British Columbia

Female Realtors warned of suspicious potential buyer in Vancouver area

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is warning members about a man who repeatedly insists on meeting with female Realtors alone and becomes angry if they're not.

Man asks for one-on-one meeting, then becomes angry if Realtor is not alone at open house

The Real Estate Board of Vancouver said Realtors concerned about their safety should bring someone with them if they plan to have an open house or a meeting with a potential buyer (Christer Waara/CBC)

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is warning members about a man who repeatedly insists on meeting with female Realtors alone and becomes angry if they're not.

Over the past two weeks, the man has been contacting women to say he's interested in viewing properties close to SkyTrain stations in Burnaby, Coquitlam or New Westminster, the board said in an email to its members.

In asking for a showing, he will insist the real estate agent arrives alone.

The man is "sophisticated" in the way he communicates and specifically tries to co-ordinate one-on-one meetings with women, said REGBV president Ashley Smith.  

"We've heard of situations where someone has shown up with a partner or a friend and he's gotten frustrated and left," Smith said. 

"Apparently he's also showed up to open houses and has lingered and kind of outstayed his welcome."

He is described as soft-spoken and around 30 years of age.

He goes by the names Sean Z. or Lee Chang, the board said.

'We are taking these reports seriously'

The VPD says it considers the man's behaviour suspicious and is aware of two incidents, on April 12 and 21. 

"Although our officers have not located evidence of a criminal offence, we are taking these reports seriously and have assigned a detective to look into the Vancouver incidents," the VPD said in an email to CBC News.

Smith said police in New Westminster, Coquitlam and Delta are looking into these incidents as well. She said the board has also received reports of the same behaviour happening in Richmond. 

Smith is urging Realtors to be vigilant in showing properties and to prioritize their safety.

Realtors who plan to show a home should let someone know where they are going, she said. If they are planning to meet someone for the first time, they can do it in a public space, she suggests, or bring someone along to an open house. 

"It is scary. Myself as a female, it's a heavy reminder. We do hear of things like this that come up from time to time and it is good practice, of course, to ensure that you're safe with anything you're doing," Smith said. 

"But it is scary. At the end of the day, we're just trying to do our job."

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