Frequently Asked Questions
In September 2017, GDAR Members voted to allow the Board of Directors to enter into an agreement with SentriLock™ for use of their Electronic Lockbox System. Since then, numerous Members have volunteered their time to develop the program which will be implemented starting in May 2018. Below are answers questions the Association has received about the SentriLock™ System. Full user guides will be available following orientation May 8, 9, & 10th. If you have a question and cannot find the answer here, please email email@example.com.
Deciding to move forward with electronic lockboxes:
REALTORS® have a responsibility to provide the most secure service possible for their clients and Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockboxes have been proven to be significantly more secure than the current combo boxes. If you have no way to tell who will enter your clients home when you put a lockbox on their door, then you aren’t doing your due diligence. That being said, the concerns with combo boxes are threefold:
- No means of knowing who has opened a box, or when they have done so.
- Members have shared combo box codes with other members, non-members and non-registrants.
- The current combo box solution used by members today does not have any policy around it’s use.
- While some Members do change their codes…many Members do not.
- Some Members use the same code for every lockbox they have ever used.
- Members write the codes down, email and otherwise distribute them in a manner that is not always secure.
- Incorrect combo box codes being sent result in REALTORS® and clients being “locked out” of confirmed showings.
- You can find YouTube videos illustrating how mechanical boxes can be opened without a password.
- It is much easier to breach the key compartment of combo boxes than the Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockboxes.
In the end, too many instances have been reported by Members to the Board and their Brokerages that the Association could no longer support the use of combo boxes. Therefore, they researched solutions and brought forward a technology that is not only more secure for Members and their clients, but also provides numerous other benefits (ie. safety app, showing notifications, etc.) to both. This is why the Association is recommending that you use a Sentrilock™ Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox on every listing (MLS® or exclusive) you elect to use a lockbox on.
Even if the results of the vote were close, they were clear – a majority of the voting Members were in favour of GDAR signing a 7-year contract with Sentrilock™.
When GDAR incorporated under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, we had to create by-laws. Those by-laws set out the rules for governing and operating the Association, which are agreed upon by the Members, and must be upheld under all circumstances.
The governance (by-law) that GDAR follows for voting and representation is pretty straight forward. The first stage is ensuring all Members are informed about the business we’ll be conducting at a membership meeting. Clarity of the business being decided is critical so members can determine whether to attend or not.
Secondly, from those who attend a meeting, most motions require a simple majority vote for approval. There are some extraordinary motions that legislation dictates require a 2/3 majority, such as amalgamations, disbanding the association and such, but this was not one of them.
GDAR’s By-law is clear: All matters proposed for consideration and approval of the Members shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast by the Members present either in person or by proxy. (Article 6.02) At least twenty-five percent (25%) of the Members must be present either in person or by proxy, at the beginning of and throughout the meeting, in order to establish and maintain the quorum necessary to conduct business. (Article 5.03)
Well over 25% of GDAR Members attended the Meeting either in person or by way of proxy. The majority of Members present voted in favour of the motion “to allow the board of directors to enter into a 7 year agreement with SentriLock”. Since both criteria for this vote were met the motion was carried.
As the leading electronic lockbox manufacturer and service provider, SentriLock™ operates in support of REALTORS® and the industry, offering an easy to use, reliable and secure system. SentriLock™ is owned by the National Association of REALTORS®, their system is designed by REALTORS® for REALTORS®.
The Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox is the most secure, durable, and versatile within the industry. With SentriLock’s reliable, multiple access method (using the SentriSmart® Mobile App or your SentriCard®), you will never miss a showing.
- The SentriSmart™ Mobile App also allows you to manage your Lockbox inventory, generate secure One Day Codes to allow non-members to show your property, view access logs, and control your personal settings related to the Lockbox features.
- Alternately, you can use the SentriCard® in combination with the SentriCard® Utility desktop program or SentriLock™ Website to perform all of the functions available in the Mobile App and more!
System orientation & hardware pickup will happen on May 8, 9, and 10 at the Holiday Inn Guelph (601 Scottsdale Drive, Guelph, ON N1G 3E7).
We highly encourage all Members, Brokerage Admins, and Assistants to attend one of the free 1 hour sessions to learn how to use the system. Members will also be able to pick up their complementary / additional hardware.
Registration is required. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not yet received confirmation of your registration via email.
