It's Not Lockboxes...It's How Agents Use Them!

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291
https://activerain.com/droplet/4LZJ

 

sentrilockThere are two featured posts that have caused a lot of conversation. One is
When marketing flies in the face of convention, the noise can be deafening! and the other is Are you Cheating your Sellers by using a Lockbox?

This illustrates exactly why I wrote Real Estate the Rome Way. Look how these two people - one an agent, one a trainer - approach the subject of lockboxes and showings. I am not at all opposed to the lockbox, in fact many of my listings have them. However, that does not mean there is a blanket invitation at ANY and ALL times to have access. You will not see "lockbox, show anytime" on any of my listings. That is NOT how you represent your seller.

Margaret Rome Showing HomeI make my own appointments – I've written about this before (Yes, I Do!), more than once (Yes, I Do…Part 2).

 As a listing agent, I need to do what is best for my clients. There are so many special situations that require me to be at a showing: the elderly, the frail, those with young children, family illness, special pet situations, caretakers, sellers who work and sleep irregular shifts and many more.

TreoSure if all my homes were vacant, were short sales, or the owners were touring Europe for the year, it would be easy to slap a lockbox on and keep on going. But I list with real live people not properties. Buyer's agents call and speak to me. I answer my phone, I make appointments, I represent my sellers!

Why are expensive homes treated with listing agent's showings? Do only  the wealthy get the "right" representation? Why not a lock box on these so-called exclusive listings, too? Sorry, but all my sellers are very special, and deserve the Right The Rome Way.

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Rainmaker
588,465
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Margaret,  I think lockboxes are nearly always a good idea.  You can put i the showing insturctions that there is a lockbox but they must call the listing agent before showing.  This gives you the chance to be there if you can (or if you want to), and gives you a chance to warn the sellers.  It also allows your sellers the ability to have a family day where they have asked that there be no showings that day.  For a vacant listing, I put no restrictions and let the buyers' agents go when they wish, but then I check the lockbox readings daily and call all those who accessed the house and ask them for feedback and/or answer any questions they have.

Dec 29, 2008 10:40 AM #47
Rainmaker
613,042
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS

Margaret - all the homes where we have lockboxes have a "Call Before Showing" code, so agents can't just decide to open a lockbox (i.e., the seller is in the shower and doesn't hear the doorbell). We not only make the appointments, we have a chance to "market" the property to the showing agent, tell them about the unique aspects, and decide whether it would be better for us to be there or not.

Dec 29, 2008 11:13 AM #48
Rainer
55,551
Kelsey Barklow
Hurd Realty - Johnson City, TN
423/948-9154

Lots of good points here. Different sellers require different showing and appointment stragegies, whatever works best for them. I'm flexible and will do whatever is necessary to accommodate my sellers but I also try to get them to see it from the buyer's/their agent's standpoint and make it as easy as possible to show.

Dec 29, 2008 12:15 PM #49
Rainmaker
207,638
Dee Nofziger
|Key Realty | Maumee Toledo Real Estate Blog - Toledo, OH
Maumee Real Estate, Toledo Homes, Key Realty

I use lockboxes, both elctronic and combo, but I don't post that on the MLS for agents to see. I confirm ALL appointments myself and YES I have been hassled about it by other agents and even my managers.

I simply don't trust other agents answering phones to treat all callers as I would as th listing agent. My sellers deserve my personal attnetion - and that means setting appointments, in my humble opinion.

But then I'm a control freak!

Dec 29, 2008 01:19 PM #50
Rainmaker
131,417
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

Interesting thoughts for the new year.

Dec 29, 2008 04:50 PM #51
Ambassador
2,989,907
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Don and Nannette, Thanks for sharing your systems.

Colleen, My properties get shown with ease. The appointments all go through me.

Dorie, We all need to be flexable.

Ann, Thanks for stopping by.

Matthew, Seems to be a touchy subject. Thanks for starting it. I am enjoying your posts

Ann Cummings, I admire the way you work. Thanks for the kind words about my book.

Jeffrey, I do treat it like a business. Apointments through me are faster than any office can make. I don't have to stop and look up numbers and showing instructions. I can confirm with the same call. I delegate but not the contact with my sellers!

Caren, Keep causing that phone to ring or, in my case, vibrate!

 

Dec 30, 2008 09:09 PM #52
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

To No Name, Mixed reviews because there are so many different personalities..So is there a Right way or as I say a ROME way?

Bonnie, Combo boxes, in my opinion, are not safe or secure for the seller.

Tamara, My sellers really expect and appreciate my calls rather than CSS or some other impersonal contact. It really is a time saver for me in keeping in touch with my listings. Thank you for reading.

Call Mitchell Hall, How is that working? Don't you just love Ny? Thanks for your support and Happy New Year.

