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Realtor's murder sparks state and nationwide changes | News

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Realtor's murder sparks state and nationwide changes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - One day after police found the body of a local realtor buried in a shallow grave, agents across the state, already making changes to improve safety.

The Arkansas Realtors Association just formed a safety task force. Female realtors across the country are already signing up for self-defense classes, and they are talking about concealed carry permits. Also, don't be surprised when two people show up to your next appointment and ask for your license.

"We were shocked and stunned and heartbroken," said Realtor Janet Jones.

The moment news started to spread about Beverly Carter's disappearance, realtors such as Janet Jones and Karen Crowson thought this could have happened to any one of them.

"This will change our business tremendously," said Jones.

"Beverly did nothing wrong," said Crowson. "Last week, we all would have, any one of us would have done it exactly the way she did it."

But this week, with Carter's kidnapping and murder, that all changed.

"Our whole realtor community has felt this whether they knew Beverly or not," said Crowson.

Crowson used to be president of the Arkansas Realtors Association. She is also a broker for Crye-Leike in Benton. Now she is part of organizing a safety task force through the association.

"We are going to be really working on specific things that we can put into place in Arkansas now and hopefully take it nationwide," said Crowson.

Some of the ideas they are implement are not showing a house alone, taking pictures of the license plate and drivers license of the person you are meeting and using smartphone apps.

"Things that we are going to put into place to keep us all safe," said Crowson.

Crowson says that goes for male realtors too.

Crowson adds, "This is for all of us across the board because they are just as susceptible."

"We will get past this by having more policies in place," said Jones.

And for women such as Jones, who has been in the business for nearly 40 years, the changes are long overdue.

"Sometimes something terrible happens before you realize what could happen," said Jones. "I am afraid that is what has happened here."

Chris Polychron is a realtor in Hot Springs. Next month, he will become the president of the National Association of Realtors. He will be the first from Arkansas and safety will be a top priority.

Also just last month, September, was National Realtor Safety month. The National Association continues to post safety tips and recommendations on its website, and the recently created task force will add to those by developing new policies and procedures.

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Full Coverage: Investigation continues into disappearance of realtor http://on.kthv.com/1sxIsw5