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How to Share Lockbox Access

Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association
Orlando, Florida
Michael Kidd, EVP

An electronic lockbox service is one of the most basic association member benefits. Members subscribe to their association’s lockbox service and receive electronic keyboxes for the properties they list and electronic keys to access properties to show. No longer do practitioners need to pick up house keys from the listing broker’s office to show a property or call for the manual lockbox access code. Association members simply use the electronic key that is unique to them to access any listed property in the area. The keybox records their time of entry and keeps a visitor log for the listing agent. Electronic lockboxes are an immense time-saving convenience for REALTORS.

But what happens when a member in one association wants to access the lockbox on a property listed by the member of a neighboring association?

In some large metro areas where members of many associations routinely interact with each other, it is clear that associations need to share access to their lockbox systems.

In Florida, the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association has shared its lockbox system with three surrounding associations (Lakeland, East Polk County, and Osceola County) since 2001. “It is part of the regional focus on our area, knowing full well that real estate now goes far beyond the borders long ago set by local associations and boards,” says Michael Kidd, the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association’s Executive Vice President.

Because Orlando’s neighboring associations are much smaller, the partnership also allows them to take advantage of the price break Orlando receives when buying lockboxes in bulk. The partnership enables all members from four associations representing five counties to access one another's listings.

St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS®
St. Paul, Minnesota
Ron Covert, CEO

In Minnesota, six associations, which all use the Supra electronic lockbox system, allow each other’s members to access lockbox information.

While each of the six associations has a separate contracts with Supra, the sharing agreement is strictly between the associations, not with the vendor, and there is no additional charge for a member to access another association’s lockbox information. The agreement with neighboring associations has been in place for over 6 years and is very successful.

This success has led us to develop a Shared Association Services information system, whereby 12 participating MLS’s in the state integrate their data to become one database for all who subscribe. Each MLS inputs their listings into their own MLS system. This data is then available to all MLS subscribers so they have access to MLS information from across the state. With Shared Association Services, users only need to belong to one MLS to search listings from area MLS’s. Participants are able to join as many MLS’s as they prefer.