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Glenn’s Friend, the Oncologist

Suggests private dotcom sell lockboxes to any Seller

Lockboxes Galore

image source

This would allow buyers to submit their information for a pass code to enter the house…

The Gory Details

Source: Redfin Corporate Blog, Glenn Kelman This is the Big One

The oncologist’s idea was to provide an online forum where a prospective buyer could present credentials (bank statements, credit card number, criminal record, photo, property access history) to the seller. The seller could then decide to schedule a time when the buyer could access the property, whereupon the website would issue a temporary code for opening the web-controlled lockbox. Armed with the code at the designated time, the buyer could access the property on her own.

Even Glenn seems skeptical even though this would certainly forward the idea of the d.i.y. buyer being able to see a home without Glenn needing to staff folks to show buyers a property.

My thought was, who cares if the seller thinks the buyer is safe, who screened the seller? I’m not sure I’d give up information as sensitive as my bank statements, social, an id, credit card to a seller no matter how pretty the house looked. Heck, I’m afraid to give this information to my own bank.

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But what do you think?

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  1. Robert D. Ashby

    January 31, 2008 at 6:30 am

    With Identity Theft running rampant, there is no way I would give any information to the seller, or anyone else who doesn’t need it. Besides that, the law has certain requirements that anyone who keeps such data is required to comply with. What a can of worms this would open.

  2. Mark Harison

    January 31, 2008 at 6:46 am

    I think that the technology is great… but the application is completely wrong.

    Take your lockboxes, take your website, take your temporary codes…

    Add them to a 2foot x 2foot x 4 foot locked metal box attached to the side of the house, not the front door… and you have a solution that allows couriers to deliver big parcels to you even when you’re not in. [A major block of the Internet shopping experience.]

    On the question of “who validates the seller?” – I guess at least you know where the live 🙂

    But, I agree, it seems to be an over-engineered solution to a requirement that doesn’t actually exist!

  3. Lani Anglin

    January 31, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I think it’s cool that there is forward thinking, but innovation in the name of innovation isn’t true innovation. This is waaaaay to risky and I would never endorse this idea.

    Is Glenn okay? Why is he meeting with an oncologist? Is he hinting? (I normally write, “I had lunch with a friend” not “I had lunch with my gyno friend”)

  4. Thomas Johnson

    February 1, 2008 at 12:22 am

    A buyer giving all that personal information to the seller. Is Glenn sure it wasn’t his proctologist? It would explain his fascination with all this digital information. BAH DUM!

  5. Bob Wilson

    June 17, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    What a great phishing scam this will be.

    We already see rental scams via craigslist. This just takes it to a whole new level.

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