Consumer smart locks are more prevalent on homes than ever before, especially homes with higher price points. Many homeowners find they are a good source of convenience for deliveries, after school home access for children, or simply avoiding the need to carry house keys.
REALTORS® often ask how this technology impacts the need for electronic lockboxes. Let’s examine how smart locks compare to electronic lockboxes in managing access to a home that is listed for sale. There are a number of key factors that should be considered in real estate, beyond just gaining entry to the residence.
Security and central administration
When a property is placed on the market and the electronic lockbox attached, the business model for the security credentials is contained in the lockbox system. The authorization status of the agent is updated regularly and access to the property is controlled in a closed security system. Access is tracked and reported back centrally, and authorization and de-authorization of the agent is handled automatically.
With a consumer product, there is no interface to this security model. The consumer product has no concept of the potentially thousands of agents who may try to access the property, nor when any one or more of those agents are no longer authorized for access.
When an agent arrives at a property with an electronic lockbox, there’s a high degree of product uniformity. A single access device, such as an app on the agent’s smartphone, can facilitate access to any of the properties for sale at that time.
Now, imagine dozens of different consumer smart lock products, with each requiring a different app to access the property. Multiply this inconsistency across numerous properties and you have the recipe for high agent frustration. Additionally, a showing agent may not be able to identify the type of product or how to operate it once he or she arrives for a showing.
Responsive support from real people
All electronic lockbox systems include centralized support to assist the agent when there are problems. Access to the property is critical during the showing and no agent can afford the time to research a multitude of vendors to contact.
In contrast, SentriLock REALTOR® Lockboxes include One Day Code functionality from the lockbox keypad in the event the agent’s access device is not working correctly. This ensures that authorized access can occur even when technical problems occur.
Additionally, being able to access high-quality support is paramount during the sales process. SentriLock offers agents superior customer support that features 95 percent customer satisfaction, an average speed of call answer of 28 seconds, and a first call resolution rate of 86 percent.
Data and reporting
Consumer products do facilitate recording access events, but that information is reported to the consumer and not the listing agent. Electronic lockbox systems provide this information to the listing agent, as well as providing market-level statistics and housing activity information on a common platform. With consumer products, there is no consolidation of this information.
Peace of mind
In recent informal surveys, clients indicated a reluctance to sharing access to their smart locks. There was concern about being able to fully block third-party access to the property once they had shared smart lock access with REALTORS®. With the electronic lockbox, they clearly felt greater peace of mind that, when the lockbox was removed from the property, third-party access would no longer be possible.
In summary, it’s apparent that consumer-level smart locks and electronic lockboxes serve a very different purpose and are designed around completely different needs. As such, electronic lockboxes will continue to be an important and versatile tool for REALTORS® for many years to come.