A Surrey realtor is raising concerns about how open houses are conducted in the booming Lower Mainland real estate market after another female realtor was sexually assaulted during an open house in Surrey last month.
In a blog post written this weekend, realtor Bettina Reid with HomeLife Benchmark Realty Cloverdale talks about her practice of only allowing one group of people through at a time, which is increasingly difficult to maintain in a market where some open houses could see up to a hundred people walk through the property in a span of just a few hours.
“I don’t think it is very safe, never have, nor is it manageable as a realtor,” Reid told Global News.
“We feel it is important not only for our own safety but the safety of our clients’ home to only allow a few people in at any given time.”
Reid also talks about the importance of running open houses with a minimum of two agents, but ideally as many as four, including a greeter.
The concerns come in light of the sexual assault that took place during an open house in Surrey on the afternoon of April 30.
Police say a female realtor was attacked in broad daylight, but fought off the suspect, described as an unknown South Asian male, who then fled the scene. The victim did not suffer any injuries.
READ MORE: Composite sketch in alleged sexual assault of Surrey realtor
Reid says she was left upset and concerned for her team after hearing about the assault.
She says in the most recent concerning incident last weekend, three groups of two people pretended to be one family to get into the home she was showing, but immediately dispersed upon entering the home, disregarding their practices.
When Reid raised her concerns about the breach of the open house protocol, she says she was laughed at.
“They proceeded to tell me that they were angry and frustrated with me because they have never seen an open house run this way and didn’t like waiting,” says Reid.
Reid says all she is asking potential clients to do is respect how she and her team runs open houses. She says she realizes that other realtors may not know any better or simply don’t have the resources or a dedicated team to conduct open houses in a safe manner, but wants her colleagues, especially those new to the business, to know that they have a right to refuse entry and ask for their safety to be respected.
“We are going to respect you by giving you a private tour and opportunity to ask questions,” says Reid. “We ask that you respect us and our safety and the safety of our clients by being patient.”