QR Codes for Real Estate - Part I - What Are They?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Agent Solutions

QR CodeThe buzz in the real estate marketing industry these days seems to be about these obscure looking images called QR codes. I was first introduced to QR codes about a year and a half ago at a local real estate meet up. I found myself quite intrigued with this concept, as I am with most new technology and marketing methods. As I looked around the room, I noticed that most people had this perplexed look on their faces and I wasn’t sure how well these QR codes would be received.

It hasn’t been until more recently that people in the real estate industry have been raving about QR codes as a must have tool in an agents real estate marketing tool box. At this point, I’m not entirely convinced of the effectiveness of the QR codes in an agents marketing efforts, however I think it can be worth testing the waters with them, if an agents market is a right fit.

In Part II of this series, QR Codes for Real Estate - Fad or Trend?, I will discuss in more detail whether QR codes are a right fit for your real estate business and implementing them into your marketing. Check back or subscribe so you don't miss out.

What is a QR code?

A QR code, or quick response for short, is a matrix code or two-dimensional bar code originally created by a Japanese corporation to track automobile parts. The codes would have hidden text, a url or other types of information in the code, in the form of black modules arranged in a square pattern. The purpose behind this, was that with the right tool, or reader as they call it, the hidden information could be decoded at high speeds.

How QR Codes Work

In order to reveal the hidden information in a QR code, you will need a smartphone with a camera, internet access and a QR reader application installed. Some smartphones come with QR reader capabilities, so double check your phone specifications before installing any unnecessary applications. Once your mobile phone is properly set up with a QR reader you simply take a picture of the code with your phone, your phone then converts the code to text and the reader application translates the text and displays the hidden information in the form of a web page, contact information, a message, or more.

QR Code Readers

In the event that your smartphone does not already have a QR reader installed, there are a number of reader applications that you can install. Here are a few:

What Information Can Be Used in a QR Code?

A QR code could include any of the following types of information:

  • Text
  • Website url
  • vCard or contact information
  • Event calendar (vcalendar)
  • Google maps location
  • A message (Typically limited to 100 characters or less)
  • SMS
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Social media information
  • Paypal Buy Now links

QR Code Generator

Now that we know, what QR codes are are, how your target consumer can decode the hidden information, and what information you want in the code, it's time to create the QR image. It's as simple as choosing the type of information you want in the code, provide the required information, and hit "generate". Voila, you're done. Your QR code image will be there for you to download or copy and paste into the marketing piece of your choice. There are hundreds of free QR code generator sites out there and listed below are a few to try (I haven't tried them all, but would love to hear if you have a favorite QR code generator).

QR codes are being used in some exciting and creative ways by people and businesses in all types of industries. I look forward to taking a closer look in Part II of this series, how and if these codes are going to be a long term, effective marketing tool for real estate agents or if they will generate more confusion for their target consumer.

I hope you'll chime in and share with us your experiences using QR codes. What feedback have you received from your target consumer about QR codes?

Posted by

Online Marketing Management | Listing Management | Social Media Management

T: 403.852.0923 | F: 403.398.1376 | E: jennifer@agentsolutions.ca

Comments (7)

Peter Sharp and Shelley Ford
Remax Alliance and Home Real Estate - Denver, CO

Thanks so much! I'm going to head to your links and try and figure out how to use these guys:) I would have def. had that "deer in the headlights" look if anyone had mentioned a QR code to me!

Nov 27, 2010 09:00 AM
Jennifer Wilson
Agent Solutions - Calgary, AB
Agent Solutions

My pleasure. You are not the only one that feels that way. Like with any new tool, it takes a little time to grab hold and determine if it's a right fit for your business. After checking out some of the links, if you have any questions, let me know.

As I mentioned in this post, Part II will concentrate more on how to implement these QR codes into your real estate business. Should be published on Monday or Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Nov 27, 2010 09:14 AM
Retired from ActiveRain
Baker, OR

Jennifer, This is an excellent post with a lot of useful information on QR codes.  I am starting to generate QR codes through RealBird for my Realtor clients, but I still have to educate them about how to use them.  Is there a way to track the number of people using the code and how they are using it?

QR codes are getting a lot of blogging buzz, but I'm not sure if buyers are knowledgeable about what QR codes are.  Fad or trend?  I'll have to read Part II to find out!

Nov 27, 2010 11:21 AM
Jennifer Wilson
Agent Solutions - Calgary, AB
Agent Solutions

Hi Rick, thank you.

You have touched on a good point and one I am going to be covering in Part II of my QR codes for Real Estate Series. Not only are a lot of agents just learning how to implement QR codes into their business, we can not forget about the target consumer. What may seem cutting edge to the tech-savvy agent, may be confusing or baffling to the ones that come across the codes and do not know what to do with them. Not all markets are going to be a good fit for this type of marketing.

Yes it is possible to track the codes. There are a number of companies that offer analytics and tracking of QR codes, however the ones that I have come across charge a fee for this service. BeQRious is one, of many, that offer tracking and analytics for a fee after a 30-day free trial.

I look forward to getting your feedback on Part II. :-)

Nov 27, 2010 01:06 PM
Kristina Heili
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Woodbury, MN
Comprehensive Real Estate Services

Jennifer, is the QR code graphic re-usable on different applications once the old URL is changed to a new URL? (i.e. ABC single property website to DEF single property website to GHI single property website). I don't want to reprint and laminate or otherwise recreate the code itself each time I generate a new single property website.

May 04, 2011 02:37 PM
Jessey Mayer

I've tried lots of online QR code generators. And these are by far my favorite tools for making and reading QR codes.




As I know, the size of QR code may decide whether it can be read by devices. And I've seen an article about its size setting.  Hope it be useful.


The information about C# QR code size setting is also provided.








Nov 09, 2011 02:02 PM

i used a barcode generator and decoder for my iPhone projects a few days ago and it works fine! the <a href="http://www.keepdynamic.com/barcode-for-iphone/">barcode generator</a> generates various linear and 2D barcode types. However, i only used the qr codes generator.


Nov 17, 2011 02:28 PM