I need a new treadmill. Because we visit Costco pretty regularly, I’ve been looking at theirs seriously. I started taking notes when I noticed the little square QR code on the side of the box. A simple “snap” put all the specs right on my phone. Anyone who visited their favorite restaurant during the pandemic, may recall “touchless” menus accessed the same way. Popularity continues to grow. For many, this is old stuff, but for some of us, QR codes are still a curious little blip on an ad. Much like a UPC code, Quick Response Codes encode digitized information.
Unlike UPC codes, which are commonly read by a commercial UPC scanner, QR codes can be read with any camera phone. Most commonly found on smart phones, the camera captures the QR image which opens a website, connects to a YouTube video or displays whatever information the originator desires. Move over George Jetson! It’s a snazzy tool to be sure!
QR Codes in Real Estate
Some display static data while others are more robust. Take for instance the code on our house flyers. One click and the words in the ad come to life. Opening the QR code on the sign posted outside this home takes you on a virtual walk inside. Buyers no longer need to sit outside a listing and call agents for additional information. Remember, the purpose of advertising is to “get the phone to ring.” Because sign calls are some of the strongest calls we receive, the idea that we are giving away so much information runs counter to the core concept of lead generation that agents learn from the time we get our license. After all, no call, no appointment. Time was, real estate listing information was closely guarded.
Information at Your Fingertips
As commonplace as it is now, the idea of putting listings online was initially considered completely radical. To put it mildly, not all REALTORS® embraced the idea of making the entire Multiple Listing Service self-service. Public perception was that providing access to listings was our core value. In fact, it was predicted that real estate agents would become obsolete. Truth is, being the gatekeeper of listing information was never our value proposition. For me, arming the public with MLS information has made my job easier.
Buyers are better educated about the inventory, the property and the process. Armed with QR code information, a buyer calling after taking a virtual tour linked to a QR code is a stronger, more mentally qualified buyer than those slugging along the old-fashioned way. So go ahead, click away, take the tour, “break the code “ but by all means, if you have questions or want to take a look inside, there’s still a human anxious for you to call.