By the time Todd Kohlhepp stood behind bars for alleged kidnapping, he had served real estate clients as a registered sex offender and convicted felon for over a decade.

With the body count linked to the 45-year-old agent now up to seven (including a 2003 quadruple murder at a motorcycle shop) after a woman was found being held captive in a metal container on his property, the Spartansburg County, South Carolina, resident’s name has been all over national headlines.

That’s not long after his online reputation was — on the surface — made up of shining Zillow reviews and nearly two dozen recommendations on realtor.com.

Misleading online reputation

Although at least one real estate professional had a bad feeling about Kohlhepp and reported speaking out about him over a year ago, he seems to have presented himself as a competent agent both in real life and online.

Kohlhepp had a shining profile on Zillow.com (now deleted) featuring an overall five-star rating and eight positive reviews.

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Agents may be the victims as well.

The Beverly Carter case is an example that Agents would be wise to make sure their clients have been vetted. In an industry where Agents are driven by commissions and type A personalities, it is wise to keep safety as a top priority.

In September I wrote about why I work mostly by referral. TAKE A LOOK.

Safety is key for Agents and clients alike.

It is definitely better to err on the side of caution and immediately report anything strange or risky that you encounter, be it verbal, online or in person. Think safety first instead of taking the wait-and-see approach when it comes to reporting threats to your local law enforcement. The more others know, the better.

Thinking of making a move? Keep us in mind For all your Real Estate Decisions...think RED! AskForRed.com