By Connie Adair
Your mother probably told you never to talk to strangers, that you should always walk with a buddy and not to let people you don’t know into the house. Yet real estate agents ignore those warnings every day. How do you protect yourself?
CheckMate Professional is an app that was designed to address these potentially hazardous situations, and more, with the push of a button. The personal safety app sends an emergency alarm with GPS co-ordinates to professionally trained personnel at the company’s emergency monitoring centre.
The system, which works with iPhones and Androids, has a depress-and-release button that is ideal when walking to a car in a dark and secluded area, the company says. The user depresses and holds the emergency button, and if something happens, the button is released and the emergency monitoring centre is alerted. Current GPS co-ordinates are updated every minute until the alarm is cancelled.
The system also offers safety checks. Preset and timed alarms that go unanswered result in an emergency signal being sent to the emergency monitoring centre.
A Man Down alarm activates if the smartphone assumes a horizontal position, for example, if the person carrying it falls to the floor.
The emergency response centre connects to trained operators. Guards respond to any GPS co-ordinates within their area of response. Outside the response area, contacts provided by the agent are notified, the company says.
The system also lets associations send out notifications to real estate agents who have the app. These notifications are ideal for state of emergency-type situations, such as where an agent has been assaulted and other real estate agents may be at risk.
“Our apps will work wherever you have cellular service and we will respond to alarms from anywhere in the world,” says Rial Black, vice president product development, ProTELEC Ltd.
The idea of CheckMate came in 2002 from a customer’s request to ensure the safety of a janitor who worked alone. The customer was concerned that something could happen to the janitor and no one would know until many hours or possibly days later. “We looked for a solution using our alarm system,” Black says.
Now “we have developed four mobile safety apps, one of which (ProTELEC Checkmate Professional), was developed specifically with Realtors and other like professionals,” Black says.
The company has been in the safety and security business since 1968, says Jeff Black, vice president business development.
CheckMate was released in the first quarter of 2016 and response has been good. “We have had a number of Realtors sign up and in April 2016 we were pleased to launch with the Winnipeg real estate board,” Rial says.
The cost is $5.99 per Realtor per month and there are volume discounts for associations and large offices.