You can come by the Association office at anytime during business hours after May 15th to pick up your hardware. Please email email@example.com ahead of time to ensure your order is ready when you arrive. Group training sessions will be available to those who couldn’t attend orientation at a later date. Watch your email for the invitation.
The SentriLock™ website has a full system user guide and many training resources. If your answer cannot be found there, please contact SentriLock™ Support or your Association staff (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re here to help!
- To access FAQs and manuals
Click the Support button on the toolbar in the SentriLock™ Website or Card Utility desktop program. Click FAQ to get the latest FAQs. Click Documentation to access manuals, guides and handouts.
The best way to reach SentriLock™ Support is via the Internet. You can reach them in one of the following ways:
- Submit a Support Ticket:
Click the Support button on the toolbar in the SentriLock™ Website or Card Utility desktop program. Click Add Ticket to send a message to SentriLock™ Support.
- E-mail details to:
- Support via the Telephone
If you prefer to contact SentriLock Support via the telephone, call their toll free number: 1-877-736-8745
Hardware & Costs:
A quarterly fee of $36+HST will be added to every Member’s invoice for the SentriLock™ service, starting June 1st, 2018.
- Current Members will be given one (1) complimentary Life Lease lockbox (must be picked up by Sept. 30, 2018).
- Additional boxes can be obtained from GDAR through a Life Lease for $90+HST (if ordered by Sept. 30, 2018).
- There is also a shorter-term Lease option of $10/month/lockbox +HST.
Regardless of the lease term entered into, there is a $250 replacement fee should a box be lost, stolen or damaged while it is assigned to you.
Life Lease means that you maintain possession of that lockbox as long as you are a GDAR Member or until the end of GDAR’s contract with SentriLock™ (at least 7 Years), whichever comes first. The lockbox is exclusively assigned to you and you can hold onto it and use it however you like, within the terms of GDAR’s Electronic Lockbox Policy. Basically, you just can’t damage/deface/lose or sell it, but you can transfer it to another GDAR Member if you don’t need it (be it for a week, or permanently).
Alternately, if you only need an extra lockbox for a short period of time and you can’t borrow one from a colleague – you can Lease it from the Association for just $10/month/lockbox +HST.
If you have registered to attend orientation, you will pick up your SentriCard®, SentriCard® Reader, (1) complimentary Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox, and any additional Lockboxes you pre-ordered immediately following the training presentation.
If you will not be attending orientation, you can pick up your SentriCard®, SentriCard® Reader, complimentary Lockbox, and any additional Lockboxes at the Association office (400 Woolwich Street) any time after May 15th. The office is open Monday-Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM. Please email email@example.com ahead of time to ensure your order is ready when you arrive.
Hardware can only be picked up by the Member REALTOR® placing the order, as GDAR requires that all Members sign the SentriLock™ System Agreement prior to receiving their hardware.
Moving forward, additional lockboxes can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Special General Meeting, a few potential options were discussed as to how this program might be implemented. It was also clearly stated that the final policy and procedure had not yet been created, and that the Association would not be contributing resources towards doing so until the Members approved the motion to allow the Board of Directors to enter into an agreement with SentriLock™ for use of their Electronic Lockbox System.
The Association staff and Member volunteers researched every possible option and spoke to many Members and Brokers of Record. After exploring the scenario of charging all Members a flat quarterly rate for the system, we found that model would not provide very much control to individual Members and was actually more costly for the majority of users.
MODEL 1 ($50 quarterly rate)
$50 x 4 Quarters x 7 Years = $1, 400
MODEL 2 ($36 quarterly rate + leased boxes)
$36 x 4 Quarters x 7 Years = $1,008
1 Complimentary Lockbox = $ 0
4 Life Lease Lockboxes ($90) = $ 360
Total (5 lockboxes) = $ 1,368
Only 100 Members had more than 10 total MLS® listings in the last 12 months. At present, only 28 (of 550) Members have more than 5 active, conditional, or pending MLS® listings in their name (many of whom are working as part of a team and will have the option of sharing/pooling their boxes together.) In addition, not all listings use a lockbox as the method of entry. Considering this, there is a very small percentage of Members who will require more than 5 boxes to accommodate their MLS® listings.
