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The 5 Best Ways To Use QR Codes For Real Estate

It seems every now and then a new technology comes along and gets everyone in real estate excited.  Right now that technology is QR Codes.QR Codes for real estate

The problem I have is that while everyone and their brother is telling you that you need to be using QR codes, very few resources are specifically showing you the best ways to use QR codes for real estate.

It is actually why we exist, innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.

Just like with Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Mobile, Video and any other buzz worthy platform or new technology some will adapt it quickly and pick up market share, most will fail and simply use it because the other agents in their office are.  So below you will find what in my opinion are the 5 best ways to use QR codes for real estate right now.  I would never assume these are the only ways and would love you to add your own creative ideas in the comments below.

Quick note before we get started with the list.  A QR Code is simply a bridge to a website that when scanned with a mobile device takes a consumer on a journey beyond the paper it is printed on.  One of the major perks is that all of the scans are tracked and thus the ROI is fairly easy to detect, critical to any high level marketer.  I also think there are 2 key things to consider when using QR codes:

1.  The web page that you direct the consumer to MUST be optimized for viewing on a mobile device.  Due to this I am recommending 3 sites that will cover all 5 strategies. The first is Vyoo.it which will create a mobile friendly landing page with all of the details of the property of your choosing including price, photos and of course your contact info.QR Codes for real estate The second site is Goo.gl which allows you to turn any URL into a QR Code in seconds, again all scans are being tracked. The third is YouTube which is not only optimized well for mobile but will allow you to bring a video element to your QR code marketing.Goo.gl QR Codes To make a long story short when I recommend a video be used as the destination simply go to YouTube and grab the URL of the video and then visit Goo.gl to generate the QR Code.

2.  This is a new, rapidly evolving technology (visit Best Buy, public transit, hospitals, etc lately?) that requires further explanation than just slapping a weird looking icon on your print marketing.  Anytime you use a QR Code be sure to in small text explain that it requires a QR Code Reader which can be downloaded for FREE to their phone NOW by visiting their app store.  It is also critical that you provide a tiny URL as an additional option below the QR Code so that those who just can not figure out the whole scanning thing can type the shortened URL directly into their mobile browser and end up in the same place anyways.  Both Vyoo.it and Goo.gl provide a tiny URL along with the QR Code making this very easy to execute.

On to the top 5 ways to use QR Codes for Real Estate:

1.  Lawn Signs – This would be the most obvious usage in my opinion and this is where Vyoo.it will come into play handily.  QR Codes for sign ridersConsumers like to get as much information as humanly possible before calling a sales person (you BTW).  By placing the QR Code on your sign riders you will be providing potentially the hottest leads, those driving around looking for homes to buy, with all of the information needed about that property instantly.  Price, interior photos and community info are typically things that a lawn sign does not provide and by leveraging a QR Code you are really giving the consumer what they want when they want it.  I know some Realtors would argue that there is no longer a need to call you if you give away all of that info through the QR Code on the sign.  I would argue there is already no need to call you to get that information (think online portals like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia all of whom have mobile apps that provide those details).  People work with people they like, they will like you more if you give them more of a reason to and stop holding back data that is easily obtained without you.  Again, follow the guidelines I mentioned above by further explaining the technology and providing a URL alternative on the sign rider.

2.  Business Cards – Another no brainer in my opinion but I can envision agents screwing this up royally.  If I had to guess most agents will put a QR Code on their business card that will lead to a website where the exact same information on the business card is then regurgitated.QR Codes for business cards NO VALUE there beyond maybe the web visitor but again is your website even mobile friendly yet?  So here is the strategy.  Record a video that you upload to YouTube that is 100% specific to the fact that they got your business card and scanned it.  Then use Goo.gl to generate the QR Code.  So for example the beginning of the video should say “Thanks so much for taking the time to scan the QR Code on the back of my business card it was great meeting you in person…”  I would also then offer them up any other resources like your Facebook Page, Blog or Twitter account letting them know that you want to connect where THEY want to connect.  In the video be sure to layover text with all of the other URL’s that would be relevant and mention that when it gets closer to the time for them to buy or sell hopefully they will remember that you leverage the latest technology both off line and online!

