This week, I want to take the time to discuss something very serious. Jumping right in, I’d like to discuss sexual harassment.
Last week, TREB sent out an alert email to all members regarding something actively happening in both Toronto and BC. A man, contacting female real estate professionals pretending to be a prospective client, is saying (and sending) overtly sexual messages and images to them.
I wish I could put into words how disgusting this man’s actions are. It’s sad that someone believes this is acceptable behaviour. I also wish I could say that such things have never happened to me. Sadly, I can not. While my experiences haven’t been this overt, it doesn’t make them any less awful.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to discuss safety as it relates to sexual harassment and real estate. The reality is that it’s unfortunate that this is a discussion, but it’s best to discuss prevention.
For Real Estate Professionals
•Schedule showings for daytime hours
•Request info from prospective clients requesting meetings (car make, license plate, scans of driver’s license, etc.)
•Trust your gut. If something about it feels off, bring a friend or colleague with you or reschedule/cancel.
•Don’t show empty properties alone.
•If you’re in a situation where you’re uncomfortable, keep your phone handy. You can have a friend on speakerphone with you so long as the person isn’t offering real estate advice.
Like I said, it’s unfortunate that we have to have this discussion. It’s unfortunate that people choose to conduct themselves this way, and it’s unfortunate that women are so often made to feel unsafe. I wish I could say that doesn’t happen in real estate, but it can, it has, and it does occur.
Let’s work together to keep safe. Together, we can make it happen!