Lock boxes can be a realtor’s best friend, but even the best friends can still let you down when you really need them.
Traditional lock boxes remain the standard for the real estate industry, and they have proven themselves to be a relatively reliable means of securing the keys to a property. But the inability to change a lock box’s combination code creates opportunities for unauthorized and anonymous code sharing.
If those combination codes find their way into the wrong hands, the agent in charge of that lock box could be facing substantial fines, as in Ontario, and a seriously tarnished reputation among both his colleagues and potential clients.
A solution could be found in Bluetooth lock boxes, which provide agents the opportunity to not only change the combination codes at their discretion, but to track a lock box’s access history, which allows a realtor to see who has accessed the lock box and when.
Christian Enache, who sells for Right At Home in Burlington, is a big fan of the new technology.
“What’s great about them is that the smartphone is your key,” he says, adding that clients tend to respond positively whenever they see an agent leveraging leading-edge tech to serve them. “It’s important to show clients that you’re utilizing the latest technology and keeping up with trends.”
Bluetooth lock boxes cost a little more than their traditional counterparts, but the increased security would be well worth the extra $100 or so an agent might spend on Amazon. (Master Lock, for example, has a pair of options on the site for under $150. Both are operated using a free app.)
According to Master Lock’s Brad Smith, brokerages can also connect their lock boxes as part of a network in which they can grant agents access to as many boxes as needed.
“Additionally,” he says, “system administrators can grant or revoke access to authorized affiliates, such as inspectors, appraisers and contractors.”
REP is sold on the technology. If you’re going to be staring at your phone all day anyway, why not use it to secure your clients’ peace of mind?