Tracy Macrum demonstrating an elbow strike from behind on Lee Cuellar. Courtesy photo

With Realtor Safety Month right around the corner in September, a longtime South Pasadena resident recently conducted a self-defense seminar for real estate agents that spotlighted a system used by Israeli Defense Forces.

Known as Krav Maga, it’s a system that uses simple techniques and movements not based on strength or expertise, according to Tracy Macrum, the real estate agent with Keller Williams who conducted the self-defense seminar.

“Krav Maga is a do-what-works martial arts, and takes an attacker by surprise,” Macrum said. “The key for women is to deliver a counter attack fast and hard. Also, by ‘listening to your intuition’ you will avoid the physical attack if you can recognize the danger in advance.”

Macrum said she’s been studying self-defense techniques for the past 20 years. She also participates in the South Pasadena Police Department’s teen self-defense course. 

Moreover, the need for real estate agents and realtors to have knowledge of self-defense techniques has grown over the years. In fact, according to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2017 Member Safety Report, 38 percent of the real estate agents polled experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety or safety of their personal information.

“Realtor safety is something that we take very seriously at Keller Williams and it’s just great to have an agent like Tracy with a background in self-defense and the martial arts to help us to help our fellow agents protect themselves,” said Lee Cuellar, a real estate agent that co-conducted the training seminar.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2016, nationwide, there were 91 fatalities in the real estate, rental and leasing industry.

Of the agents polled in the NAR report, 56 percent choose to carry some sort of self-defense weapon. Most common are pepper spray and firearms.

“If you fear of an attack, get out of there, call somebody or use a safety app on your phone,” Macrum said.

Your options to protect yourself if you are attacked are using your built-in weapons (fist, fingers, elbow, knee or foot) on his vulnerable areas (eyes, throat, groin, and knees) or using non-lethal weapons (pepper spray, taser, stun gun, baton and a noise making device). 

“Personally, I always have my pepper spray on me when doing an open house,” Macrum said. “And I feel pretty comfortable using my built-in weapons, thanks to my training in Krav Maga.”

MaryAnne Locher, a former South Pasadena resident and seminar attendee, agreed.

“In today’s world of social media marketing, realtors face the challenges of having a public online presence and, at the same time, staying safe,” Locher said. “Tracy’s hands-on Realtor Safety Seminar not only taught us the basic self-defense moves to get us out of a compromising situation, but also gave us the confidence to use the techniques if necessary.”

Safety tips for realtors:

-Vet your clients before showing them homes, have them meet you in your office first, or at the very least have them send a copy of their driver’s license and do an internet search of their name

-Bring a coworker along

-Don’t wear expensive jewelry in your photos or at your open house

-Don’t give out your home address

-Always trust your intuition

Tracy Macrum contributed to this report

Steve Whitmore
Author

Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.

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