man harassing woman professional

Sexual Harassment in the Real Estate Industry


Many people might not think about the dangers of potential sexual harassment or assult within the real estate industry, but it does happen. In fact, real estate agents often find themselves in situations where they’re asked to do private showings and one-on-one situations with total strangers. Not to mention issues that could arise between co-workers and their superiors.

There’s also the situations that may arise when higher profile clients treat realtors with disrespect or down-right unprofessionally. As someone in the real estate business,it’s in your best interest to understand this unfortunate phenomenon.

What is Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is classified as any unwanted, nonconsesual, or unsolicited comments, gestures, facial expressions, or touching. It’s also any acts of discrimination based on sex, gender, or gender-identity. It can be a demand for a sexual favor or pressuring someone for a date. In short, sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual actions that is offensive to someone.

Real Estate Sexual Harassment Training 

California law requires that all real estate employees participate in anti sexual harassment and anti discrimination training. This includes at least two hours of education on abusive conduct, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Real estate companies must also post these training programs in their office buildings and their websites. 

Clients Can Be Victims Too

There is the potential for sexual predators to find their way into every aspect of daily life. This can include the real estate business. In California, sexual offenders are forbidden from living close to schools, playgrounds and parks, however they are still able to work as licensed professionals such as real estate agents and property managers. 

Why Sexual Harassment Cases Go Unreported

Oftentimes, real estate agencies will either ignore complaints of sexual harassment or sweep it under the rug to prevent the stigma of abuse from being attached to their business. If word gets out, a business could be ruined. The victim is often afraid to lose their job with the company, and will keep quiet in order to stay employed or not be seen as a troublemaker in their industry.

What To Do If You’re A Victim of Sexual Harassment

The first thing you should always do is to get to a place where you feel safe from any further harm. If you find yourself in a situation, don’t hesitate to call emergency authorities. Once you’re safe, report the incident to the police so you have a record that can be used to build your case.

Reporting to the proper authorities will prevent the same thing from happening to someone else in the future. Next, you’ll want to seek professional legal help from an attorney that specializes in sexual harassment case, like Jeremy Pasternak, San Franciso sexual harassment attorney.

Studies show that less than 40% of sexual harassment or abuse cases within the real estate business are reported to the proper authorities. Although reporting the incident to the company is important, this often leaves management to sweep the case under the rug. Having proper representation makes a case more credible and can seriously deter future abuse and harassment. 

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