Home Improvement

How to Choose the Right Lock Box

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A lockbox is a convenient and secure way to make your property available for the show by a real estate agent or property manager to potential buyers or tenants.  You can also use lock boxes to secure a property, or certain parts of it, during construction or other projects.  Deciding on the right lock box for your property comes down to five main factors:

  1. Type
  2. Budget
  3. Secure Access Features
  4. Materials
  5.  After-Sale Service

Type

There are two basic kinds of lockboxes: mechanical and electronic.  A mechanical lockbox works with a three or four digit combination that is entered much like the combination code on a regular combination lock.  Anyone with the combination can access the lockbox.  An electronic lockbox works with codes too but is considerably more sophisticated with the ability to provide access with varying codes—and even single-use codes.  So, both types of drop boxes use codes but a mechanical lockbox is accessible with only one set code used by everyone and an electronic lockbox is accessible with numerous varying codes, even for a one-time use.

Budget

The pricing of lockboxes varies greatly so your budget makes a difference in the kind you may choose. Mechanical lockboxes have very simple features and access so they are available at a lower price point. On average a budget of about $15 will enable you to get a mechanical lockbox. Electronic lockboxes are much more feature-rich therefore the budget for these is higher.  A reliable electronic lockbox generally cost $135 or more.

Secure Access Features

While choosing the right lockbox is dependent on several details, the one you need to think of perhaps most carefully is the level of security you would like to have in making sure you know who is accessing the lockbox at your property.  Depending on the number of agents, contractors, employees or property managers you have working on a property, or other concerns you have, an electronic lockbox provides the highest level of secure access features. For example, a mechanical lockbox only allows for one combination code and gives you no way of knowing who accessed it or what time.  Yet, an electronic lockbox can be programmed with literally hundreds of codes so that each person has their own.  In addition, you can do many other things to control or monitor who accesses your property and when, such as programming pre-set days or times that assigned codes can be used and being able to save a log of access dates, times and codes to a USB drive for record keeping or printing purposes.

Materials

Weather-proofing and durability are important considerations for your lockbox and this mainly comes down to the materials your lock box is made of.  Both mechanical and electronic lockboxes can keep contents dry in inclement weather and guard against rust. If this important to you simply check when you are purchasing your lockbox to be sure that weather-resistant durability is listed as a feature.

After-Sale Service

You should feel comfortable that you are making a quality purchase. After all, the lockbox is to give people secure access to your property so it is an important business purchase.   There is nothing like peace of mind when making purchases—just in case you have an unexpected problem. Reputable lockbox sellers will have a clear return policy, warranty conditions, and technical support service to answer questions about the products. After-sale service is one more factor to consider when choosing the right lock box for your property.

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