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Self-Showing Lock Boxes forVacant Properties:


by Michael J. Mulvena


ver the past couple years, Property Managers have been

convenience to the prospect to be able to schedule whenever they want without a leasing agent present. Additionally, there is a strong push pointing out the “increased safety” to property managers, by basically eliminating the need to physically go and show a property, thereby elimi- nating the potential for harm to that manager. These Smart Boxes can be programmed for specific times, allowing adjustments to access, like not after dark, etc. And certainly, having the convenience of showing a property after your normal office hours, or on a weekend when you may have other plans, is unarguably a plus – the home gets shown with- out you having to be present! Additionally, statistics show that rental properties do rent more

quickly with these self-showing pro- grams. Quicker rentals mean shorter vacancy losses; just as more show- ings mean more potential buyers making offers to purchase, both big pluses. Personally, I wish automobile dealers would use these! Think how great it would be to go car shopping, have a lockbox that you can open to pull out the car keys for that new Jaguar, and enjoy your own private test drive- without that obnoxious salesperson hovering nearby. From a property management standpoint, the saved hours and hours of drive time and showing time eliminates the need for paying an agent em- ployee to do this, which translates into a substantial labor cost savings to a brokerage. All these are strong, valid reasons to consider instituting

besieged with several “new technolo- gies” of "Smart Lockboxes” that allow a prospective tenant or buyer to enter and view a vacant property without the manager present. This is really an updated version of the older practice of checking out a key, or even giving out the code for a contractor box. We are told that this is the “future of our industry," that consumers “demand” this immediate access on their sched- ule, and we need to switch over to this technology, or be left in the dust. What’s really the risk? Let’s consider a few things: Many of these services tout their track record of hundreds of thou- sands (or millions) of showings without incident, emphasizing the

62 | think realty magazine :: may / june 2019

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