Lockbox vs Ziptours – Realtors what do you think?

lockbox vs ziptours-realtors what do you think

[Question for a Realtor] Would you ever give your buyers your lockbox codes to tour listings on their own?

My initial thoughts

There is a company that did exactly that to the tune of 1000 showings in September, called ZipTours.

I am really curious about what you think. I am trying to imagine a homeowner being okay with this. I know I wouldn’t be. I want you to imagine that complete strangers that a Real Estate agent gave your lockbox security code to is able to open your door and come on in. A company called Marketplace Homes developed ZipTours.​

​Below is an excerpt from the inman article. Here is a link to the original article

Buyers using ZipTours to get lockbox codes, tour listings without agents present

ZipTours draws ire of agents, scrutiny of MLSs in Detroit area

​Teke Wiggin teke@inman.com tkwiggin Oct 5, 2015

Key Takeaways

  • Buyers are using ZipTours to get lockbox codes and video-chat showings in the Detroit area without agents being physically present.
  • ZipTours is looking to partner with real estate businesses, and is open to providing brokerages and agents with free access to its system.
  • Some real estate agents say ZipTours creates security and legal risks, and at least two MLSs are reportedly discussing how to handle ZipTours.

Realtor Lorraine Wiley recently saw two people stroll through the front door of a listing she’d just shown to clients.

She followed the pair into the house. “Oh, yeah, we’re the buyers,” she recalls them telling her when she confronted them. “And here’s our agent.”

They pointed a smartphone at Wiley. A face on the phone greeted Wiley and confirmed that she was, indeed, the couple’s agent.

Wiley clutched the listing’s lockbox and key, unsure how to respond. Then the agent on the smartphone volunteered the correct lockbox code, so Wiley reluctantly handed over the security devices.

“I needed to leave with my buyers,” said Wiley, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based agent who works at Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel. “What I wish I had done was write down the people’s names.”

The buyers that Wiley encountered were using ZipTours, a property-showing platform that’s allowing buyers to get into listings throughout the Detroit metropolitan area without being physically accompanied by agents.

Despite pushback from the industry, ZipTours may herald the emergence of technology that allows many more buyers to tour at least some types of listings without an agent physically by their side.

Some agents say ZipTours creates security and legal risks, but Livonia, Michigan-based Marketplace Homes, the discount brokerage that developed ZipTours, points out that ZipTours is built on the same foundation of mutual trust that underpins new-wave tech juggernauts like Uber and Airbnb.

Moreover, ZipTours’ identity authentication and video-recording systems offer a layer of protection that traditional showings lack, the brokerage argues.

The ‘safest system to show a home?’

“I can state with certainty that ZipTours is the SAFEST system to show a home in the world,” wrote Marketplace Homes CEO Mike Kalis in an email.

He added that ZipTours is looking for partners and may be willing to offer some agents and brokerages access to its system for free.

The complete inman article​

Final Thoughts

Am I the only one concerned about this? They mention that the trust required is similar to Airbnb and Uber. I personally don’t think its the same except in concept. It just not that much of a stretch from Taxi Driver to Uber. The vetting process with Airbnb you have complete control over. You the homeowner has the control and if your comfortable with that its your call. I’m slightly relieved after reading the comments in the inman post. The good news is after you have read the article there are plenty of people with opinions like mine.

Let me know what you think about this and if your are for it or against it in the comment section below.​

[QUESTION for a REALTOR] Would you let a buyer tour your clients property without you. In this article I share my...Posted by MB Buzz on Saturday, October 10, 2015

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Leave a Reply 4 comments

Beth ross - October 12, 2015 Reply

Absolutely Not! Use of this would jeopardize the safety of our clients both buyer and sellers, would denigrate the need for a professional Realtor and could lead to serious issues legal and moral for the brokerages and agents.

    Pierre Rattini - October 12, 2015 Reply

    Beth thank you for sharing your input. I agree completely and still I am baffled that homeowners would be okay with this. I would never allow it. Would love to here more opinions

Pierre Rattini - October 12, 2015 Reply

It’s issues like these that need Realtors to talk about and share their thoughts. I have privately received response from 10’s of agents who so far have been completely against this. I encourage you take this discussion public here or somewhere or this will again be another area that lowers the need for a Realtor. What do you really think about this issue?

Home Seller - April 17, 2016 Reply

Would you be ok with it if the agents fee dropped from 6% to 3% using this technology in the future? I know I would be. That’s potentially $6,000 in savings for a $200,000 home. It’s a huge amount for some.

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