3.  Direct Mail – Tracking ROI through the mail is now actually very easy using QR Codes.  If you do just listed cards use Vyoo.it to send them to the mobile optimized site for that new listing.  If you are looking to generate leads and new business you may also consider doing a video unique to the mail campaign similar to the above business card strategy.  So for example you are mailing to Cypress Creek…start the video with “One of the things I love about working in the Cypress Creek area are the people…” Then obviously let them know that when the time comes to list they deserve to work with a Realtor who leverages the latest online and offline marketing.  QR Codes for direct mailEven include images and video of the neighborhood to really give it that hyper local touch.  Again offer up all of your contact info and social media URL’s in the video and on the mail itself.

4.  Property Flyers – Considering all of the information about the listing is on the flyer right there in front of them I think that this is another opportunity to leverage video.  If you have a full video tour of the home on YouTube link to that.  If not create an Animoto video or something slideshow esque, upload to YouTube and link to that.  If you are uncomfortable with video then link to a Vyoo.it listing page where they can then see additional photos and information that would not fit into a single page flyer.  I have walked past 1000′s of real estate offices and have seen none of them leveraging this idea which again seems to fall into the no brainer category.

5.  Your Vehicle – Hear me out on this one.  I polled our Facebook fans a while back to see how many of them were leveraging their contact info and domain name on their ride.  Seemed to be the majority.  That being said how many agents have taken it to the next level and actually placed a QR Code on their car?  My guess is zero, but hey I could be wrong.  The strategy with this QR Code should be similar to the business card.  Again, address in the video that you link to that you appreciate them taking the time to scan the QR Code on your vehicle and that if they are looking for a tech savvy agent to help them with their buying or selling needs you are the one they should contact when they are ready.QR Codes on cars An additional bonus is that if it replaces the current headshot you have on the window of your Camry I have made the world a better place!

So there you have it.  If you agree and learned something let me know in the comments below.  Again I am confident there are many other uses for QR Codes in real estate and would love to hear them but I feel that this is the most specific and strategy focused list on the web created with Realtors in mind.

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126 Comments

  1. Chad says:

    I think that QR codes are great for marketing. I prefer an updatable professional code like the ones from http://www.RedirectWare.com

  2. Ed Neuhaus says:

    Nice article, I used it a bit in writing one of my own. I think we are failing in capturing the lead when we use QR codes. I have quick video on how to do that. Check it out, share if you like. http://goo.gl/AE9a4

  3. QRrealtyTag says:

    Great post, useful information. QRrealtyTag works with all applications and adds value to your existing real estate promotion. Use promo realtor21 for one free qrtag for life. A qrtag is a unique tag that is constructed when you tag a qrcode with a keyword.
    QRrealtyTag – Your real estate listings best friend!

  4. We are the official RE/MAX Approved Supplier for QR, BUT here’s the difference, we have built QR2.0. No point in sending a phone user to a web site. Our system creates re-usable codes that generate mobile-optimized sites which recognize iPhone, Blackberry and Android and display the listing correctly. We also offer viral FB, Twitter and Linkedin sharing tools from the user’s phone as well as lead gen. forms and Google maps. Don’t waste time sending a viewer to a frustrating experience on the “w” web. Send them to the mobile web. ConnectCode can do that for a $1 a month per listing page (the codes come free with the mobile web page)connectcode.mobi/remax and connectcode.mobi/realestate.

  5. This is an excellent and deep article on QR usage that I found quite useful. The most obvious usage would probably be business cards, at least in my mind, as they are the most elegant, cost-effective solution. When it comes to flayers I don’t really find them all that great as from my own experience, since I don’t like it when I get them and can’t really pack them anywhere. But I do appreciate your suggestions and article really is nice.

  6. Shahla says:

    great info! saved your site on my favs tab!