By opting to implement the second model, not only has the quarterly system cost been dramatically reduced (if not the overall cost entirely), Members will have more control over the lockboxes than they would have had with the alternative (model 1) which was discussed as a possibility at the meeting.
The maximum $50/quarter cost was based on the Association keeping an inventory of lockboxes for active MLS® Listings only. Choosing this model would mean that boxes would have to have been removed from properties immediately once they sold.
Instead, Members can now choose to leave boxes on their pending listings for final walk-throughs or use them on exclusive listings if so desired. Boxes won’t have to be returned to the Association or to the Brokerage for others to use, also you are not paying for additional boxes if you don’t need them. The Association is giving you a complimentary one to use and options if you need more. Plus, you also have the option to transfer (sell) them to a colleague when you’re finished with them and recoup some of your investment.
Yes. All GDAR members will be charged the $36 quarterly fee for the ability to access the system as a listing representative or as a buyers representative. You will receive 1 complimentary lockbox, it is up to you whether you wish to lease more at an additional cost, or work with colleagues to share lockboxes.
Members terminating their Membership at GDAR must return their SentriCard®, SentriCard® Reader and any Leased lockboxes to the Association.
Any Life Leased lockboxes in your name must either be returned to the Association office upon termination or they can be transferred to another Active GDAR Member.
Brokerages can decide whether or not they would like to keep spare lockboxes on hand at their office. The spare lockboxes will need to be Life Leased from the Association by the Broker of Record at a rate of $90 +HST per box (if ordered by September 30, 2018).
Life Leased Lockboxes can be borrowed from other GDAR Members at anytime, using the 24/7 online transfer portal.
GDAR’s Electronic Lockbox Policy will not permit any permanent alterations or damage to any Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox. If you would like to put branding on your lockbox, options like a “Lockbox Shield” are permitted and can be obtained from printing companies like http://www.sentrilockwrap.com.
If you are unsure whether your branding is compliant with the policy, please contact the Association for approval prior to ordering customized branding solutions for your lockboxes.
(Note: Sentrilockwrap is USA based).
SentriSmart® Mobile App
You absolutely DO NOT need a cell phone to open the new Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockboxes. Every Member will recieve a SentriCard® and can use this with a 4-digit PIN (just like your bank card) to open any Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox.
Having a cell phone (with an iOS or Android operating system) will allow you to download and use the SentriSmart® Mobile App which has many helpful features, but is not necessary to use the SentriLock™ System.
The SentriSmart® Mobile App combines the key features of your SentriCard® and the SentriLock™ website into one convenient to use mobile solution for day-to-day system usage.
- Open lockboxes (even when Internet service is unavailable).
- Integration with Matrix™ allows you to see the property details after opening the key door.
- Use your current location to find nearby lockboxes / listings.
- Receive instant access and showing notifications (when connected to the Internet).
- View access logs on your listings.
- Generate one day codes to send to non-member REALTORS® who want to show your listing.
- Change your default lockbox settings.
- Release the shackle and assign or remove your lockbox from a listing.
- Customize & reset the settings on your lockboxes.
- Use the optional REALTOR® safety feature to notify your designated contact if you feel unsafe.
Blackberry and Windows phones are not compatible with the SentriSmart® app. The SentriSmart® app is only compatible with Apple devices that have an operating system of iOS 8 or higher, or Android devices that have an operating system of Android version 6.0 (Marshmallow) or higher.
The exception to this rule is Blackberry phones running on an Android operating system. SentriLock™ does not support these phones and those members who choose to try and access the system using this platform will most likely experience intermittent success working with the product.
To ensure that you are able to access the lockboxes on a reliable basis, we recommend that you use your SentriCard® instead.
The SentriSmart™ Mobile App includes the REALTOR® Safety Feature allowing REALTORS® to alert contacts in the case of an unexpected or potentially dangerous situation.
When using SentriSmart™ app to open a lockbox, the REALTOR® Safety Feature will launch if you have previously chosen to enable it in the app. This feature will prompt you to answer whether you feel safe, do not feel safe, or are unsure. If you answer that you feel safe, it will turn off. If you answer that you are unsure, it will ask you again in 90 seconds by way of vibration. The app will automatically alert your designated contact(s) with your location if you do not, or cannot, confirm you are safe.
