The old gray box just ain't what it used to be...

By
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

old gray keyboxWe are in the midst of a keybox exchange in the Columbus area.  The old gray Supra keyboxes many of us in the Columbus Board of REALTORS® have used are being swapped out for new blue keyboxes. Many newer agents had only blue keyboxes... some REALTORS® have had a mixture of boxes.  I had only old gray keyboxes.

My personal favorite was my old gray keybox that was damaged when my sellers tried to saw into it to get into their house.  They lost their house keys.. they actually thought their house keys were stolen.  Long story... the keybox was impenetrable!!  It still worked...usually. 

The sellers said they had the police try to saw it off... ??

The difference in the boxes?  The old gray keyboxes had contacts, the DisplayKEY was inserted in the front of the lockbox.  The new blue keyboxes use infrared and beam the information from the DisplayKEY, PDA or phone. My favorite old gray keybox one of the contracts was a tad caddywampus (a technical term) so you needed to be very resolute in placing the DisplayKEY or eKEY in the front of the keybox.

"Members are being offered a "1 for 1" exchange for their old gray AEII keyboxes during the Exchange. Also DisplayKEY users will be able to trade in their old DisplayKEY for a brand new one - Free -- during the Exchange." 

Yeah!!!!  I believe when our board first started using Supra products rather than the old combination lockboxes, the first generation (at our board anyway) displayKEY did not have infrared.  It seemed like just a few years later we had to replace those original displayKEYS with the displayKEY (or the dorky clamshell eKEY) with the contact and infrared.  At that point beause we continued to use the old gray keyboxes along with some new blue keyboxes...  we could not use cellphones and PDAs.  We still needed an electronic "key"  with contacts to open the old gray keyboxes.  

Yesterday I fully expected the people at the keybox exchange  to say that my one battered sawed keybox was beyond acceptable but over the years my other gray keyboxes kind of caught up in the scruffy looks department ....


"Your Exchange appointment should have been mailed to you from Supra."  according to the CBR's  In Contract Magazine. I did get mail telling me where I needed to be and when, but talking to some of my fellow M's (it was alphabetical of course) some said they had not got mail from Supra, and they knew of people who did not know about the exchange.  

Sometime this week any Central Ohio listings with the old gray keybox on the door were or will be keyboxless  for a couple of hours at least. 

The use of the newer blue keyboxes allows members of our board to finally use certain PDA's and cell phones to enter properties.  The new boxes of course also can be accessed using a Supra DisplayKey that is updated daily. The modern keyboxes are security for sellers.  It amazes me to hear of other real estate markets that still use combination keyboxes. Sometimes  vacant property in Central Ohio has an old fashioned combination keybox.  In our market members schedule showing appointments with the listing office, there are fines (and worse) for entering a property without permission.  

 

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Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.

 


 

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Rainmaker
169,042
Linda Davis
RE/MAX Home Team - Gales Ferry, CT
My area continues to resist using lock boxes.  We are due for an upgrade this year to the new boxes and I know some people will get there kicking and screaming.  I just don't get it!
Jan 24, 2007 12:48 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
So you are one of those areas...... I believe we have been doing this for nine years now according to CBR. I curse the system when my key won't update, or when the CBS code (most in our market do not have the CBS code set for all agents... but some do) won't work but over all it is security for the sellers. 
Jan 24, 2007 12:55 AM #2
Rainmaker
380,228
Don Fabrizio-Garcia
Fab Real Estate - Danbury, CT
Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate

You'll love using the infrared keys...especially when it's cold.  No more fumbling to make sure that "caddywampus (a technical term)" contact actually makes contact!

Jan 24, 2007 01:00 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
OH we've had a number of blue boxes already...since our last key exchange we could use the blue boxes....the problem was that we had to keep the key with the contacts for the old gray boxes.... I would say the majority are still the old gray boxes... at least where I show usually.  When I use the blue boxes I sometimes stand there like a dunce not realizing it is open because it does not fly out like the old gray boxes sometimes do ... did.  History after this week. Do you know if I have caddywampus spelled correctly?
Jan 24, 2007 01:06 AM #4
Rainer
463,595
Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Bloomfield Hills, MI
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel
Yes, metro Detroit is still using the push button lock boxes.  Frankly, they tried to switch to electronic and met TONS of resistance, so those electonic boxes just disappeared.  I am glad I never bought any.
Jan 24, 2007 01:23 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

OH MF say it is not so!!  That means you were part of the resistance if you never bought any...electronic boxes.  

It is sooooo long ago but I think if I remember correctly CBR did an exchange for a combo keybox for a new, shiny, safe gray keybox c. 1988...  I think that may be the key to getting people who have a difficult time cooperating to cooperate.. and adopt the new technology... whatever they did we are 2 1/2 generations later ... and as much as I sometimes hate some of it (lost keys, CBS codes, updating daily, updates that won't take)  I think the sellers and their property are safer for it...  

