QR Codes In Real Estate: Will I Be Wrong Again?

Posted by Joe Manausa on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 at 11:35am.

Sign riders will be the top use of QR codes by real estate agents, but showing the inside of homes is not the only way that they can be used.

QR Codes Tallahassee Florida ImageI recently had lunch with fellow REALTOR Don Pickett, a top-producing agent with Coldwell Banker here in town. He had just returned from his franchise's annual convention and we were discussing some of the hottest topics that were presented, and one of these was "QR Codes in real estate."

I shared with Don my questionable ability to properly assess new technology and its impact on our daily lives. For example, back in 1991, a buddy of mine asked me if I had an email account and I told him "why would I want to be able to send letters to people from my computer? I hardly send them at all now!" Needless to say, I do have an email account today :).

When I first wrote about QR Codes for real estate in December, I shared some ideas on how they would be used in real estate. Of course, I am still not so certain that these "bar code" displays are anything more than a passing trend, but based upon my record, I am keeping an open mind. So today, I will share a few ideas on where you are likely to see these pop-up in the Tallahassee real estate market.

Real Estate QR Codes On The Street

Joe Manausa Real Estate Sign With QR Code ImageWhen scanned with a smart-phone, QR codes cause the phone to load data. If the data is a URL, that web page opens on the phone. With 50% of web users accessing the internet by smart-phone within the next two years, this technology is considered to be a critical method for directing traffic on the internet.

Real estate signs on homes are a great place for QR codes to provide instant information for curious home shoppers. A rider on a sign can help a passer-by gain instant information about the property.

Tweet This Article To Your Followers On Twitter ImageFor example, a rider on the sign can point to a link that shows a gallery of inside photos or a virtual tour of a property (example at left points a smart-phone to a virtual tour of a home for sale in Tallahassee).

I think sign riders will be the top use of QR codes by real estate agents, but just showing the inside of homes is not the only way that they can be utilized. For example, they can also be used to help promote the property via social networks. The rider on the sign could just as easily allow a viewer to "share" the property via Facebook or Twitter, and all the viewer has to do is scan and submit.

So keep your eyes open for QR codes used in real estate marketing, they will be popping up everywhere. Is this just a passing trend, or will QR codes dominate the real estate landscape for many years to come? Don't ask me, I'll probably get it wrong (again).

Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.

13 Responses to "QR Codes In Real Estate: Will I Be Wrong Again?"

Karmen Williams wrote: The only consideration is for those that do not have smart phones and are not interested in purchasing the phones due to costs - demographics over 50 years old for instance. Some prefer phones that have larger displays and buttons and not so much technology - the bare minimum. How will we capture that business? comScore released a report on the leading mobile phone OEMS in usage (not sold) for consumers over the age of 13, and Android/iPhone were not in the top five. The biggest barrier to a smartphone is the cost of the plan.

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 at 12:52pm.

Joe Manausa, MBA wrote: and yet, I keep reading that 1/2 of the people browsing the internet within the next two years will be doing so via a smart-phone. Regardless of cost/brand, I'm hearing that we need to be prepared for the mobile viewer. Thanks Karmen.

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 at 12:54pm.

Sharon Alters wrote: Hi Joe, QR codes are very popular in other countries and from what I have read, have been around for some years and are not a passing fad. They are used as signs on buildings instead of anything else. As to Karmen's comment, we will always have other forms of marketing in addition to QR codes, but they are so cool - I love having one that will take someone right to a website with all our photos, community information, etc.

Posted on Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 at 1:22am.

Rick Thomas wrote: I too have heard they have been in use in other countries, specifically in Europe, and have been very effective. I'm in Ft Myers, Florida and noticed a few months ago an explosion of interest in the local social media circles, but that seems to have waned a bit. I am not yet quite sold .... however, I don't think QR codes are going to be a "passing trend". I would predict the time will come when they are considered an indispensable tool!

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 1:56am.

Joe Manausa, MBA wrote: Thanks Rick, time will tell but I think we're both in the same mindset on these.

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 9:45am.

Darrin wrote: You should try http://www.SignQRcode.com they supply a customized QR code sticker for your Real Estate signs and Riders for under $20. No need to buy a new sign. Just add the sticker and you are all set. Thanks for an informative blog.

Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2011 at 5:03pm.

Joe Manausa, MBA wrote: Thanks Darrin, we usually get a rider done locally, but we'll check that out.

Posted on Friday, May 27th, 2011 at 9:22am.

Emmer Group wrote: I completely agree with you that QR codes are everywhere, in all realms of real estate. One of the most heavily "QR'd" markets is apartments- we've been seeing them everywhere, from signs, to magazines, to random fliers in obscure locations. It's a good way to reach a clientele without bombarding them with the "same ol' same ol'." As a matter of fact, it's even good to use them for branding, because if you surprise people, they want to see what you'll do next time.

I've heard a lot of concerns about the older market and how to address them, but realistically, if they're not going in the direction of technology, then they'll probably continue to use the same outlets they've always used, which has very little to do with marketing anyway. There always has to be a balance between old and new, but not addressing new because you're afraid of losing the old will hurt you in the end.

Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 11:53am.

TracyTC wrote: Joe, I think the ultimate success of QR Codes for a real estate agent comes down to who the targeted audience is. If the audience is likely to own smartphones, the possibilities and reach for QR Codes are staggering and exciting. If the intended audience is likely not to own the phones, they will end up getting annoyed that they are yet again missing out on something. As with all marketing, the first question is "who is my audience and how are they most likely to 'hear' my message."

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 1:19pm.

Joe Manausa, MBA wrote: Thank you Tracy. It seems like everybody is carrying a smart phone these days, but I still don't know if our customers are really riding around looking at homes when they could be surfing online with a large monitor...

Posted on Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 5:00pm.

Mark wrote: Don't underestimate the potential of a QR code on a real estate sign.
Have you ever noticed the flyers are always gone? My wife and I use my iPhone to look up houses when we ride bicycles. Currently we only take a picture of the sign and look it up later at home. That is so 2009!
We don't even find many of the houses. With a QR code the "flyers" are always in the tube. Just think of all the time you save and no more worrying about a neighbor taking your flyers so his home will get more traffic!


Posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 at 3:12am.

Sam wrote: The funny thing about the future, especially when it comes to technology, is that we're never really sure what to expect. QR codes fill a useful niche and aren't likely to be replaced soon. Technology, especially related to the internet, is changing quickly and always has. There's no telling when or how that change will stabilize.

In the future, QR codes scan you!

Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 2:16pm.

Joe Manausa, MBA wrote: I think I might be too big to scan Sam :)

Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 6:44pm.

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