Electronic lock box or combo which one would you rather open on your showings and why?

Asked by Horlow , 19440 Tue Apr 1, 2008

which one is more practical , Pros and cons on both combo and electronic ?.

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21
Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Wed Apr 2, 2008
Gotta love the E-box. Anybody can get a combination. Too many companies out there use the same combo's for all their boxes. Also the keys can fall behind the mechanism and jam it.
1 vote
825c0745, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Tue May 9, 2017
The Supra eKey system tells me when my competition has shown my listing. If they have shown it multiple times in a short time period, I know an offer is likely. I can encourage my potential Buyers to submit their offer before the other agent's offers arrive. It gives me a big advantage!
0 votes
Donna Wheaton…, Agent, Media, PA
Mon Aug 24, 2015
I strongly agree with Ryan Thomas! Electronic lockboxes are a "racket" & we pay enough for our dues, fees and E&O insurance! "If it's not broke, why fix it?"
0 votes
Donna Wheaton…, Agent, Media, PA
Mon Aug 24, 2015
If you want your home to be "shown & sold", combo lockbox is the best way to go by far! The agent has the ability to change the combination if desired, so it's not always the same.

Electronic lock boxes are not used in the county where I practice (although they are in some neighboring counties), If an agent advises a seller to use one, I strongly believe they are doing them a disservice.
0 votes
Erica Ramus,…, Agent, Pottsville, PA
Tue Jan 24, 2012
We don't have electronic boxes in our area but I wish we did! Agents in our area frequently go into vacant houses and never tell the other agent. So electronic boxes would give us a record of this.
0 votes
John Souerbry, Agent, Fairfield, CA
Tue Jan 24, 2012
We prefer registering our visit via electronic box rather than leaving a card on the counter, as we prefer not to let our competition know we where there.
0 votes
Dave, Home Buyer, Cleveland Heights, OH
Mon Jan 23, 2012
I personally like the electronic lock box because it is 21st century and people want to see the most up to date in technology. The combo lock box is sturdy and reliable but comes across a bit out of date. With out a doubt go for the electronic lock box!
0 votes
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Mon May 2, 2011
3+ year old question! Bed time for this question. However, let us think of how far the Electronic box has come in 3 years(just going to get better)!
0 votes
Catherine "C…, Agent, Metuchen, NJ
Sun May 1, 2011
Hi Hadjer,

I find Elec. lock box usually much easier than combos however combos have advantages over a Supra as decribed by Ryan Thomas.
0 votes
Ryan Thomas…, , Beaufort, SC
Wed Apr 27, 2011
Not to sound "jaded", but I boycott Supra and their boxes as much as I can get away with, as I find that they're a racket--just another way to sponge money out of Realtors' pockets.

Combination boxes are reliable, easy to use, inexpensive, and best--if a Realtor from another MLS wants to show your listing, you don't have to waste your time meeting them at the house to open the electronic lockbox. Combo boxes are also helpful if you have assistants or buyers' agents working for/with you, as you won't constantly be having to share your key, or paying for multiple keys.