Columbus Board of REALTORS® smart, very smart   

Jan 24, 2007 01:37 AM #6
Rainer
26,741
inactive AR account
Dayton, OH
Dayton checking in- good old fashioned push buttons here. I personally haven't heard any rumblings about changing to the new lockboxes... maybe we are an "if it ain't broke" kinda town.  I'm very curious about the new-fangled (lol) ones.  So many Realtors complain about them I'm feeling left out.  ;-)
Jan 24, 2007 02:23 AM #7
Rainer
111,655
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
as in everything else in Cleveland, the Cuyahoga River divides common practice lol.  East: use supra by a vast majority. West? I can go months without ever needing my electronic lockbox. wild, eh?
Jan 24, 2007 02:25 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Carol: Same MLS, board both sides of the river? 

Teri: Push your board to go high tech and then there will be all kinds of things to complain about....I don't know if anything was broke here but ....

the ability to see who is accessing properties is wonderful...

I really almost forgot about the push button... not sure if I ever owned one..  we had the combination just like your high school locker, bike lock... and some were starting to get push button b4 we went with the Supra. and you run into push button and old combos on some vacant homes here but I like having a record of whom has entered the property.  

I like the idea of the card systems that some boards / MLS use.  We went electronic before that was an option... and are kind of tied into GE because of it. 

Jan 24, 2007 02:40 AM #9
Ambassador
582,397
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
We made the change a couple years ago. It was a logistical nightmare. But eventually, it all worked out. And I much more prefer the new lock boxes.
Jan 24, 2007 06:08 AM #10
Rainer
42,658
Joe Peffer
Delicious Real Estate - Columbus, OH
Columbus Homes Blog

I love the blue boxes and i'm thrilled to be rid of the gray ones. Now, if only my Blackberry opened the blue boxes I'd be all set.  I do have key envy for those with Treos.

Jan 24, 2007 07:41 AM #11
Rainer
71,971
Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio
Real Living HER, Powell Ohio - Powell, OH

I love the blue boxes. It was dark when I was taking the old gray one off a listing so I could exchange it yesterday. It was hard to read the keypad when it was installed in the lockbox - too dark to see. When it's cold or raining, it's much easier to "aim & shoot". Plus, I noticed that the shackle is thinner and easier to fit around the doorknob.

Now if only the keypad had a backlight!

Jan 24, 2007 10:45 AM #12
Rainmaker
246,926
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Maureen, it's been awhile since I've even seen the old grays...thanks for the memories! Combination boxes are disallowed here and if found are to be reported. In fact, the only time they are to be used is for a contractor's use.

Your story of the Seller trying to saw throught the old gray was very vivid. I got a chuckle out of that and could just imagine them crouched down with their saw, sawing away...pretty funny!

Jan 24, 2007 01:37 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Thanks for the comments all, blue keyboxes rock. I hope the change is going smooth and everyone gets their gray boxes turned in. I am going to use the display key for awhile.

 

 

Jan 24, 2007 05:54 PM #14
Rainer
5,714
Chun Liu
Keller Williams Coastal Properties - Long Beach, CA

The grey ones are cool.  They just kept going and going without changing the batteries.  The new blue ones seem to eat up the batteries faster and will probably need more maintenance.  One way they'll get more money from us!

lol

Thanks for welcoming me to the community.  I hope I can aspire to do half as good as you!  Take care.

Best,

Chun Liu

Jan 31, 2007 10:57 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,478,261
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Chun Liu: batteries...??? the blue keyboxes  take batteries? That was one difference in the first displayKey we had ... the first ones took little triple A batteries...I remember carrying batteries with me and a couple of times having to run buy batteries during showings.  They switched out our displayKeys last week for free too...someone in my office was having trouble with theirs last fall, it would not stay charged and she could not get a new one because we were almost at the switch...

Chun Liu I think you should do the New Member Meme on my blog on January 26, 2007.. tell us more about yourself. Consider yourself tagged (memed.) 

Jan 31, 2007 08:06 PM #16
Rainer
5,714
Chun Liu
Keller Williams Coastal Properties - Long Beach, CA

Yes, the blue keyboxes have batteries inside.  They had them in the gray ones as well.  They just never thought that it would last that long (talked with a tech about them).  Don't worry about them though, you'll have to bring them in to get it serviced since you can't open them up.  lol

Oh ya, I've ran out of battery before with the old system.  Had to stop by a drug store in the middle of things.  Yuck!  Now I have a Palm and the only way I run out of battery is if I didn't plug it in myself.

I'll take a look at the new member thing also.  Thanks for letting me know.

Talk more later!

Best,

Chun Liu

Feb 02, 2007 08:48 AM #17
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