VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been almost two months since a local realtor was shot and killed while on the job in Portsmouth. That tragedy motivated two local men to act, to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
This is a partnership between self-defense expert Hank Hayes and real estate sales expert Bill Crespo.
They had been talking about working together, but after the tragic death of real estate agent Soren Arn-Oelschlegel back in mid-October, they knew they couldn’t wait.
Next week, the two men are hosting a workshop called “The Prepared Agent.” It’s open to any local real estate agent who wants to learn more about self-defense on the job. Hayes and Crespo say they plan to teach situational awareness and how to get out of a potentially dangerous situation, which realtors often find themselves in.
“Prevention is the best key and knowing the right things not to do and knowing the things to do and that in lines the battle plan and how we’re going to lay it out,” said Hayes.
Crespo added, “I understand it. They need to make money, they overlook certain things. They’ve got bills to pay, but we can’t sacrifice our life. Unfortunately, when every agent on average has felt unsafe one time, that one time can be very detrimental thing to themselves and their family.”
Hayes says real estate agents deal with a number of risk factors while on the job, including working alone, working with strangers, and more.
“It’s often in off-hours and now during Daylight Savings Time, most of those showings, or many of them, are going to be in the cover of darkness, right?” said Hayes. “You take the next thing, they’re often alone. This is a recipe for a big problem.”
According to the National Association of Realtors 2021 Member Safety Report, 72% of real estate agents have safety protocols in place to protect themselves while on the job. Hayes and Crespo believe that number should be 100%.
“There’s a multitude of things that people need to learn and so we want to bring a lot of this up in a short amount of time with them but I think it’s critical to the safety of this profession,” said Crespo.
You can learn more about the workshop by clicking here.