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Small Advancements Mean Big Changes for Real Estate

By David Thompson | February 1, 2017

It wasn’t too long ago when most real estate agents spent most of their time zipping around town, showing their buyers multiple homes, only to find that the buyer didn’t like the house for one reason or another. While some agents still prefer to manage their business in this manner, other more forward-thinking agents have embraced technology and let it make their lives much easier.

Nowadays, instead of agents needing to physically drive their clients around to and from every potential property, they can let clients see the homes at their leisure, saving countless hours of time for the agent, and creating a more laid-back and pleasant purchasing experience for the buyer.

Lockboxes have been around in the business for ages. The only problem with them is that agents have either needed a key or to know the combination to get into the boxes, to gain access to the property. This bottleneck in the house-showing process has, up until recently, made it somewhat cumbersome for the buyers to see the inside of any particular property they might be interested in.

Recent technological advancements have totally changed this dynamic- with the introduction of Bluetooth-enabled and smartphone-controlled lockboxes, agents no longer need to be physically present to allow their buyers to access the property. The technology is relatively simple yet elegant and has made for a more enjoyable home-buying process. Buyers simply visit the home when it is convenient for them, and send the agent a text. The agent can press a button on their smartphone, and the lockbox opens, giving the buyer temporary access to the home. More recent improvements to the technology have included Bluetooth capabilities, which essentially work like a digital key. Agents give the clients access on the client’s smartphone, and when they walk up to the door, the lockbox knows that their buyer is approaching and unlocks itself- no text needed. When the buyer is done inspecting the home, they simply replace the key and go on their way without the agent needing to be present at all.

This advancement in lockbox technology has taken away a lot of the pressure from the buying process, as the buyers do not have the realtor buzzing in their ear, directing them from room to room, pointing everything out and distracting them. Without the agent present, the clients can take their time and look at the home at their own pace. If they aren’t interested in the bathroom, they don’t have to spend much time in there or hear about all the various improvements that they didn’t care about anyways.

On the flip side, if the buyer is really interested in the kitchen, they can take as much time as they want to inspect every square inch of the room, observing features at their own pace rather than being directed by a commission-hungry agent. Believe it or not, agents like this approach as well, as it obviously saves them a lot of time, but it improves their image and standing with the client as they do not come across as so pushy.

Lockboxes are just a tiny part of the big real estate picture, but even in this small world of house-key management, technology has shown buyers and agents alike that there is, in fact, a much easier way to handle this task.


About the author: David Thompson is the Director of Operations at Apartment Ocean.

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