Family of Slain Realtor Launches New Foundation Aimed at Safety, Training
More than two years after the loss of his mother, Beverly Carter's son is launching a foundation that aims to improve safety for real estate agents, who often work alone. The president of the Arkansas Realtors Association, which assisted immediately after Carter’s death, gave the new foundation his full support.
Real estate agent Beverly Carter was just doing her job when she became the victim of a horrific crime.
Now her son is working to ensure that a similar incident doesn’t ever happen again. Carl Carter Jr. recently announced the launch of the Beverly Carter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hopes to ensure safety for real estate agents around the country. The initiative extends upon the work that Carter and his family have already done with the Arkansas Realtors Association (ARA) and other groups, including speaking at real estate conferences.
“As I tell the story about what happened to my mom, so many people in the audience, you just see their eyes open, and they’re like, ‘that would’ve been me,’” he recalled at an event covered by THV11.
Beverly Carter went missing in September 2014 after showing a property to a prospective buyer in a rural town, and was later found dead.
Arron Lewis, the man who viewed the property and the primary suspect in Carter’s disappearance, was soon arrested. Last January, he was found guilty of capital murder and kidnapping charges in the case, and is serving a life sentence. His estranged wife, Crystal Lowery, also pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping charges related to the incident, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in July 2015.
Carter’s death provoked an outcry in the real estate world. ARA and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) were quick to respond after the incident, with the groups collaborating on a safety toolkit for Realtors.
Pushing for Fundamental Change
The foundation is an attempt by the Carter family to turn the tragedy into something positive and promote ongoing change. Inman News reports that Carl Jr., his wife, Kim, and his brother Chad all received their real estate licenses in recent months to get a better understanding of the industry.
Carl won’t be a full-time real estate agent, keeping his career in health insurance, but is helping to launch the foundation in an attempt to encourage broader action on safety issues in the real estate industry, including instructor-led training, victim advocacy, and legislative work.
“The whole mission is to provide resources at every level (at no cost) to do my part in making sure that what happened to my mom never happens again,” Carl told Inman News.
While ARA won’t directly be involved in the new foundation, ARA President Maurice Taylor noted the success of the previous collaborations and offered Carl words of encouragement.
“Carl is a champion,” Taylor said, according to KTHV. “And what he’s doing to keep safety at the forefront, the Beverly Carter Foundation that him and his family started has some initiatives in it that are just going to help keep safety at the forefront, raise money, and have other safety initiatives, and I just think what he’s doing is just top-shelf, and we’re going to support Carl 100 percent.”
Beverly Carter, the late real estate agent for whom the foundation is named. (Handout photo)