  7. Paul Reitz says:

    http://www.connectcode.mobi/realestate provides a state of the art qr code platform that puts the agent in control of creating, editing, updating, deleting, reusing their codes in a digital format that can be placed anywhere; recently selected as Approved supplier for RE/MAX for this technology

  8. Dirk Zeller says:

    I agree with all you 5 except one. The use of QR codes on the signs is a gimmick. It is not the right sales strategy. I agree we need to be more open with information. We can’t go back to the mentality of limiting information. The QR code is the wrong choice for a sign.
    1) In many climates people are not going to get out of their car and scan the sign. There was snow on the ground at my house yesterday. I am going to stay in my nice warm car. There is also the reverse it’s hot. I am staying in my A/C cool car.
    2) As a person running a sales based business sales strategy matters. We are in the lead creation business. You don’t create leadsnwith QR codes, you give out information. In order to make sales information needs to be exchanged. A QR code sends them to a web based process to get the information. You don’t get their cell phone number.
    I feel that text back is far more effective than QR codes on signs. The prospect gets what they want the information. You get what a salesperson should want…their cell phone number to follow up. That is a fair exchange and enables you to process the lead through a fundamental sales channel.

  9. There is no doubt there are a lot of uses for QR codes and you have certainly covered all of them that I can think of. I am not sure why Dirk thinks you would need to get out of your car?

  10. Bill Lyons says:

    QC codes are huge! Most real estate professionals are using on their cards, flyers and marketing materials. Where we see that it can be better used is on real estate for sale signs or riders in the yard.

    We just launched our site in Phoenix yesterday and are quickly developing the site for nationwide use.

    The most important thing for when we roll out our mobile APP is making sure we have the QR code integration. How cool would it be to perform a search while you are driving around a neighborhood for the best homes then you walk up to the sign, open the APP and scan the QR code. Boom the property is saved to your profile on the site for further review.

    Tech Saavy agents are adopting and embracing this technology and so should you.

  11. Steve S says:

    I realize this article is about two years old, but I feel QR codes never really took off. They’re still around, sure, but not near as much.

    And I personally don’t know anyone who uses them. I think they’re a great idea in theory but not so much in execution.

    Who wants to drive up to a real estate sign, get their phone out, take a picture, and wait for a screen to load?

    Maybe the world just isn’t quite ready for that. Maybe two years from now, QR codes will be something everyone thrives off of. For now, I suppose they don’t hurt.

  12. habbithobbit says:

    There is a new site I found called MobiMLS (www.mobimls.com). It offers free QR codes for your listings and it is free to join. The only catch is if you want them to print you weatherproof tags then they charge you $2.99 per tag which includes the tag and free shipping. The tag does have NFC (near field communication) and is all weather so definitely worth checking out.

  13. Smith says:

    I’m using the real estate module of http://www.uQR.me. You can easily create QR codes and mobile listings with geolocalization, contact button, etc.
    Pretty good at a reasonable price

  14. Keira says:

    I found this article very useful, thank you! Vyoo.it isn’t currently working, though. Anybody know of another QR code generator with lead capture?

    Thank you!!

  15. Ben says:

    Very informative article, thanks!

    We just launched a product which allows you to create a smartphone friendly website instantly, just by sending an email. We also include a QR code automatically which you can use to link to the site. You can try it for free here: http://trivialmobile.com. Let us know what you think!

  16. Alana says:

    I would love to see the updated version of this article!

  17. Although i’m a big fan of QR Codes, i feel that the excitement lies in discovering what behind the code, when it comes to real estate don’t get me wrong it can be used, however when it comes to professionalism and delivering a service most people want it to be obvious and direct, would you not agree?

  18. Andrew says:

    Today we offer a new generation of signs combined with trackable qr codes for real estate brokers.
    http://www.smartsignsstore.com/qrcode-realtor-signs
    You can manage qr codes on the sign and link it to a new property listing.

  19. Bill Gassett says:

    Maybe it is just me but it doesn’t seem like QR codes really have caught on all that much for real estate. At least I can say for certain this is the case in my area of Massachusetts. I rarely ever see them being used.

  20. Mr.Grem says:

    If you are uncomfortable with video then link to a Vyoo.it listing page where they can then see additional photos and information that would not fit into a single page flyer. I have walked past 1000′s of real estate offices and have seen none of them leveraging this idea which again seems to fall into the no brainer category.

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