Facebook Twitter



"Elvis" returned to earth Wednesday, descending out of the clouds to put in an appearance at the Salt Lake Board of Realtors office at 2970 E. 3300 South.

No, "The King" didn't drop down from rock 'n' roll heaven, he arrived in more prosaic fashion, via parachute from an aircraft. And he brought his twin brother with him.Two of the "Flying Elvi," a group of sky-diving Elvis impersonators featured in the film "Honeymoon in Vegas," arrived bearing what was said to be the millionth electronic keybox used in North America.

The box was presented to board authorities who joined Tracey Cannon, principal broker for Cannon Associates, for installation on a neighborhood home.

Keyboxes are the devices real estate agencies hang on the doors of homes for sale. Only qualified agents are allowed keys to the box, which in turn contains the key to the house, allowing access to show the home to potential buyers.

But there are problems with the keyed keyboxes, said, say the Realtors. Keys to the boxes inevitably get lost or stolen, leaving for-sale homes vulnerable to unauthorized access. Boxes using combination locks also have problems, they said.

Solution: the electronic keybox, called Advantage Express KeyBox System, made by Supra, a company based in Salem, Ore. It first came on the market three years ago and spokesman Michael Hor-vath said it is now used in almost every major real estate market in North America and by about half of all real estate professionals.

The keyless system uses a remote activator much like a TV remote control. Agents enter their personal code on a keypad, which, in turn, opens the keybox. Hor-vath said this eliminates the lost/stolen key problem and also creates a record of who has entered a home and the time of entry.

The device also allows the listing broker to set the time that the house is available for entry and it allows listing agents to report to homeowners all viewings of the property.

"Because the Advantage Express system limits entry only to agents who are members of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors, we'll be able to control who has access to the house," said Cannon, who is co-chairwoman of the board's Multiple Listing Service.

Horvath said all Salt Lake Board members have agreed to convert to the new system. He said a total of 8,300 new keyboxes and 3,200 of the remote activators - agents will share them so fewer activators are needed than keyboxes - will be in place throughout the board's market area.