Open This Lockbox! Ask Technical Terry

Open This Lockbox! Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry Silhouette

Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

Dear TT,

First—thank you, and thanks to RMLS™—for keeping subscribers updated with the latest in lockbox technology. In doing so though, it puts stress on us REALTORS® to make sure we have the latest phone, computer, or tablet, and sometimes that gets confusing. Take the new SentriLock Bluetooth lockboxes—while I’m sure they’re a nice piece of technology, I’ve had a few issues getting mine to open. Do you have any general troubleshooting advice you can give? Keep in mind I’m generally in front of clients when the lockbox won’t open! Darn that Murphy’s Law!

Confused in Coquille

Dear CC,

You’re spot on—the new SentriLock lockboxes are a better piece of technology overall, but they also require the user to familiarize themselves with basic Bluetooth troubleshooting tactics to avoid embarrassment in front of clients like what you’ve experienced. Here’s my advice:

  • Make sure your cell phone is running the minimum operating system for SentriLock Bluetooth support. On Android devices, this means operating 6.0.1 or higher. On Apple devices, this means iOS 8 or higher.
  • Ensure your cell phone is running the latest version of SentriSmart™: the current version for both Android and iOS is 3.7.2. You can check your version by opening the app, selecting “Settings,” then scrolling down to “Version.”
  • Check that Bluetooth is turned on in the phone you’re using! This may sound simple, but the RMLS™ Help Desk has had calls from more than one subscriber whose Bluetooth radio was not turned on in their cell phone. Most phones provide access to a settings menu to control various aspects of your cell phone. You should find the on/off switch for Bluetooth in this area of your phone.
  • Make sure the Bluetooth radio is on in the lockbox! Remember that you need to press the ENT button on the face of the lockbox (shown below) in order to switch the lockbox’s Bluetooth radio on.
SentriLock Bluetooth with ENT Highlighted
  • Turn off the Bluetooth radio on your phone for five seconds, then turn it back on again.
  • Close other apps that may be running on your phone. Depending on the type of phone (Android or iPhone) the process for closing running apps will vary.
  • Reboot your cell phone. When was the last time you restarted your cell phone? Much like a computer, rebooting the phone can make a world of difference.
  • Make sure the lockbox you’re attempting to open via Bluetooth is indeed a Bluetooth lockbox! The older NXT lockbox (shown below) looks the same as a Bluetooth lockbox with one exception: Bluetooth lockboxes have a white front, not a blue front. [We really do want to see all the older NXT lockboxes out of the marketplace—if you happen to encounter one, let us know and we’ll contact the subscriber to get it swapped out.]

In the big picture, you may need a bit more understanding about how Bluetooth works with your specific cell phone, including some routine maintenance tasks (closing apps and rebooting the phone on occasion) to make your usage of the new Bluetooth lockboxes more successful.

CC, I hope this was helpful! Don’t forget, you can always contact SentriLock at (513) 618-5800 or the RMLS™ Help Desk at (503) 872-8002 [toll free (877) 256-2139] for assistance.

Technical Terry

Dear Technical Terry,

One of my listings is a solid hour from my office—two hours round trip. Yesterday I made the trip in order to put a lockbox on the listing. Then this morning I received an email from SentriLock about updating the lockbox firmware! Do I really need to drive all the way back to do that before anyone can access the listing?

Yours in Real Estate,
Fern in Forest Grove

Dear Fern:

How frustrating it would be to get that email right after making a long trip! Rest assured, you don’t have to return to this listing before it can be shown.

Here’s the story: the Bluetooth lockboxes we received for the upgrade events last fall have the newest firmware that was available at that time. SentriLock did issue a new firmware version at the end of December, but it’s not a required update. In fact, none of the firmware updates that SentriLock has released are required! The lockboxes will still function without updates! These updates just fix issues with battery life and working with Bluetooth radios on newer phones. They are good to apply, but are not required for the lockbox to function.

If you do want to update the firmware on your Bluetooth lockboxes, there are two ways to do it. If you have easy access to the lockbox—say it’s sitting on your desk—I’d advise using SentriSmart™ as the lockbox owner or as an agent with ownership privileges (aka team members) and select the “update firmware” option under Lockbox Tools.

The second way to do it is through a passive update. Passive firmware updates happen when the box receives small pieces of the update every time a broker opens that box to show a listing. The incremental update could take 15 or more container accesses, since agents may walk away from the door while showing the property. When the update is initiated and stops prior to completion, the next agent to access the lockbox using the app will start the firmware update from where the prior connection left off. (Think of this as the torrent version of updating your lockbox.) Once again, updating this firmware manually is not required.

As you can see, firmware is nothing to fret about!

