PEI

Course offered to help women in real estate better protect themselves

A course for women in real estate to learn ways to better protect themselves will be offered later this month on Prince Edward Island.

Program aims to provide women practical skills to navigate difficult situations

Carol O'Hanley organized a course in 2015 to help female realtors protect themselves after a troubling encounter during an open house. (Mitch Cormier CBC)

A course for women in real estate to learn ways to better protect themselves will be offered later this month on Prince Edward Island.

The course's aim is to provide women practical skills to navigate difficult situations, said Carol O'Hanley of Exit Realty P.E.I.

"The way that I'm viewing this is that there's not maybe a need for it but we're trying to be proactive instead of reactive," she said. 

While O'Hanley said she isn't aware of any instance where a female realtor has been physically harmed on the job and wants to keep it that way.

The inspiration to put on the course has come from personal experience, she said.

Shortly after O'Hanley became a realtor, she said she was alone at an open house. A man who had been drinking dropped by with no intention of buying a home.

She left the situation unscathed, but never forgot it.

Handling precarious situations

There are circumstances realtors may find themselves in, O'Hanley said, that can quickly become precarious. She's hoping to equip women with tools to handle them.

"It could be somewhere in the country that is maybe at the end of a long driveway where there's a little isolation," she said.

"If you are there by yourself you don't really have any control of who is coming into the home or whether you are alone with a person in the house," she said. 

The course was first offered in 2015. But there was such positive feedback that O'Hanley wanted to offer it again. 

"They teach us how to be aware of our surroundings, how to read the body language of the other person," she said

O'Hanley said if the course isn't filled, the plan is to open the event to the general public. There are 10 spots left in the class, she said. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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