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For agents, it's a leap of trust

September 19, 2004|Chicago Tribune

You know how your mother always warned you about getting into cars with strangers? Real estate agents do it every day.

Or they escort them through unoccupied houses.

Or they put up open-house signs and invite them in off the streets.

Many agents shrug and say it just goes with the territory.

Statistics on crimes against realty agents tend to be contradictory, but one version from the Department of Labor says that 227 agents died at work from 1990 through 2001 and that 196 were victims of nonfatal violent crimes from 1993 through 2001.

The National Assn. of Realtors designated last week as Realtor Safety Week and held programs designed to raise security awareness among its members.

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