You can find them in nearly every town. Women on billboards and signs promoting their real estate business. Advertising an integral part of the industry but for some women, it can also bring unwanted attention. Fifty-four year old Willie Stevenson was arrested and charged in Lowndes County for making lewd phone calls to female agents. WCBI spoke to agents who’ve been harassed. They choose to remain anonymous.
“He would call and tell them that he had a camera in the bathroom that he would video. He would send pictures of body parts. He would make threats. He would tell them that he was watching them and that he could see what they were doing,” says one Columbus Realtor.
A Starkville real estate agent says the man who called her repeatedly seemed to know what she was doing and where she lived.
“That made me nervous because it made me feel like it was someone that I knew or someone close by because the incident never happened until my husband would leave home.”
Lois Laird, Executive Officer for the Golden Triangle Association of Realtors, says real estate agents have to market themselves. However, the association educates agents of the possible dangers.
“We have a lot of safety courses and tips on the state, local and national level to try to educate them about the potential risk out there and help mitigate those risks. However, this kind of thing this unwarranted phone calling from unknown perpetrators is almost impossible to prevent,” says Laird.
The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department believes Stevenson targeted at least three real estate agents in the area. Stevenson is currently being held on a $10,000 bond.