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 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.
These 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?