Listing & Showing Processes
Showing requests and confirmations will continue to be processed the way you process them now. The only difference is that if there is a Bluetooth® REALTOR® lockbox on the property, you will not need to send an access code to the REALTOR® if they are a Member of GDAR or one of the reciprocal boards (Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, Woodstock-Ingersoll Real Estate Board, or Brantford Regional Real Estate Board). Simply send them confirmation of their showing appointment and they will be able to use their SentriCard® or SentriConnect® App to open the box.
If the buyer’s representative is not a Member of one of these boards, the Listing REALTOR® / Brokerage Admin / REALTOR® Assistant will need to either (1) send them a one-day code, or (2) grant them lockbox access for the duration of the showing (if the non-member has downloaded the SentriConnect® App).
Every GDAR Member will receive a SentriCard® and can download the SentriSmart® Mobile App (if they are using an iOS or Android device). Your SentriCard® will come on a sheet of paper which contains your SentriLock™ username, temporary password, and temporary PIN which you will need to update. You can use this username & password to log into the SentriSmart® Mobile App.
The process to confirm showings has not changed.
If you know you are going to be late for a showing, you should contact the listing REALTOR® (as you would now) to confirm a new / extended time slot.
Should you access a Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox outside of your confirmed showing time, your entry will be logged and visible to the listing REALTOR®. It is up to the listing REALTOR® whether they would like to forward the unauthorized/unconfirmed access to the Association and/or RECO as a complaint.
Immediately following orientation May 8-10! Members who are not attending orientation but plan on showing property after May 8th should make an effort to pick up their SentriLock™ System package from the Association office as soon as possible after May 15th so that they can access listings with Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockboxes.
Absolutely! The Assocaition encourages Members to use a Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox on every property with a lockbox.
No, GDAR will not restrict Members from using lockboxes on any property. However, only Active, Conditionally Sold, or Pending MLS® Listings can be linked to a Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox. Once a listing has closed, expired, or is cancelled, if the lockbox is “unassigned” from that property, the MLS® Listing will disappear from the Sentrilock™ program. Incoming listings will not appear in the SentriLock™ program. You can add any address to the SentriLock™ program manually to assign a lockbox to it (this is what you will do for exclusive listings), but unless the listing has an Active, Conditionally Sold, or Pending status, it won’t automatically appear in your properties list in the SentriLock™ program.
Admins & Assistants
All brokerage administrators and REALTOR® assistants who have been registered with GDAR will receive a username and password to log into the Sentrilock™ website. Just like in Matrix, admins will be able to access every lockbox and listing belonging to the REALTORS® in their brokerage office(s). Assistants will be able to access the lockboxes and listings for their REALTOR® employers. From the Sentrilock™ website, admins & assistants can:
- Assign Member’s lockboxes to their listing
- Manage listing settings (ie. set access times)
- Generate One-Day Codes (to give non-member REALTORS® access to a lockbox)
- Download showing reports / lockbox access logs.
Every REALTOR® Assistant with Matrix™ credentials has the ability to run reports & assign lockboxes to properties in the SentriLock™ System (free of charge). However, if your Assistant requires the ability to physically place your lockbox on the property or remove it (release the shackle), they will need to register for their own SentriLock™ Assistant SentriCard®.
Assistant lockbox access is available at a cost of $36/quarter + HST and a one time hardware fee of $50+HST for their SentriCard® & SentriCard® Reader. Please email email@example.com to obtain the registration form if you would like to set up your Assistant with lockbox access, or for more information.
Non-Members and Outside Area Lockbox Use:
The Association encourages Members to use a Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox on every property with a lockbox. However, you may need to be cognizant of the fact that REALTORS® in that area may not have SentriLock™ system access and so they may need to be issued a one-time code or SentriConnect® access the same as you would for any other non-member who wants to show a property with a Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox.
We’re also excited to announce that a few nearby Associations have implemented (or will be implementing the SentriLock™ System in the near future) and have agreed to allow reciprocal access with GDAR Members. This means that Members from the following boards will not need to be sent one-day codes to show your listings and you’ll be able to use your (GDAR) SentriCard® or SentriSmart® Mobile App to open their Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockboxes!
- Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®;
- Woodstock-Ingersoll Real Estate Board;
- Brantford Regional Real Estate Association; and
The Cambridge Association of REALTORS® also decided to implement the SentriLock™ System recently, so they may be reciprocal in the near future as well.