Lyn, Would love to discuss this with you. I will never be too busy since speaking with my sellers IS the best use of MY time. I do have a waiting list for sellers and only take the amount I can comfortably handle. I limit my listings to 15 at a time..

Dec 30, 2008 09:21 PM #53
Ambassador
2,989,907
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Wynne, "You are definitely on cue when you talk about setting appointments for your lsitings. IT is just one of the many opportuities to have that one on one contact with your seller. " Happy New Year ! 

Gabe, Wow 100% agreement. Thanks my new friend..lol

Frances, It is easier to grab the feedback. Thanks for commenting.

Randy, I appreciate your support and encouragement. Did you see that the book made Trulia's Top Ten for 2008? Happy New Year, my friend.

Susan, You have worked out a good  system  IF the agents follow the instructions. Checking the lockbox when an agent does not show does not help alleviate the frustration of the seller.

Sharon,"Call before showing" is the key! Have found that not everyone follows the correct procedure. We do think so much alike.

Kelsey, I like your approach...being flexible to accomodate your sellers.

Dee, Would love to talk with you and I understand "being hastled by agents..." etc. Sounds like we feel strongly about how we handle our showings and our sellers.

Mike H. Many more thoughts for the New Year. Make it a good one!

 

Dec 30, 2008 09:37 PM #54
Rainmaker
249,857
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors

I learned along time ago not to put in any kind of instructions into Matrix other than CALL 1st CONTACT!

Jan 02, 2009 11:17 AM #55
Rainmaker
468,350
Marcy Moyer
eXp Realty of California Silicon Valley Probate, Trust, and Investment Sales - Mountain View, CA
Probate, Trust, and Investment Specialist

Interesting. I have always felt that it is more important to not have any impediments to showing but you make some excellent points about servicing your clients.

Marcy

Jan 02, 2009 11:55 AM #56
Ambassador
2,989,907
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Michael, It's nice to see another Maryland agent on Active Rain. When you say "Call 1st Contact", are you answering the phone?

Marcy, That is my point. one phone call to me, no impediments, your showing is made. Thanks for stopping by.

Jan 03, 2009 12:39 AM #57
Rainmaker
2,394,954
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I find it curious that in this market of high inventory of homes for sale, that there are coaches teaching that you need to have as few as possible impediments to getting buyers in.  What you do makes a whole lot of sense to me, especially if they don't have to sell in a specified time frame.  It also kind of says the sellers are choosey as to who they will let purchase their home.  They care about it.  Or does it say the Agent is particular?  I don't know, but I do know it is a thought provoking article.  I went back and read I do and I do part II as well.  Nicely done!

Jan 04, 2009 10:40 PM #58
Ambassador
2,989,907
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Evelyn, Thanks. You are an absolute delight. I really enjoyed talking with you today. Wishing you a wonderful 2009. Let's definitely stay in touch. Look forward to reading your posts.

Jan 05, 2009 11:15 AM #59
Rainmaker
2,189,769
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I have no idea how you do it, Margaret. I couldn't possibly be present at every showing. With 10 listings and 10 showings a day, I can't be in 100 places at the same time, much less even begin to THINK about working with buyers. My hat is off to you.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

 

Feb 08, 2009 02:45 AM #60
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Elizabeth,

I am not present at all those showings but I do make EVERY appointment. So put that hat back on your pretty head.

With the use of lockboxes comes responsibility. One of my properties with a lockbox, agent went in and "forgot" the security code. Boom, the systme calls the seller in Texas....and I knew which agent went so I could make contact right there and make sure the alarm was reset and reassure the seller.

Mar 19, 2009 10:12 PM #61
Rainmaker
635,743
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I agree with Valerie on the method of going in...and I holler loud and also before I enter any room that I have yet to be in if there is any inkling that someone might be in there.

Dec 13, 2010 05:41 AM #63
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Hi Valarie, You brought this post back to life after 2 years with your featured post.Lock Boxes - My Sunday Rant 

Mike, I have a feeling you have learned the hard way.

Dec 13, 2010 05:51 AM #64
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

And Joni is bringing it back with another post..Lock Boxes! AGAIN?!

May 19, 2011 03:48 AM #65
Ambassador
1,241,201
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

The expensive ones in our area have lock boxes as well. I would dare say that having the listing agent present at all showings is "right representation". It just depends on the circumstances. MOST of the time, I would say that is the wrong representation. The keys words there were MOST of the time. There are always exceptions (meaning, not the norm). Thanks for calling me! :)))

May 19, 2011 04:28 AM #66
Ambassador
2,989,907
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I am not at all my showings but I do make all my own appointments. Enjoyed speaking with you today.

 

May 19, 2011 07:28 AM #67
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