Here I am in the centre of Toronto, in the middle of March and it’s really, really cold out and this brings me to a problem I’ve had a few times over the past weeks and that’s with frozen lockboxes.

This time of year the temperature goes up and down a lot, you get moisture in the lockbox and you can’t open it.  It’s too damned cold out here to be fiddlin’ around with it in the middle of Winter

When you’re selling a condo you generally put your lockbox outside.  These lockboxes are for real estate agents, their not for the general public.  Some skateboarding hooligans can’t come buy, take your key out and have a drug fuelled sex orgy in your house.

Your real estate agent wants to show your property for sale, or he wants to show you a property that you might buy.  He calls ahead, he books an appointment and he’s given the code.  Once he has the code he can show you into the property or he can show a prospective buyer your property.

As you can see in the video there are lots and lots of locboxes out here and one of the biggest joys that I have as a real estate agent is the constant game of hide and go seek that you need to find the lockbox that you need for the unit that you want to get into.

Today in this video, I’m going to be installing one of my own lockboxes, I’m going to show you what I do to keep it looking unique and I’m going to show you what you can do in the case of having a lockbox stick.

First thing you want to do is identify your own lockbox, you can put your card on the back of it, you can put your name on it, you can paint it a funny colour.  In the video you’ll even see an example of a lockbox within a plastic bag.

I like to use a bright orange zip tie.  That way you’ll always know it’s mine and you can see it from a distance.

I’d also like to show you an example of what happens when a lockbox freezes. You know it’s March out here in the City of Toronto and there are a lot of temperature fluctuations.  The temperature goes up, the temperature comes down.  When it comes down you get moisture inside the lockbox.  Generally during the day you get some sun on the lockbox, you get water into it, it freezes.  At night when you’re trying to show a property, let’s say 6 or 7 o’clock, the sun’s gone down, people are coming home form work and they want to see your property.  You’ve got to go and try to get the lockbox open after it’s been in the hot sun all day and now it’s frozen and won’t work.

So here are a few things you can do to get your lockbox unstuck;

As a Toronto Realtor, I carry a $3.00 bottle of lock de-icer with me at all times during the Winter.  If the lockbox is stuck, simply spray a little of the lock de-icer in the lock, spray some in the mechanism, give it two minutes and I swear you will be able to open this lockbox like you just bought it yesterday.

If you don’t have lock de-icer with you, the next best thing is simple windshield washer fluid.  Either the all season, or Winter type will work.  Pour a little of the windshield washer fluid on your lockbox, give it a minute or two, you may have to jimmy it a bit, but that lockbox will come unstuck and free soon enough and you’ll be able to get your clients into the house.

So let’s say you don’t have windshield washer fluid. It’s the last second, your clients are getting pissed, they’re about to go home. You need to open this lockbox! How are you going to do it?  HOT COFFEE!  It’s not pretty!  It’s messy!  It can be dirty but it works. Pour a little bit of hot coffee on your lockbox, let it sit in, let the lock thaw and sure enough you’ll be able to get the key.  It’ll cost you about 3 bucks (for the good variety), but it’s worth it because you got to show the property and your clients are happy.

I’m Chris Borkowsky…they call me Condo Chris, I’m a broker with ReMAX Hallmark in the City of Toronto.  If you’re looking for a Condo in Toronto give me a call at 416-486-5588.