QR Codes: Using Technology To Your Advantage in Real Estate
QR codes (Quick Response codes) or barcodes are sort of cutting edge technology. Simple barcodes have been used in retail stores for decades, but they are just now becoming a major way to advertise these same products to the public. Below are examples of a simple product barcode and also a computerized QR code in case you are wondering just what the heck I am talking about.
If you have shopped in a Best Buy store lately, you may have seen these QR codes all over their shelves and wondered what they are. For those of us "smart phone" users (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc.), there are free barcode scanner applications a/k/a "apps" available to download onto your phone. Simply scan the QR code with your phone app and information will immediately pop up on your phone's screen. This information can be just about anything that you program it to be ... a website link, a phone number to dial, a text message to send, an email address, or a virtual business card. If you have a smart phone, give it a try and see how it works. If you don't have a smart phone, borrow one from someone. You will want to see just how cool this is.
A few weeks ago I was in Home Depot buying a stove, and I wanted to compare features and prices with similar stoves. I scanned the product barcode of the stove that I was looking at and instantly was sent to a web link with detailed information about the stove along with the price and other features.
In case you are wondering, the QR code above is a virtual business card with my name, company, website, phone #, and other contact information. You can scan the code and then click the links to call me, email me, or search our firm's website. Technology is pretty amazing.
It gets much better though. You may be thinking, "How could this help me in the real estate business?" Imagine a For Sale sign in front of your property. On the sign is this QR code. And instead of just having 50 flyers in an info tube, you additionally have this QR code on the sign or on a flyer taped to the front window of the house. Anyone with a smart phone can scan it and get details about the property, pictures, or possibly a video to watch.
The QR code to the left will provide you immediate information about the price, size, a link to a YouTube video, and my phone # for a house we currently have available for sale in Orlando. Someone could literally be standing in front of a house you have for sale or for rent and instead of trying to call or email you and ask for information, they could instead scan this QR code and get all the information, photos, videos, and more. Just think of the power this little code has in it. If someone calls you after reviewing the info behind this QR code, they are probably a whole lot more ready to act. Information has now empowered them to call you.
Think of all the possibilities. This QR code could be put on your business card and link directly to your website, Facebook page, or blog. Or maybe put it in a newspaper or magazine print ad. What about magnetic car signs, bus stop benches, billboards, flyers, T-shirts, etc. ?
You may be asking yourself, "How on Earth do I even create one of these QR codes?" Surprisingly they are very simple to make. The QR codes in this article were made by me on a free website in less than 5 minutes. The site I use is www.QRstuff.com simply because it gives you lots of extra options. But there are plenty of free QR code generator sites out there.
It seems like every other person you see has a smart phone in their hand and is constantly looking down at it to check their email or Facebook status or play some video game. My bet is that in a year or two, these QR codes will be everywhere. Why not start to understand and implement them now?