What is a Key Lockbox and How Does it Work?
Owners of vacation rentals and real estate agents cannot always be around when guests or prospective buyers arrive at their properties. But the owners or managers of the properties have to find ways to give these buyers or guests access to the property safely and securely. The problem is, how can estate agents and property owners keep everyone else out of the home and only give access to those they want?
For many owners of vacation rentals and real estate agents, Advanced Locksmith has the answer and it lies in using a key lockbox. A key lockbox solves the age-old problem of where to leave the keys when you are expecting guests but won’t be around to receive them. It dispenses the risky practice of leaving the keys under the foot mat or in a flowerpot. Keys left in such places are not only accessible to authorized persons but criminals also.
A key lockbox offers a secure way of restricting access to the keys and only granting it to those you intend to have it.
What is a key lockbox?
It is nothing more than a small safe that can be attached to the wall, doorknob, or railing of a house with the keys to the property securely locked inside it. The device makes it possible for various persons to access the home in the owner’s absence, while also preventing entry by unauthorized persons. Most key lockboxes are padlock shaped and usually hung around the doorknob of the front door of the property. They are mostly used by estate agents and Airbnb hosts.
There are several key lock boxes in the market, and they have different shapes, sizes, and modes of operation. The most common models use the following methods of operation:
- Push-button systems that open by punching a code into the device.
- Wheel models, which have three or four wheels that enter the combination by rotation.
- Dial models with a rotating dial, which works the same as traditional high school locker padlocks.
How do they work?
The owner, manager or agent, attaches the lockbox to a doorknob, wall, water pipe, or railing in the property, sets a combination, and places the key inside the box. If the home is on sale, BueMountainMGMT.com explains, the property listing will include the estate agent’s phone numbers in a section where only recognized agents can view it. If an agent is interested in viewing the home, they will contact the homeowner’s agent via the listed phone numbers to get the combination to the key lockbox.
The same basic procedure applies to Airbnb homes. The guest receives the lock combination from the host and, upon arrival, enters it into the lockbox to retrieve the house key and gain access to the home. Older types of key lockboxes use a manual key, swipe card, or security code but newer generations work alongside mobile devices. A computer program automatically generates codes that grant visitors access. These codes may only work once, and after that, the device erases it. Since the lockboxes rekey after every use, this offers a higher level of security.
Is a key lockbox secure?
Older types of lockboxes had a single code that opens the box over and over again. Owners of such boxes had to change the lock combination often. If they forgot or were unable to do this, there was a possibility of criminals discovering the code and gaining access to the home. Newer lockboxes solve this problem through their ability to generate unique codes every time a box is unlocked.
Older key lockboxes also had rust issues; the devices were prone to jam due to corrosion, and guests could find themselves locked out. But this problem is solved by newer lockboxes that use completely rust-resistant materials. The only issue visitors may face with a lockbox is that it might freeze over in very cold weather. But this problem can be avoided by choosing the right location to attach the lockbox.
So is a key lockbox secure? The answer is yes. That is because none of the problems connected with using a key lockbox seriously threaten the security of a property.
Why you should use a key lockbox
Should you use a key lockbox? Yes, you should, and here are the reasons why.
- As a real estate agent, the more available your property is for showings, the greater the number of offers you will receive, and the higher the chances of selling the home quickly.
- Whether as a real estate agent or Airbnb host, you value your freedom. With a key lockbox, you don’t have to interrupt your life to attend to guests or buyers constantly.
- A lockbox allows your business to be open 24/7. As an estate agent, you don’t have to limit showings to specific hours. And as an Airbnb host, your guest can check-in at any time of the night.
Using a key lockbox is a safe way to let your business operate without you being permanently tied to it.