2010
02.09

My Realtor Needs M2M

I’m in the process of selling a condo, and I don’t need to tell you that when you get an opportunity for a showing these days you don’t need any hiccups along the way. But that’s exactly what happened last Sunday afternoon.

When we got the call that someone wanted to come take a look, we went through the normal ritual of doing the fast clean up and then making ourselves scarce for the showing. For me, it was an opportunity to use that gym membership that isn’t used as often as I first thought.

All seemed well until I came back to my locker to find two new voicemails and a text message, all from my realtor, telling me that something had gone wrong with the lock box outside my unit and that the agent was unable to show the house. Luckily I was only about 10 minutes away and the showing agent and interested parties were still in the area, allowing me to zip home and let them in.

Talking with my realtor he thinks the problem was with the batteries on these new lock box units they have been using. We’ve been experiencing some frigid temps here in the Chicago area and he thinks that might have been the problem. In fact, he says a few agents have had problems with the batteries on these lock box units.

Our conversation triggered that strange occupational hazard of being Chief Editor of M2M magazine, where I start recalling how M2M technology could have helped the situation. I recalled how the Realtor Assn. of Northwest Chicagoland won a Value Chain Award from us in 2008 for a lockbox system that wirelessly communicates data on when and by whom a property was shown.

The award focused more on the realtime reporting capabilities of the system to realtors and not its ability to send an alert when a malfunction was about to occur with the lockbox. I think that would be a useful application. It certainly would have saved me some panic that Sunday. It’s just another example of how M2M can be useful in our everyday lives.

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