As Real Estate Market Rebounds, Agent Safety Has to be a Priority

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Like many industries, the real estate space came to a standstill for a few months when lockdowns were imposed across the country in March and April.  In May and June, though, the housing market rebounded strongly – May saw a 44% increase in pending home sales, the largest monthly gain since the data has been tracked. 

That’s certainly good news for realtors, but it also means agents became inherently at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. 

Supra provides access solutions for the real estate industry, and introduced its first lockbox system back in 1955.  It says its solutions enabled access for more than 1 million showings a week by the end of June. 

“With this kind of volume in real estate showings, there’s a need for agents to be active and safe, and we want to help make sure they have the best tools available.”

Fayyad Sbaihat, president, Supra

With Supra’s eKEY solution, agents can safely unlock keyboxes safely through their mobile devices, reducing physical contact points required to enter homes.  While it was a point of convenience, it’s become an additional safety measure during the pandemic.

In addition, Supra has added new features to further reduce risk.  Keybox settings can now be changed remotely, whereas updates previously required bringing keyboxes to offices.  New settings will be automatically delivered to the next agent with an eKEY for each box.  eKEY upgrades can also be done remotely, and agents can receive their authorizations for eKEY-enabled keyboxes via email. 

For instance, St. Louis Realtors wanted to change over its ActiveKEY keyboxes to eKEY, which would have required each keybox to be manually updated.  With the enhancements to the eKEY platform, it was able to accomplish the task much more quickly and safely.

“We needed to quickly exchange over 1,300 ActiveKEY hardware keys within one week of reopening our association’s building.  Supra helped us shift from a two-day, in-person key exchange event to a remote installation that ensured peace of mind for our members.”

Rick Capelli, CFO, St. Louis REALTORS

Supra’s eKEY provides a number of additional features to help agents work more efficiently, including:

  • Setting access hours to listings
  • Changing keybox shackle codes
  • Tracking keybox inventory
  • Real-time data at the door, including listing photos and current property notes
  • Easily showing properties using biometric features on phones or even Apple Watch
  • Real-time information when showings start and end

eKEY Professional and Supra Home Tour provide even more advanced tools to make the home buying process easier, especially during the pandemic when buyers and agents are both aware of the risks of close in-person interactions.