Tuesday, March 25, 2008

B.C. board brings in alert system for Realtors

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board is set to unveil a safety system that allows agents to warn one another and police about suspicious clients almost instantly, after being hampered by nearly three years of technical setbacks.

The announcement, scheduled for tomorrow, comes after Lindsay Buziak, a 24-year-old Victoria real estate agent, was found stabbed to death last month inside an empty house she was showing. Ms. Buziak received two suspicious phone calls in the early evening of Feb. 2, and reportedly told colleagues she was nervous about the meeting in Saanich. No arrests have been made.

The key component of the Realty Watch program, which has been in place at real estate boards across much of the Lower Mainland since 2006 and in a few communities outside of B.C., allows instant messages to be sent out through agents' cellphones and BlackBerrys, said real estate board spokesman Drew Harris.

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