Supra, their boxes, and their eKeys are expensive, and subject to malfunction. Some sellers will demand that you use them, however, so its a necessary evil.
0 votes
Jen and Mark…, Agent, Holmes Beach, FL
Mon Oct 27, 2008
I only use the electronic lock box. Yes, they cost more but they last forever, probably like the combo ones. I like them for the security they offer my clients. A combination lockbox means anybody with the combo can get in. The electronic ones let me know who has accessed my listing and when. It also means that only someone with an electronic key can open them. I have never had a problem opening them. In my area, any professional agent will have a electronic key.
0 votes
Tris Norton, , 17201
Fri May 9, 2008
There are pros and cons to both. The electronic lockboxes like the e-key and Sentrilock provide information relative to who has accessed the box and when, as well as provide a website to enable easy tracking and reporting. The flip side of electronic boxes is that, as with any type of technology, there are times when they don't necessarily work as intended. There have been a few times where the box just wouldn't open, with my key or anyone else's(three times in nearly seven years, though). Agents have inadvertently put them on "do not disturb" making them only accessible by the listing agent.
The combination boxes generally do not have problems opening when the agent has the correct combination. However, if they are placed where they can get wet, then the temperature drops below freezing, they can be very difficult to open. Also, if someone other than an agent knows the combination, they have access to the home. I like to use electronic boxes except for on homes located where two or more MLS areas overlap, which eliminates problems with card or key reciprocity.
0 votes
Mark Formsma, Agent, Corpus Christi, TX
Thu May 8, 2008
The electronic lockbox is expensive, but offers better security and more immediate feedback/follow-up opportunity...probably worth the extra cost.
0 votes
Colleen Crad…, Agent, Palm City, FL
Mon May 5, 2008
Hi Hadjer,
I love the lock box, it tells you how many people have been there and who has entered. I do use the combo on empty homes because there is no personal items in them. If someone wants to break into a home they are going to do it no matter what. I always make an extra key of my listings just in case a realtor does not put it back in the box.
Web Reference:  http://colleencraddock.com
0 votes
Faye Curren, Agent, Roanoke, VA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
I have to say, I prefer the e-key. I work two markets, one with combo and one with e-key. With the e-key, I always know and my sellers know when someone has been in the listing. I have had issues with listings that are on the combo system - missing keys, combo boxes being removed from the door, vacant property being accessed and used for other purposes. While the e-key may be inconvenient for some, it is a great control measure for sellers.
Web Reference:  http://www.fayecurren.com
0 votes
Donald Bradb…, , 18951
Thu Apr 24, 2008
The electronic Lock Box is the way to go. It gives security to your sellers. It tells the Realtor exactly who has entered and when. It is time for all Realtors to embrace technology and use the new electronic lock boxes. It is simply, in the seller's best interest.
Web Reference:  http://www.bradburyteam.com
0 votes
Martin Wise, Agent, Anthem, AZ
Wed Apr 2, 2008
I only use the e-box. For the sake of both feedback (I get emailed daily with the list of agents who opened the box) as well as the sense of security for the seller (even if a vacant property). Plus having a record of the date and time of lockbox openings creates a record of home inspections, appraisals, etc. LOVE IT.
Web Reference:  http://www.MartinWise.com
0 votes
RE/MAX Empire…, , Texas
Wed Apr 2, 2008
Love the lockbox. It works well for me and I feel more confident using them on my listings. The combos stick and if the agent didn't give you the right combination you cannot get in. I think lockboxes are one of the single greatest inventions to take away stress from our business. (As long as you remember to update it).
0 votes
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Tue Apr 1, 2008
Personally I like and try to use electronic lockboxes whenever possible. You have the safety and knowledge of who is using the lockbox. Around here (Boston) the ekeys have to be updated weekly, not many using the palm version yet due to the rather high monthly fee charged by the local MLS. Seems some towns use combo more (can't forget your fingers I guess), although I feel that any buyers agent should invest in their business and have the tools needed to do their job correctly.
0 votes
Mim Heisey, , Shippensburg, PA
Tue Apr 1, 2008
Hi Hadjer,
Good question!
I work in an area that is on th e border between 2 MLS systems, and each one has a different electronic key box, both recently updated. My preference is the combo for anything that might need to be accessed from both sets of agents, for some of the same reasons as stated by Stacy and Bill. If a listing is well with in one MLS area, the ekey seems to be the preference as virtually all the agents have their key with them. As a listing agent, I want to make the property as accessible as possible to potential showing agents, and the combo also gets them in touch with me directly to get the code.
Hope that helps
0 votes
Stacey A. Ma…, , Westfield, MA
Tue Apr 1, 2008
Hi Hadjer, I work in both MA and CT. In Massachusetts we use combo lock boxes almost exclusively. In Connecticut it is a mix - about 80% electronic and 20% combo. As Bill mentioned, one of the downsides of the electronic boxes is the management involved. As a Buyer's agent in CT I have an electronic key which I use to open the lock box. It is updated over the phone lines, but the cradle it charges and updates on is only good with analog phone lines - most lines are digital now so I have to update the key by hand every day that I have showings scheduled. It is also an expense which is not the case with the combo boxes.

The real benefit of the electronic boxes is the tracking ability Bill mentions for the listing agent. As your question was framed from the showing side - I have to say the combo boxes are my preference hands down. Stacey
0 votes
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