Real estate agents find protection with new app
Real estate agents, more and more open to being victims of crime, can now find an additional layer of protection thanks to their smartphone.
Yes, there is now an app for that.
According to a recent article in the New York Post, a new app called Forewarn allows real estate agents to screen potential buyers before a blind meeting. Created by data analytics company Cogint, the app is available to real estate agents who have been licensed to sell property in their respective states.
Preventing acts as a guarantee that helps agents control potential buyers. By entering the client’s phone number into the app, real estate agents can perform an instant background check, including information relating to the individual’s criminal and financial history. The app is free to download, but a monthly subscription is required to access information.
The company behind Forewarn notes that it is not a consumer information agency and should not be used as such. In its description of the App Store for Forewarn, the company writes that the service “cannot be used in whole or in part as a factor in determining an individual’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment or for any other purpose under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. “
The app is undoubtedly a welcome addition by those in the real estate industry. According to a recent poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 38% of officers surveyed said they had “experienced a situation that made them fear for their safety or the security of their personal information.” Additionally, 57% of women surveyed and 52% of men surveyed said they carried a self-defense weapon like pepper spray, tasers, or even firearms. But, as the Post article notes, some jurisdictions – including large markets like New York City – restrict or even prohibit real estate agents from using such weapons on the job.
Some real estate agents are already using security apps. The NAR survey indicates that 44% of those surveyed said they used an app to track and alert their colleagues in an emergency. And for good reason. In 2014, an Arkansas agent was kidnapped and murdered, according to the New York Post article.
Such incidents make applications like Forewar all the more important. Sara Wiskerchen, spokesperson for NAR, said the real estate community welcomes the addition of security apps such as Forewarn.
“Anything that increases safety and that members can use is beneficial,” she told the New York Post.