As 2015 rolls in, Providence Group Realty is rethinking listing disclosures and safety recommendations for Seller clients. Forget breaking glass… Gorilla glass could make burglary easier than ever.
Earlier this year, one of our vendor partners, Vadim Epelbaum (Director of Business Development for Joe East Enterprises, Inc, A-1 Locksmith, and A-1 Security Group) alerted us to new online services offering key cloning via smartphone. There are several websites and apps that now enable customers to clone new keys using nothing but 2 clicks of a camera.
Local DFW Metroplex reporter, Ginger Allen (CBSDFW 11), intereviewed Mr. Epelbaum in a recent featured story highlighting the new technology and discussing protective measures that should be taken by homewoners.
Naturally, Sellers have a much higher risk than the average population of having this new technology used against them by unscrupulous individuals who have access to a door key via keybox and / or property showings.
Protective Measures Against Surreptitious Key Duplication
While most Realtors® employ the use of higher security lockboxes (e.g., SupraKey iBox blue) for occupied and furnished properties, Sellers still need to understand the larger risk of online key duplication services and consider proactive options prior to going on market. Options could include:
- No Lockbox – Showing by appointment only with Listing Realtor® / homeowner present
- Installing keyless deadbolt locks to at least protect the occupants from unauthorized entry while home
- Upgrading to high security keys & locks
- Upgrading to a digital peephole door viewer
At a minimum, listing Realtors® should advise their Seller Clients of the new risk, and provide referrals to local vendors who can assist Sellers with offering security options. On the highly-nurturing end of the spectrum, some brokerages may elect to offer covering security devices as part of their property marketing services, as we at Providence Group Realty are deciding to do.