This post was originally published by Jimmy Chickey on Active Rain.

10 very cool real estate tech tips in 10 days

Technology can be a great help in your real estate career. However, just because it is the new “flashy” thing doesn’t mean that it will actually make you more productive. I can say from experience that many tools end up just getting in the way and actually can slow you down. With that in mind, here is the the second of 10 tech tips that have proven to be a great help with my real estate business.

Tech tip No. 2: unlocking lockboxes with your phone.

In Las Vegas, most agents use Supra lockboxes on their listings. The vast majority of agents unlock these blue boxes using a key fob that is about the size of a deck of cards and has to be synced each day with a computer.

Supra eKEY

Supra eKEY

That system was so frustrating for me. I always seemed to either forget to charge the fob, or I would leave it in the charging stand and forget to bring it with me when I left the house.

All I had to do is forget it once — with clients waiting — before I started looking for another solution. The answer for me was Supra eKEY.

With the Supra eKEY, I simply add the eKEY app on my iPhone (there are also Android and Blackberry solutions) and put an adapter on my key ring. With eKEY, my phone automatically updates with the push of one button. I am instantly ready to show homes. The cool thing is that I can also use the same software to program our lockboxes that the team puts on our listings. You can set showing time limits, force the buyer’s agent to leave you feedback, change shackle codes and more. It is a time saver that gives me the freedom to worry about one less thing.

I have been using the Supra eKEY system since 2007 and have had problems only twice with syncing.

The first time was when I became an early adopter of iOS 6.0 on my iPhone. With that update of the Apple system software, the eKEY became intermittent. My lesson there was never be the first to update to new software if what you have works fine. Let others figure out if there are problems. It was eventually fixed with an update.

The second time was showcased in my blog “Candy Crush Almost Ruined My Real Estate Career.” This was caused by user error on my part, and was fixed with a call to Supra.

In both cases, I always have a backup with my iPad that runs the same eKEY software. If there is ever a problem with my phone, I can always use my iPad to open lockboxes, as the hardware and software are identical. One call to Supra and you can transfer your “key” to the new device.

In the end, I love using my phone to open up lockboxes and have never looked back. It has been a real time saver.

In case you missed it:  tech tip No. 1: Slydial app.

Coming tomorrow: tech tip No. 3: REFRESH app for your phone.

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