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Security remains a top concern for American, Realtors

Trust but verify with American Realtors

Trish Baehr Schaefer of American Realtors emphasizes safe showing of properties for the security of agents, buyers and sellers using criteria established by American Realtors. While acknowledging the potential of unsafe transactions, Baehr Schaefer’s local American Realtors offices also offer solutions with an optional surveilled sale feature and bonded, background-checked Realtors.


Posted:Monday, January 12, 2015 2:30 pm

By Chris Mertes | Managing Editor, The Star


You might think that using the old Ronald Reagan statement "Trust But Verify” is an effort to pander to right-leaning customers . . . until you look at the numbers.


"One Realtor or real estate professional is killed on the job every 4.8 days,” remarked Trish Baehr Schaefer, broker/owner at American Realtors, which is located at 3392 Brooks Drive (the business also has a Madison office).


"Conversely, the same statistics say there are two police officers killed during the same time frame. But they go into it . . . with back-up, and weaponry and training.”


"The past few years have been the most violent I have seen in my 25 years as a Realtor. We’ve seen an increase in attacks, robberies, murders and rapes committed against Realtors--as well as home buyers and sellers,” she added.


"The basic elements of selling a home make us easy prey for criminals, and they know it,” Baehr Schaefer said.


She now carries a stun gun flashlight with her everywhere she goes -- not only because of squatters, but also because of criminals.


She does Safe Showing classes for real estate agents to try to teach real estate agents how to show properties safely.


"So when we rolled out of our franchise agreement with Prudential last month after 10 years, my husband Pat and I, before we were Prudential, we were American Realtors,” she said, adding that it made sense to go back to American and return to independence -- and security.

"All of our Realtors are background checked,” she said. American gets updates from the department that grants real estate licenses.


"In some states, you could never be a Realtor if you are a felon, but in Wisconsin, you could,” she said. "And now, they actually have a cool off of three years after you serve your sentence.”


To combat the unsecure nature and help the buyer, seller and agent feel more secure, American works as an optional feature with ADT to do what are called surveilled showings, where the showings are videotaped and the video is saved in the event there is any illegal activity occurring in the home.


"You can watch that showing happen on your phone,” she said, adding there is no audio of the showing.


Criminals are also focusing on new listings because many homeowners don’t know who might be showing the house, or even the procedure associated with the showing process.


"Our team of bonded, background checked Realtors also offer Surveilled Showings Technology, and a free Security Assessment of your home providing additional protection and peace of mind for you and your family during the showing and sale process,” Baehr Schaefer said.


"We are also the only real estate company of the Big 10 here in Dane County to be [ranked] A+ by the Better Business Bureau,” Baehr Schaefer said.


Veterans are also welcome at American Realtors, with a 25 percent discount to any military veteran including the Guard and Reserve.


"On an average priced house . . . that’s going to result in about $2,000 cash back to a military family . . . on the sale and the purchase,” she said.


A Daughter of the American Revolution, Baehr Schaefer’s ninth great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. That also made it an easy connection for American Realtors office to help the Wounded Warrior Project by donating a portion of every sale to WWP.


For additional information about American Realtors properties or services, call (608) 834-2600, toll-free at (800) 728-9737 or e-mailinfo@AmericanMadison.comor online

American Realtors

Address:3392 Brooks Drive

Phone:(608) 834-2600

Fax:(608) 834-2620

Hours:9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; surveilled safe showings by request