A LOT has been happening at Lock Alchemy, located in South Euclid. I plan on writing several blog posts detailing what’s been going. We have maintained a steady growth in the residential market from 2020. There are several factors driving the increased demand of residential locksmithing services.
The real estate market has been very hot over the past few months. Home inspections are being delayed and or skipped all together with the home owner assuming the violations. I believe there are many new home owners that are finding issues with their homes that the sellers otherwise would have attempted to fix. The new home owner enters a situation where they have a lot of repairs they need to do all at once. Once other trades are giving estimates and being scheduled they’re more likely to invite a locksmith to join and rekey they home and/or fix other door issues. This might also turn some new home owners away from getting their new home rekeyed. With the expenses piling on they may decide to forgo the security of having the locks changed.
Reports are showing that the housing market is cooling down. However, there seems to be a consistent number of individuals that are interested in rekeying their home or having lock/door work done. I think the shift towards multi-family housing will be the biggest factor in the future of residential.
Homes in the area are getting older. The housing stock in University Heights, Shaker Heights, Beachwood, and Cleveland Heights are getting older and newer homes are not being built. Older homes often have more issues than newer homes. The locks on some of these homes, especially in Shaker with particularly older homes, can be 80, 90 even over 100 years old. The oldest lock that I have personally worked on was about 119 years old. Some of these locks are just coming to a time period where they need to be serviced. Instead of replacing these vintage and antique locks, we can often perform a basic cleaning service and a few other small items to get them working again.
Smart locks are also driving a lot of demand for residential locksmiths. There are incredible number of brands offering smart locks. Our recommendation for standard smart home locks continue to be Schlage or Kwikset. They are typically priced well, are well made, and support is available in case there is an issue. Many home owners try to save money by purchasing less expansive import smart locks that have issues. All electronic devices have a failure rate. That rate is significantly higher with cheap electronics. Getting locked out of your house because a smart lock failed is a high stakes gamble to bet on cheap electronics.
The price of residential locks has not been significantly effected by the issues with supply chain and available stock. However, the availability of certain items certainly has been effected. We have waited weeks for several common locks to arrive at our distributors. There really hasn’t been a lot of communication regarding the actual ETA of particular items. My distributors tell me that there are issues with shipping and shipments keep getting delayed. I’m checking in with some suppliers twice a week to get an idea of when certain products will be available.
Towards the end of the summer season we also replace a lot of screen door closers and patio locks. They tend to get used more in the months with milder / hot weather.