Oxford, CT (July 8, 2014) – Founded in the early 1990s with a focus on residential sales and rentals, Centre Realty Group (CRG) has grown into a full-service real estate brokerage firm specializing in residential and commercial sales and leasing in the Boston/Metro West area of Massachusetts. With its extensive rental database, the firm provides services to more than 500 landlords and property management groups.
In real estate, potential renters or buyers never make an offer or sign a lease on a property based solely on its exterior. To close a sale, the agent must be able to open the door, so the livelihood of both agents and agencies is highly dependent on the ability to access properties. And for an agency with more than 100 agents working out of offices in four towns, controlling access to and tracking the whereabouts of those keys can be challenging.
“With more than 100 agents, keys can very easily be lost. When they were taken from the office in the past, it was difficult to determine who had them and track that person down,” said Jack Foster, CRG’s owner, who is also a broker for the agency.
Recognizing these challenges, CRG evaluated a number of key control and management systems before implementing a Morse Watchmans KeyWatcher Touch system in the summer of 2013. CRG selected KeyWatcher Touch for myriad reasons, with the system’s ease of use and robust tracking capability at the top of the list.
“With the KeyWatcher Touch system, we no longer run into the problems we encountered before. Each agent has their own ID and password to access the system, so it’s very easy to track who has a key and when it was taken,” Foster said. “We evaluated two or three similar systems but each was missing components we needed to ensure the level of reliability and efficiency to provide our clients with the high-quality service they deserve.”
If a key is overdue for return, KeyWatcher Touch allows CRG management to quickly and easily notify a user via email. KeyWatcher Touch also offers the convenience of scheduled reports to be automatically emailed as PDFs to authorized recipients on a customizable schedule and frequency. They can also be accessed using the Morse Watchmans Mobile App, which can enable the user to not only view live information but also to interact with the KeyWatcher Touch system remotely.
Based on the performance and functionality of that first KeyWatcher Touch system, CRG installed two additional systems in its offices in early 2014. CRG has networked these systems and integrated them with Windows Server 2012, allowing the firm to take advantage of the system’s KeyAnywhere feature, which allows users to return a key to any of its three KeyWatcher systems. If a key is not in a particular office, a broker can quickly determine its location and retrieve it quickly without having to make phone calls or request a key from someone in a particular office.
“Having direct access to a specific key makes an agent’s job much easier when showing houses and rental units. Arriving late for an appointment because a key couldn’t be located is not only unacceptable but can also be a deal-breaker. KeyWatcher Touch has drastically streamlined the key management process, eliminating that factor from the process,” Foster said.
CRG is also pleased with the sleek, modular design of the KeyWatcher Touch system, which Foster said is a major upgrade from CRG’s previous key management system.
“KeyWatcher Touch is much more professional-looking than having keys hung on a pegboard, and it eliminates much time wasted searching for a specific key,” Foster said.