The traditional mechanical lockbox has long been making property showings easier and more convenient for real estate agents by eliminating the need for the seller to be home or available for key collection and drop offs. However, this system has become outdated as security concerns have come to light over unauthorized use of the code, codes not being reset, rust or deterioration making the lockbox difficult to open, and no real way to track who has access.
With technology being integrated into almost every part of the real estate and home buying process, it seemed like a natural step for Master Lock to use technology to meet both industry and client expectations.
Master Lock Vault® Enterprise technology encompasses Bluetooth-enabled lockboxes and integration with the Showing Time™ mobile app, bring all parts of the showing process together in “one app, one tap.” Agents can retrieve all the details on the showing appointment, as well as open the lockbox with the app in a seamless manner, and without breaking their stride.
“When a showing agent shows up to a property with a prospective homebuyer or renter, it’s a sales call,” said Barron Robertson, Product Manager at Master Lock. “The goal is to continue the selling process and fumbling with a faulty lockbox can chip away at a good first impression.”
The lockboxes and app were designed with efficiency and security in mind, he added. Having a system where everything is in one place simplifies the process and saves time, which has proven to translate into more showings and faster sales.
These Bluetooth-enabled lockboxes also arm the agent with an added confidence surrounding the safety and security of their clients’ homes. The Real Estate Council of Ontario says agents should follow similar guidelines to those set out by U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, which recommends changing temporary access codes every 72 hours. This is a difficult task when using traditional lockboxes, but using the Master Lock system, temporary codes automatically change every 4 hours. The system relies primarily on Bluetooth credentials specific to each agent, which also allows the listing agent to track in precise detail who is coming in and out of the property, how long one person stays at the property, as well as who has approval to enter the property at any point in time.
“It’s a secure system that makes it easy for agents to adhere to best practices when it comes to the security of their clients’ homes,” said Robertson.
This new system is also making showings in rural markets much easier. The system was designed to be able to work outside of cell coverage, so you can still access a property without having to rely on a real-time connection. Because of this, the system is not only being embraced in urban and suburban neighbourhoods but in rural regions as well.
“For larger geographic areas where there’s a lot of time and space between showings, the ability for a listing agent to share credentials with somebody who could be an hour away, really starts to pay off in time efficiency,” he said.
Similar technology has typically been offered with long term contracts or hefty monthly fees, but Robertson added that Master Lock wanted the system to not only be flexible in its capabilities, but also in its price and accessibility, so it can be adapted to the needs of any individual, group or company. As Master Lock approaches 100 years in the industry, introducing this technology is just another step in providing dependable solutions to aid in home protection and safety.
The Master Lock Vault Enterprise technology covers all the bases. It benefits the homeowner by providing an added layer of security, it’s convenient and provides an unprecedented amount of data to the listing agent, and the showing agent benefits from a seamless process, leaving potential buyers or renters with a positive first impression.
by Kasi Johnston
06 May 2020