Yours at RMLS™,
Ask Technical Terry

Open This Lockbox! Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry: SentriLock Codes


Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

Technical Terry,

I’ve heard my fellow REALTORS® talking about access codes for the SentriLock system that they can give to contractors or fellow REALTORS®. I have no idea what they’re saying! Can you explain what they’re talking about?

Sincerely Yours,
Lost in Lockbox Land

Thanks for reaching out to us, Lost. Of course I can explain what they’re talking about!

The SentriLock lockbox system provides a few ways to open a lockbox using codes that you can generate yourself. I’ll explain the codes and who can use each.

First are codes that can be generated by RMLS™ subscribers using the SentriSmart™ app. SentriSmart™ Mobile Access Codes (SMACs) are generated by using the SentriSmart™ app on a smartphone instead of using your SentriCard®. Never give a SMAC to anyone—this is like giving out your SentriCard® and is subject to the same rules and sanctions.

The other type of codes are generated by the owner of a lockbox.

One of these codes is the one day code. These can only be generated by the lockbox owner. The one day code will only work for a limited period of time—one hour from the time the code is initially used to open the lockbox.

A contractor code is used to allow access to someone with whom you and the homeowner have agreed can gain access to the property. This code can also be generated using SentriSmart™, by using the SentriLock website, or by calling SentriLock.

The big difference between using a one day code and a contractor code is that a contractor code can be used any day, over and over, as long as it falls within the access times programmed into the lockbox.


Now you’ve got the concept…how do you generate codes?

One Day Codes
One day codes can be created the following ways:

• using the SentriCard® Utility or the SentriLock website.
• using the SentriLock Card Authorization Renewal System (CARS) by calling (513) 618-5800.
• using SentriSmart™.
• by contacting SentriLock technical support.

Contractor Codes
First, contractor mode must be enabled on your lockbox for contractor codes to work. Lockbox owners are assigned three contractor codes for use, and these codes will work indefinitely as long as contractor mode is active on the lockbox.

When you turn on contractor mode, anyone with the lockbox’s contractor codes can use them to open the key compartment without a SentriCard®.

How to Turn on Contractor Mode
1. Insert your SentriCard® into the lockbox. Wait until the CODE light displays, then press your PIN and Enter.
2. After the READY light comes on, press FUNC + 6 + 1 and Enter. If you would like to turn contractor mode off, enter FUNC + 6 + 0 and Enter.
3. Remove your SentriCard® from the lockbox.

You can use the SentriCard® Utility or SentriLock website to find a lockbox’s contractor codes.

How to Find Your Contractor Codes using the SentriLock Website
1. Use the SentriCard® utility to log in to the SentriLock website. Insert your SentriCard® into the reader attached to your computer. The SentriCard® Utility should display the login window with your SentriLock ID appearing automatically. Type your password in and log in to access the main menu.
2. Click My Lockboxes. On the Lockboxes window, click the serial number of the lockbox.
3. On the Edit Lockbox window, click Default Lockbox Settings or Custom Lockbox Settings.
4. The Contractor Code fields on the Default Lockbox Settings or Custom Lockbox Settings windows will display the contractor codes for the lockbox you selected from the Lockboxes window.

One more (important) thing—your brokerage may have policies about the use of one day and contractor codes. Before you start using either, be aware of your company’s policies!

Have we helped you find your way, Lost in Lockbox Land? If you have trouble with SentriLock lockbox codes or have other questions, SentriLock technical support is the best resource for SentriLock issues. The RMLS™ Help Desk is happy to answer lockbox questions as well.


Open This Lockbox! Ask Technical Terry

What Will the SentriLock Conversion Event Be Like? A Walkthrough

The RMLS™ conversion to SentriLock is just weeks away!

We’re proud to say that as of September 25, we’ve had 6,207 subscribers register for one of our many conversion events—that’s nearly 60% of RMLS™ subscribers! All subscribers should have received at least one email from SentriLock by now, inviting them to register for an event. If you haven’t received yours, call SentriLock directly at (877) 433-6998 for assistance.

Wondering what to expect when you arrive at your selected conversion event? Here’s a walkthrough of how SentriLock and RMLS™ will be running each conversion event.

CHECK IN (10-15 minutes)

SentriLockCheckInSentriLock recommends arriving 15-20 minutes before your appointment.

When you arrive at the conversion event, head to the check in area. This is where you will drop off your existing Supra iBoxes and key. SentriLock staff will scan them in to verify ownership, so make sure before arrival that all your lockboxes are registered to you! If your dues haven’t been paid, you will be directed toward another table to take care of that before your training session begins.

