September is National Realtor Safety Month. The National Association of Realtors dedicated the month to ongoing safety measures in 2015, after an agent was murdered in Arkansas. So the timing is perfect for a new safety measure developed by a local real estate agent.
Daniel Island resident Helen Hudson has been a Realtor in Charleston since 2017. Three years ago as an agent with Charleston’s Realty ONE Group, Hudson experienced a terrifying event. While she was showing a property a truck drove into the yard and two strangers ran out and jumped onto the porch. The scary situation inspired Hudson to become a passionate advocate for safety.
Hudson realized many real estate professionals fear for their safety when they enter a property with a stranger. Hudson felt the real estate industry lacked a strategic deterrent and after a lot of research she created SafeShowings, a mobile safety app. Hudson is the CEO of FaceSnap, the parent company of SafeShowings.
The app works by capturing a secure image of the client’s face before a showing. If the real estate professional doesn’t press the end showing button, all emergency contacts will be notified with an exact location and time. In worst case scenarios there is a clear image of the perpetrator’s face. Hudson says the app provides a proactive safety deterrent and a way to deter criminal behavior and save lives.
“For less than the cost of one cup of coffee a month, (real estate agents) can feel more confident knowing SafeShowings adds a layer of personal safety while meeting with a prospect alone. Most people would tell their children not to open the door to strangers?
Then, as a (real estate agent), why would you walk through a house with one?”
Currently there are 130,000 agents with access to SafeShowings. An additional 800,000 real estate professionals will have access by October.
Daniel Island resident Jeanette Jones saw Hudson’s Facebook posts promoting the SafeShowings app. Currently she’s a client care specialist for Infinity Realty and is in the process of getting her real estate license.
Jones was intrigued by the safety features offered through the app.
“The SafeShowings app is very easy to set-up and use — took me only a few minutes,” said Jones. “With each showing, your emergency contacts are notified of your location if you don’t respond within a set time.”
Although the app was created for real estate agents, it will soon be adapted for other businesses.
“The mission of FaceSnap is to provide mobile apps focused on the safety of people in one-on-one situations with people they don’t know. The FaceSnap develops mobile applications that empower users to take control of their safety with several proactive features that let the criminal know they will be caught. The FaceSnap is working on developing additional mobile apps that are specific to other markets,” Hudson stated.
SafeShowings is available at the Apple Store and Google Play. For more information go to safeshowings.com or see the app in action at youtu.be/kp4ZwvyivK4.