Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
DENVER -- Realtors across the Denver area are in for a big tech upgrade. This week, Denver Metro Association of REALTORS announced plans to give out SentriLock electronic lockboxes to its more than 7,000 members for free.
It will also waive the first year of service. After that, it will cost realtors about $8 a month for the service.
“It allows the home owner to be able to schedule showings as well as provides an app-based or card-based system so that only people that have access to those items are able to access that lockbox,” said Heather Heuer, the chairwoman of DMAR.
Currently, many realtors rely on mechanical lockboxes to protect the keys to a home. Those boxes are accessed through number pads and often resemble padlocks or the dials on a high school locker.
The codes to those lockboxes are rarely changed.
“You probably would change it between one or two times, sometimes, though, you don’t change it at all -- it’s the same lockbox code,” said Dina Piternice, a realtor with Porchlight Real Estate Group. “With the manual lock box as you literally have to come and change them on the spot.”
Last May, Castle Rock sellers said their homes were being targeted by thieves who pretended to be buyers, stole the code and returned later to burglarize the home.
The electronic lockboxes are safer since the code can be changed over the phone and sellers are able to track who comes into their home since only a few people would have access to them.
“The safe practice right now is to change it every day so that when the agents have gone for the day you just update it,” Piternice said. “That just protects the seller from making sure that there’s not too many people out there that have access to the house.”
DMAR will begin handing out the free lockboxes at the end of May. It is also working with the Aurora Association of REALTORS, the Mountain Metro Association of REALTORS, the South Metro Denver REALTORS Association and others to streamline the system so that everyone is on the same system and can collaborate with one another.
“If I’m the seller, to me it would be peace of mind knowing that the person that had access to my house yesterday doesn’t have access to my house today unless they call my realtor,” Piternice said.