Showing properties to potential buyers or renters can be quite challenging. The property manager and the interested party may have trouble getting their schedules to line up, the consumer may feel less comfortable with someone else constantly hanging around, among other reasons. The answer: perhaps a self-showing lockbox.

The self-showing lockboxes eliminate the need for a property manager to be present. Tenants or buyers can look at the property whenever their schedule permits. If they work odd hours, they could still look at a home. The advantages don’t end with the consumer. Without anyone there to show the home, property managers won’t be in a potentially dangerous position with clients. They can also program the boxes to only work at certain times. It really seems to be an improvement for everyone involved, but what’s the risk?

Unfortunately, a system like this involves a bit of trust. There have been incidents where less honest people get a copy of the key made and “rent” the property to unknowing tenants. Since their “landlord” was not the rightful owner of the property, these tenants can then be charged criminally for trespassing and/or are evicted. People will also steal from these homes, leave lights on or windows open, and generally mistreat the property. There are also issues concerning liability.

These lockboxes could be the future, but property managers will need to carefully weigh the risks in their decision.

Key Points:

  • 1“Smart Lock Boxes” allows a prospective tenant or buyer to enter and view a vacant property without the manager present.
  • 2Rental properties tend to rent more quickly with self-showing programs.
  • 3Only rightful landlords can legally rent property.

Quicker rentals mean shorter vacancy losses; just as more showings mean more potential buyers making offers to purchase, both big pluses.