QR Codes… Here to Stay - Or Gone With the Wind?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with VirtualTourCafe, LLC

 

QR Codes are not new, they are just new to real estate, or at least they were a couple of years ago and it seems still are when talking to many real estate professionals and consumers alike.  So are QR Codes still new technology helping to set real estate agents and brokers apart from their competitors and demonstrating their marketing expertise?  Or are they passé, been there done that, and gone with the wind?

Let’s take a quick look and then let’s hear from the experts, you!

QR Code and Mobile ToursQR Codes were developed for automobile manufacturing in Japan in the mid 1990’s and only recently have gained popularity in the Middle East, Europe and more recently North America.  QR stands for Quick Response and is a two-dimensional bar code able to hold more data than a traditional bar code including substantial data about a product, place or thing and even direct the user to a URL (website).  In real estate, QR Codes can be used to send potential buyers to virtual tours, property listings, and websites.

A couple of years ago, QR Codes were all over the news… from Martha Stewart to real estate.  Many real estate agents wanted the option to include a QR Code on their marketing materials. Some companies and websites jumped on the techno-bandwagon and offered QR Codes for sale, reusable QR Codes and other options.  I saw a new one in the real estate section just today!

Agents wanted to choose between showing a specific property virtual tour, a YouTube video, or even their listing inventory and history of sales.  More importantly, the agent and broker wanted a way to track the marketing results.  At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, right?

Using QR Codes for marketing can be a little confusing unless you take the time to understand the consumer who is using this tool.  Most buyers or prospective buyers who have a smartphone and have learned about QR Codes, or will take the time to research and download the QR Code reader for their phone are typically somewhat tech savvy and are looking for instant gratification.

QR Code Sign RiderThese buyers expect a QR Code on a For Sale sign, sign rider, flyer, or even in an advertisement, to take them directly to the property information, mobile tour, virtual tour or website to help them know more about the particular property.  Rather than sending them to your agent or company website, use this opportunity to give them exactly what they want, thus resulting in more views and better buyer experience.

Your QR Codes and Mobile Tours should work in synergy.  The QR Code is strategically placed to give fast, effortless access to your listing.  The Mobile Tour should provide full-screen high-definition pictures, and as much information about the property as possible while still being easy to navigate and not too cluttered.  After all, these people want instant results, now!

Last but not least, it is important to use a mobile tour that is compatible with the most popular mobile phones, including Android, iPhone, and Blackberry smartphones.  You also want the prospective buyer to be able to contact you easily.  Having a Mobile Tour with “click-to-dial” or direct e-mail is a great way to get a showing or a lead. 

But does it work?  Do you get buyer leads from your QR Codes?  How many techno-junkies are out there using their mobile phone to view your QR Code? 

The question I ask is, does it matter?  I have heard time and time again from the marketing experts and gurus, perception is everything!  So, regardless of how many buyer leads you get, just the fact that you have a QR Code on your sign-rider, post-card, flyers, advertisement, etc., your sellers and other people notice and you stand-out from the others who don’t.

So, I put the question to YOU!  As a service provider and real estate marketing company CEO/President, my job is not to push any particular medium, but instead to study, understand, LISTEN, and provide the best tools possible to help real estate agents and brokers be more successful in acquiring clients, marketing properties and hopefully selling properties a little faster.

So, do you use QR Codes in your marketing?  If not, do you use single-property websites, 800#’s with a recorded message, text-message, or something else?  What tools do you use to help market your properties, help your potential buyers, and to stand out from crowd?

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
Rainmaking - Internet Marketing Strategies
Services for Real Estate Professionals
Active Rain Virtual Tours
Marketing Services & Tools for Real Estate
Virtual Tours North America
Tags:
virtual tours
real estate marketing
qr codes

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Rainmaker
719,115
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I see them around in both places where I reside and think they do have a place in marketing.

I myself do not have a need for them, have been extremely successful in more than one business using telemarketing and direct mail for the most part.

Nov 11, 2012 06:48 AM #1
Rainmaker
720,164
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Thay have their uses, but agents just need to experiment on where and when to use them. I saw one on a billboard on side of high-way. Who's going to scan that? I use them a times, but most people just pick up the phone and call if they're serious.

Nov 11, 2012 07:37 AM #2
Rainmaker
147,470
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Pete, you have a great point about how different marketing approaches work for different people, there isn't just one way for everyone!  Thank you for your comment.

Nov 11, 2012 07:48 AM #3
Rainmaker
147,470
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Jeff, Yes I have seen those billboards and they are used in Asia commonly to promote new movies and almost everything else, so I guess some people do scan them, interesting huh!  And yes, the phone still does work, doesn't it!  Thanks for your comments.

Nov 11, 2012 07:50 AM #4
Rainmaker
524,472
Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker
Janisch & Co. - Conroe, TX
Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
We've tried them ever since they came out and have yet to see a consumer use one that we published.
Nov 11, 2012 10:30 AM #5
Rainmaker
147,470
Tim Denbo
VirtualTourCafe, LLC - Pleasanton, CA
Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe

Jeanne and Ralph, Have you been able to track them to see if anyone is using them?  Also, be sure the QR Code is as large as possible on the sign-rider.  QR Codes can be read one foot away for every inch in size.  So, a QR Code 4"x4" can only be read up to 4 feet away, whereas a code that is 8"x8" can be read 8 feet away and therefore possibly from their car.  I hope they have at least helped the perception that you are both on top of the latest marketing techniques.  Thank you for your comments.

Nov 11, 2012 11:00 AM #6
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Rainmaker
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Tim Denbo

Tim Denbo, VirtualTourCafe
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