a sign of a witch in his cult, ahem, religion. Really freaked me out. "Uh, I'm not a witch, I'm a real estate appraiser".
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Never, repeat never harrass a red headed women with a straight razor. :rofl:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Find a Real Estate Appraiser - Enter Zip Code

Copyright © 2000-, AppraisersForum.com, All Rights Reserved
AppraisersForum.com is proudly hosted by the folks at
AppraiserSites.com
Top

AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks