Ed Mead: This Simple, Cheap Product Makes Life Easier for Anyone Working In Property

While it’s satisfying to see an idea morphing into reality, and exhausting to ride the rollercoaster of emotions that any start up endures – managing expectations has been the most important sanity keeper.

Having been an estate agent for as long as I have it’s clear there’s an issue and producing a solution – offering [overflow] viewings 24/7 nationally – and making sure it works, well, is paramount.

Access to property is one of the biggest ongoing headaches for agents, developers and the trade. Source: Pexels

It’s also clear that we work in a conservative industry that takes time to work through any potential issues to see if that solution works for them.

Quite right too, and during the time that the market has started to accept that Viewber is a solid, reliable business that’s very much still here and growing, it’s become clear that there are other, even more obvious ways that the property industry, and others, can gain from some of the things we’ve been trying out.

The property industry consists of many ‘verticals’ – a word our COO has introduced into my lexicon – all looking for solutions to their own existing and unique problems. One solution we’ve refined, and is starting to go off at a tangent and with burgeoning benefits, is the use of keysafes.

Mead: Keysafes have been a game changer for my business and allow all parties to access a property with ease. Source: Amazon

Viewber works best by the fitting of keysafes to properties allowing access not just to Viewbers for inspections and viewings, but also contractors, inventory clerks, surveyors and members of the agent or owner’s team.

Anyone who deals with property in any capacity knows the biggest headache is managing keys.

Because our business exists to get people into any property anywhere, when a client asks we’ve had to develop slick and quick fitting of key safes (lock boxes – whatever you want to call them) and with the introduction of very cool Bluetooth units, that allow remote management and one time only access with recorded openings, there are now exciting options for anyone that needs to manage properties, wherever they are.

Ed Mead (right) alongside fellow Viewber co-founder Marcus de Ferranti. Source: Viewber

Insurance companies don’t have an issue and 30m entries a year in the US, widespread use of mechanical keysafes by Airbnb, Police and Care services and on remote maintenance sites here in the UK surely mean it’s time to widen and accept their use.

Cost used to be an issue, but we can fit a mechanical safe Nationwide for £55 + VAT and a Bluetooth one for £140 + VAT, the next day including the cost of the unit.

Tech giant Airbnb use keysafes, so why are they still ignored by some in the property community? Source: Flickr

There are plenty wanting to be negative but of the thousands we’ve used we’ve not had an issue to date and if someone is really determined to get into a property are they really going to spend time in the dark or rain trying to break in to a keysafe when they can far more easily kick the door in or smash a window.

Certainly a discreetly placed keysafe, and if you ask your mates I bet you’ll find many use them already but just don’t talk about it, can offer some real efficiencies and savings to anyone who finds dealing with keys a real headache – and I reckon that’s most people.


Ed Mead is an independent property commentator and a Founder of Viewber – an online service that matches estate agents with viewing agents and local property experts.