If you have many boxes in your car and would like help bringing them in, SentriLock and RMLS™ staff will be available with hand trucks to assist—just come inside and ask a staff member about help with unloading.

If you are registered to attend the Oregon Convention Center conversion event, you can pull off the road on Holladay Street (the side of the building with MAX tracks)—SentriLock and RMLS™ will have staff stationed outside for bulk loading assistance.

TRAINING (45-60 minutes)

SentriLockTrainingAfter you have given your Supra iBoxes and key to the staff at check in, your training session will begin. Attendees will use the SentriLock equipment during the training, be guided through the SentriLock website, and be given the opportunity to ask questions about the new system. At the end of the class you will know how to open boxes, open shackles, assign boxes to listings, use your smartphone to open a key compartment, and other integral aspects of the SentriLock system.

While you’re being trained by the experts, SentriLock staff will be preparing your new lockboxes for you.

CHECK OUT (10 minutes)

SentriLockCheckOutOnce training is over, you will go to the new SentriLock box pickup area where your new equipment will be waiting for you. This will include a SentriCard®, SentriLock lockbox(es), RAD, and SentriCard® reader.

If you need help carrying boxes to your car, staff will again be available to help.


A standard conversion appointment should take no longer than 90 minutes from start to finish. SentriLock and RMLS™ both want subscribers to have a good experience, and we’ve streamlined the process as much as possible for efficiency.

A major issue that can delay you during the conversion appointment is if you arrive with Supra iBoxes registered in someone else’s name. If you bring in Supra iBoxes that are registered to another active RMLS™ subscriber, they will be set aside and once proper ownership is verified, we will get the proper owner a replacement SentriLock lockbox. This may not happen until well after the conversion, so it is critical to make sure all the boxes you bring are registered to you.

It is possible to keep your Supra key after your conversion appointment in order to ease the placement and removal of any additional Supra iBoxes you may have. You will need to come to a later conversion event and turn in your Supra key once you exchange the last of your Supra iBoxes.

John Ayers Shares More SentriLock Details in New Video

John Ayers, RMLS™ Vice President of Subscriber Services, provides subscribers additional details about the SentriLock lockbox system RMLS™ will be converting to this fall. Watch the video to learn about securing replacement batteries for your new lockbox, various ways to access the lockbox at a showing, and important conversion preparation information. (Note: no equipment is being exchanged at this time!)

A few highlights:

• Subscribers should have recently received an email containing a list of the Supra lockbox numbers registered in their name. Make sure this information is correct! At SentriLock events this fall, we will be unable to exchange lockboxes that are not registered to you. If you find you have some lockboxes that are not registered in your name, submit a Lockbox Transfer Form to RMLS™ in advance of your exchange event.
• SentriLock will provide replacement lockbox batteries to RMLS™ free of charge, and recommends that subscribers use these commercial-grade batteries rather than similar ones found in retail establishments. If you are unable to make it in to an RMLS™ office, we will be able to mail batteries to subscribers as well.
• Smartphone access will be available in time for our conversion. Details about this exciting development will be shared when they become available.

Need help determining which lockboxes are registered to you? Contact the RMLS™ Help Desk by phone at (503) 872-8002, (877) 256-2169, or by email at

Open This Lockbox! Ask Technical Terry

Price of New SentriLock Lockbox Set


The RMLS™ Board of Directors recently set the price of a new SentriLock lockbox at $89, effective when RMLS™ transitions to the new lockbox system later this year.

Key prices for the SentriLock system have been set at $33 per quarter.

RMLS™ will be holding one-for-one lockbox exchange events in October or November, and details will be made available as they are finalized. Subscribers are advised to start preparing for these fall events now by determining the location of all their lockboxes, making sure the lockbox is registered to the correct individual or business.

Trainers and other RMLS™ staff have been demonstrating the new SentriLock equipment during scheduled office visits and Broker Education Series events. Subscribers are highly encouraged to request a demonstration when scheduling RMLS™ training at their office. Alternately, visitors may get to know the SentriLock equipment by visiting their local RMLS™ office. If both these options are unavailable, watch our SentriLock demonstration video online.

RMLS™ hopes to make the transition to the SentriLock system a smooth one for all subscribers. We will continue to pass information along as it develops. If you have any further questions along the way, never hesitate to call the RMLS™ Help Desk at (503) 872-8002 or (877) 256-2169.

“I have gone through many lockbox changes in my 35 years in real estate—but this is the first one I’m looking forward to. I believe the multiple features of the REALTOR® NXT lockbox will make our job easier: the Remote Access Device (RAD), larger key compartment, customized showing notifications and reports, and not having to cut a dead lockbox off a property, just to name a few!”

George Perkins
20/20 Properties, Inc.