News

Warning issued to female realtors, real estate agents about sex offender

Realcomp said the man interacted with at least 14 woman
Posted at 7:00 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-24 07:56:47-05

(WXYZ) — A warning has been issued to female real estate agents about a man who could be a threat.

Realtor Amy Stack with Thrive Realty Company said by and large, most interactions with potential buyers and sellers are nothing out of the ordinary. However three weeks ago, she said she had a strange interaction with a man who found her information online.

“Unfortunately, it comes with the territory of being a female agent," Stack said.

She said she had back-to-back missed phone calls from the man who claimed he wanted to sell a warehouse he owns with his mom in Detroit.

“First thing he remarked on was that he found me online, saw my picture and that he knew that I could get the job done," Stack recalled.

When she returned the call, Stack said red flags popped up one after another.

“He had said he wanted to take me shopping and to church," she said. “I knew at that point that like I just need to get this guy off the phone and say whatever he wanted to hear, so I could then block his number."

She said she ran a background check on the guy by using an app called Forewarn. She said she uses it routinely.

“He had a lot of scary charges that are brought up," Stack said.

The man is a registered sex offender with the first offense in 2003.

Realtor Rachel Blue with Elite Realty said her conversation with the man also started on the phone. She received the call in August.

"He asked if I wanted to come look at the building. I said, 'Sure that’s fine.' And then he said, ‘Are you going to bring anyone?’ That was my red flag," she recalled.

"And I said, ‘Yes, I’m going to bring my photographer to take some pictures.' (He replied,) 'You don’t need to because I already have pictures,'" Blue continued.

She said he told her make sure to wear designer boots. The times he came to the office, she wasn’t there. However, he left voicemails that 7 Action News listened to. In one of them, he was irritated she hadn’t return his call.

Blue said she looked extensively and couldn’t find the property the man claimed to own.

Recently, an organization called Realcomp put out this internal bulletin for realtors, as well as the Greater Metropolitan Realtors Association, to beware of a sex offender behaving strangely toward female realtors.

"And I was like, 'Oh, this is the guy,'" Stack recalled her reaction.

Blue recalled, "It was really shocking.”

"It's kind of sad that someone does this to 14 people and there's no consequences," Stack said.

Blue said, "Personally, it wasn't like a law enforcement issue for me. It was kind of like an awareness."

She said she carries concealed and that agents are encouraged to take a self-defense course.

Blue said, "I have an app on my phone where my family knows where I'm going. Every time I go to showings, I send my location out (saying), 'Hey, this is where I'm going.' If I worry about it, I try and take somebody with me. Even with females... it doesn't matter, male (or) female, you need to take the same precautions."

Nathan Boji, president of the Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors said, "We're really adamant about educating on safety and good industry practices."

He said September is Realtor Safety Month. Boji said GMAR conducted classes for its 11,000 members on topics like situational awareness and self-defense tactics.

Also, strategies like parking on the street instead of the driveway, not letting someone get between you and the doorway were discussed, letting others know if you have showings, and taking someone with you.

"We do take it pretty seriously. We do talk about it throughout the year," Boji said.