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I had two firsts this week. One was the first repeat customer. The other was my first cancellation/postponement. Both are with the same client. They will be calling back Monday to reschedule. Hey, this might be three birds with one stone. The reason stated for the postponement was the agent could not be there to open the door.

I am now on my way to the local realty association to get one of what they call Sentrilock keys. Do any of you use these type of keys? How often do they come in handy?

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You'll get some wildy varied responses to this one. Some love 'em, some hate 'em. Around here I would have to spend somewhere around $600-700 per year to have one, so I don't.

Across the state line in Bama, most local realtors are using the combination lock boxes. They tell you the combination, you open it; I like those. I doubt if the Mississippi bunch will ever go that way (they have "control issues").

Brian G.

Yeah, You're in Control...So Drive Your Butt Out Here & Let Me In [^]

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Hi John,

Yes I have a "Supra Key", and use it everyday. I don't need or care if the realtor is there or not and a lot of the realtors don't want to be there and don't want the hassel of opening the house so you can do your job. You'll find your brochure gets handed out more often and you'll recieve more referals if you have a lock box key.

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Originally posted by AHIS

Hi John,

Yes I have a "Supra Key", and use it everyday. I don't need or care if the realtor is there or not and a lot of the realtors don't want to be there and don't want the hassel of opening the house so you can do your job. You'll find your brochure gets handed out more often and you'll recieve more referals if you have a lock box key.

I'd get one if I could, but I can't. Out here, you have to be a Realtor to have one.

-Jim Katen, Oregon

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I have a supra key. These lock boxes are running about 1 to 3 verses regular combo boxes in this area. It ends up paying for itself in the long run, with conflicts in the realtors schedule or just plain laziness on their part. I know I would have lost some inspections without it. It costs me about $400 a year, that's split between rental and membership.

Jim, you are suppose to be realtor in Texas also. However, as an inspector you can join as an associate member. Have you checked that out?

Mike M

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I don't want a Supra key and I don't like it when the realtors give me the combinations to the locks. It is entirely the realtor's responsibility to open the door.

Last week a realtor that had supplied me with a combination called me and asked me where the smoke detectors were in the house. I said there weren't any...someone had removed them. The realtor then told me (stopped just short of accusing me) that the detectors were there before I inspected and that I was the last one in the house.

I joked about the excellent black market for stolen smoke detectors and asked the realtor if the sink traps were there the last time she was in the house because they were also missing.

Anyway, I don't want to inspect a house that's not mine, alone. I want someone else there, the client, the realtor or the owner.

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No Supra-keys for inspectors up here either and I believe the realtors can get fined $5000 if they don't attend (don't think that applies to new construction).

Anyway, I don't want to inspect a house that's not mine, alone. I want someone else there, the client, the realtor or the owner.

I'm with Chad on that, although in a vacant house I really don't care. In an occupied one, with valuables lying around, I actually want the realtor there to mind the clients. I'm sure they're all good people, but I just met them.

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In my area they are switching over to Sentrilock.

http://www.sentrilock.com/

Each year I pay $185 for affiliate dues to the local real estate association and $174 for the key card and USB gadget. The USB thing hooks up to your computer and is designed to program your card each day. Well, you don't have to program it every day but you do need to update it any day you intend to use it. If you forget it or loose it or whatever, a one time use pass code can be issued you to punch in on the key pad.

http://www.aacar.com/

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

Anyway, I don't want to inspect a house that's not mine, alone. I want someone else there, the client, the realtor or the owner.

You bet. I won't do any house where I'm there by myself. I don't need the hassle.

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I do more alone than not, and much, much prefer it that way. There may be some regional/cultural differences involved in that, but most folks around here think nothing of it and I've never even heard it suggested that I might have taken anything (even from the ones who were mad as hell at me). Knock wood. [:-clover]

Brian G.

Keeping The Karma High [:-cyclops

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Around here 99% of the houses have the "Supra Key - Lock Box" on it, the key cost me $123 per year (2008). Probably 90+ % of the homes I inspect, someone (usually the buyer) is with me – I strongly encourage the buyer to be with me. One of my slogans is “It is not just an inspection, it an educationâ€

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Just be careful. Every time you enter a house using the key - you are letting a number of persons know that it was YOU that entered the home. If YOU didnt bother getting permission from the listing agent or set it up thru CSS, then YOU may get yelled at by a buyer's agent, an annoyed homeowner, the Anne Arundel Assc of Realtors, etc. Gets easier as you make a name for yourself around town and agents recognize who you are and what capability you have as far as getting in and out of properties. I picked up a Supra key after our first inspection 7 years ago. Any key is handy and just removes that much more hassle from most agent's workloads (he/she doesnt have to let you in to retrieve radon equipment, e.g.) and that turns into referrals. Good to see you are doing well in a tough market.

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