Pros and Cons of an Ibox and ikey

Real Estate Agent with The Mustafa Group

I would love to know the answer to this one so everyones help is greatly welcomed and appreciated.

I was advised many years ago to get an ikey. An Ikey, [I was told], communicates to the ibox. An ibox is an electronic device that securely holds a house entrance key, and in order to access it, you will need an ikey to communicate to the ibox. [I was also told, "If you want to work with buyers - you need to have the tools of the trade",  also "If you Don't have a Pager, get one"  In addition, I was told, "If you were a carpenter, you would have a hammer, rso get an ikey"]

An Ikey is something you need a 'subscription for. [Kinda of like a pager [You pay a quarterly or 1/2 year subscription fee to a  company, who has an agreement with your board of realtors.]  Some boards allow ikey sharing and other boards, you can be reported to the board and face a fine, for sharing.  No two are the same but one thing is for sure. Across the counties, we are having some discomfort up to and including [worst case] adversarial relationships/

First, "What is" and "what does" ...the ibox do for me? For me, It's an electronic assistant of sorts. It beeps to tell me that the ibox is being opened and SOMEONE[holding and ikey] is about to access the VERY key that will open the house I have securely placed in an ibox. [First Thought: Yeah, they showed up] This ikey will electronically tell me the iinformation pertaining to the Broker, Agent, their phone, fax and address [of the assigned key holder]. The electronic record also shows the time of access and the date [That doesn't tell me who is physically holding the ikey now opening the door since some multiple listing services have ikey sharing agreements and can let anyone use it if the so choose]

One thing is for sure, the 6 months fee is 102.00, the Iboxs cost around 100.00 each  [25.00 if you can find people retiring their license or selling them to buy combos] AND the house can still be broken into, whether you have an ibox or a combo. [for combos, some agents use the same code for every house, it's the year they were born]

The's a pretty cool device. It also allows me to set up the showing times which are defaulted at 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. BUT if the home has children, I can adjust the time on the ibox to block the opening of the device. [OR I can call the showing service and set the block out times myself.]

I'm troubled about this ikey and the iboxes and here's why. I'm in a East Side, West Side situation. I also have a Northeast side and recently I've gotten calls from agents who have said they never heard of an 'IKEY'. I get calls to please leave my sellers house open; I've been told to represent my seller like a good agent and be there when they get there, they have a cash buyer;  I've been told to reschedule my appointments so I could open the house or the buyer will buy something else; truth be told - why can't we just get rid of these things? I guess we have to ask, "Do they generate more problems than what they are worth?". 

If we want to know if the agent made it to the listing, whatever happened to the phone? Can we start to talk again? Have we gotten disconnected? Are we disconnecting from the clients too? Are we so automated that we can't pick up the phone?

Are electronics making us more efficient or taking us away from what we do best, which is helping people achieve their real estate goals.

We, Guide, council, advocate and negotiate - by electronics only?

By the way, you can now buy ikey attachments for your iphone, droid, smart or dumb phone. Of course there is a fee for that too.


Posted by

Cindy Mustafa, REALTOR, ABR, CDPE, E-Pro


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Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Cindy.

    We use the GE Supra eKey Lockboxes.  These things are worth their weight in gold.  For all of the "Pro" reasons that you stated - setting  showing times, getting a notification on the Blackberry when someone opens the Lockbox, online record of who showed it when.

   Having said that, I am still a believer in Verbal Communication.

    When I am with a Buyer, I will go through the Showing Service if one exists, and of course I will use the eKey, but I still want to call the Listing Agent.   Likewise, if it is my Listing, I would appreciate a phone call from the Showing Agent.


Jul 22, 2011 02:29 PM #1
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Cindy - Thank you for the detailed quality blog on pros and cons of an ibox and ikey.

Jul 22, 2011 05:02 PM #2
Cindy Mustafa
The Mustafa Group - Aurora, OH

Frede & John,  Thanks for the notice!

Best Wishes,

Jul 23, 2011 02:00 AM #3
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