Back in the late 1990’s almost all of the local Realtors met at a local hotel to trade in the old manual lockboxes for the new electronic version. The adoption was fairly quick but I’m afraid it didn’t stick. You see, I do business on the edge. The edge of two MLS areas, that is. We are included in the Northern Colorado MLS called IRES. The Denver Metro area uses Metrolist. As a result I belong to and use both MLS systems. No problem to find the property but it became a hassle to have our listings shown. All subscribers to the new electronic lockboxes were given an electronic key pad to plug into each box. Without the key pad you were not able to open the lockboxes. Agents as close as Broomfield were not able to show our listings without us having to meet them at the property, a definite hassle and time warp back to the days way before computers. So what happened is that we began buying back manual lockboxes and placing two lockboxes on each property. This was not efficient at all and the new electronic lockboxes went out of favor. There were also other problems such as freezing in the winter and an annoying pause between giving your code and the box opening. The old boxes definitely made us Realtors more religious. Please let the box open, please let the box open! As an aside there is about a 95% adoption rate of these electronic boxes in Ft. Collins and many other parts of the country.
This month IRES’s contract with Supra, our old lockbox provider expired. Instead of renewing with Supra they contracted with Sentrilock, a company owned by the National Association of Realtors. This new box looks pretty slick and I picked up my three boxes and a smart card last week at the board office. The box is enabled to give out secure, one-time codes to those who do not have a smart card. This, if it works well will solve our main problem with the old boxes. They will provide more safety, better reporting and allow all agents to show the property. So far it looks like a slower adoption. Many people picked up the boxes and the cards but as of yet I haven’t placed a box on one of my listings or had to use the smart card to show a property yet. We’ll see how it goes this time. It seems like a no brainer to track the access to a sellers house.