Ian Mackay, president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, said realtors should be on the alert after a realtor from Duncan and more than two dozen on the mainland reported being sexually harassed by phone and text. (File photo)

Ian Mackay, president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, said realtors should be on the alert after a realtor from Duncan and more than two dozen on the mainland reported being sexually harassed by phone and text. (File photo)

Vancouver Island realtor sexually harassed on phone, texts

Island woman among dozens of realtors in B.C. being targeted by similar behaviour

A realtor in Duncan is one of more than two dozen realtors in B.C. who are being victimized with texts and phone calls that are sexual in nature.

All the realtors are women, with most living in the Lower Mainland.

The Duncan realtor is remaining anonymous for safety reasons, but Vancouver Island Real Estate Board president Ian Mackay said she informed the board and the RCMP of the ongoing harassment last week.

Mackay said that, in his experience, this type of harassment is “quite unusual”, but in the age of instant and easy communications, it’s not just members of the real estate industry that are experiencing such abuse.

RELATED STORY: MAN ACCUSED OF CYBERBULLYING LATE AMANDA TODD WILL SOON FACE CHARGES

“It’s easy for any nut to get on a phone or some other device and reach out to whoever they want,” he said.“But it tends to be easier to connect realtors as they publish all of their contact information as part of their careers.

“We have had no other reports like this from any other realtor on Vancouver Island up to this point, but if any realtors find they are being similarly harassed, they should immediately get in touch with the police and, hopefully, they will find out who is responsible.”

Mackay said it’s disconcerting that the harassment of the realtors is occurring so close to the anniversary of the death of 24-year-old realtor Lindsay Buziak, who was stabbed and killed on Feb. 2, 2008, while showing an empty home in Saanich. The case has not yet been solved.

RELATED STORY: NEW TECHNOLOGY ALLOWING POLICETO FOLLOW LEADS IN BUSIAK MURDER

“Like all things, time erodes memory and many realtors have let their guards down since then,” Mackay said.

“We remind realtors that they should always be hyper vigilant and don’t ever put themselves at risk.”

Mackay said VIREB and other realtor agencies have protocols for realtors to protect themselves, which includes a list of “best practices” that encourages them to record who they are seeing during an appointment, when and where they are meeting, and when they plan to return.

He said realtors also have access to an alert system on an app that can just be touched when the realtor find themselves in uncomfortable or threatening situations, and help will be quickly on the way.

Mackay said there is also a “chivalry program” where male realtors will escort female realtors on a house showing if they feel uncomfortable.

“The security of our realtors is in the forefront of our minds,” Mackay said. “We encourage them to never put themselves in any kind of danger.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

crime

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read