Local Realtors Say McKinney Murder Reinforces Job Dangers

Reading the news about a murdered real estate agent, a Tyler realtor, Betty Longacre is reminded of the dangers of her work.

"We get lackadaisical in our daily work. We let down our guard, because we get comfortable with things," said Longacre.

She says whether it's working an open house or meeting a new client, you can never be too careful.

"Especially if you are with a man that you don't know. There have been times where my first instinct was to be a little bit afraid," said Betty.

Betty says she's never be in a dangerous situation, but Sarah Walker's murder is a reminder their job does leave them vulnerable sometimes.

From 1982 to 2000, 200 real estate agents were murdered in the course of doing business. It's estimated that countless others were robbed, raped or assaulted.

Shelia Turner has only been in the real estate business for a few months. Virtually everyone of her clients is a stranger.

"You always try and get them to come to the office first and let someone in the office see them and get a copy of their drivers license and, of course, tell someone where you're going," says Turner.

That's one of the many tips real estate agents may want to keep in mind when showing a house.

Realtor Magazine also says:

Don't host an open houses alone.
Never show a property at night.
Try not to wear flashy jewelry.
Check in frequently with your office.

Some local realtors say they do follow those tips.

"There is no amount of money or commission out there that is large enough for you to sacrifice your safety," says Longacre.

They also know no amount of precautions will keep them 100% safe.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com