How This Simple $130 Device Protects Realtors from Being Charged or Sued


Once upon a time my sellers suffered a break-in. Things were stolen.

Guess who is the first person accused in such a situation?

The realtor.

After all, they have keys and access. Maybe the agent left the door open; maybe they didn’t watch a potential buyer as they toured through the house. Maybe someone got a hold of the keys that shouldn’t have. It’s a logical conclusion, and the agent would have little luck disproving any of it.

Luckily, I had invested in a lock box. They’re not mandatory, but I wish they would be. Because I had taken this step to protect the property, I was not held responsible for the items stolen. I did everything I could to protect my client.

The story could have ended differently.

Imagine an agent showing a property without a lockbox. Even if it were someone else’s listing, if something goes wrong, the showing agent could be accused of theft, trespassing, and other avoidable things just because some agent wanted to save themselves a few bucks.

TIP: Risking your reputation, the reputation of your peers,
and the safety of your clients
is the stupidest way to save a piddly $130.


A lockbox is only as good as its lock, though.

It may be tempting for people to come back when the Realtor isn’t around and take another look at the house. We can’t control where buyers go after showings.

If a broker uses the same four-digit code on every single lockbox on every single one of their listings for example, how secure is that? It doesn’t take much for a buyer to peek over an agent’s shoulder and clue in. Even these four-digit coded lockboxes aren’t that secure.

That’s why I’m thrilled about the Real Estate Board’s new Bluetooth-operated lockboxes.

First, to access the lock, an agent must make an appointment to see the listing, and I confirm.

When they show up and open the lockbox, I immediately get an email saying that so-and-so from ABC Realty has entered the property.

I always know when someone is there and I always get a notification.

The best part is that it locks them out.
They can’t re-enter the property repeatedly, and no one can sneak back in later without an appointment without being noticed.  
These new lockboxes are ultra-secure and only cost $130.


It’s a small price to pay for protection of self and others.

Tina Plett, Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate







This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Rose Schroeder

    I know all of Winnipeg agents have lockboxes but here in Southern Manitoba some showing confirmations are confirmed by saying open leave open. I know that some older retirees are not comfortable with the keys hanging outside in a box for any agent to open so they prefer just leaving prior to the showing and returning within the hour.

    1. tina

      Rose, I have come across that too when sellers don’t want a lockbox at the property. Usually, after I tell them the importance, they are happy to comply. Odd that some are more afraid of technology than they are of a thief. That being said, I show homes in the rural areas where there is a shot gun by the door.

  2. Nyk Andrusiak

    Great post Tina! I have to admit I find it crazy sometimes how often I get responses from other agents regarding showing requests with “open leave open” or, just last night for example, a cheap plastic Canadian Tire key safe with the code texted to me. Doesn’t happen when I show Winnipeg properties, but very often in the Mitchell, Grunthal, Steinbach, and rural locations. All my clients can be assured I’ll never put anything but a Sentrilock on their door!

    Nyk Andrusiak | REALTOR
    Sutton Group – Kilkenny Real Estate
    c: (204) 381-8881

    1. tina

      Nyk, you have developed excellent customer service skills. I am not surprised to hear you say this. I don’t expect anything less from you. You may be young but you have a solid dedication to serve with excellence. I’m proud to identify you as one of Sutton Group’s real estate professionals in SE Mb.

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