Invented in Japan in 1994, QR codes are short for “quick response” and can be read by camera-ready smart phones with an app. Much like with a bar code, which have been used for decades, it is easier to scan something than it is to type something. The sudden hype around this type of technology today is due to the explosions of smart phones.  Scanning QR codes from a phone is easier for users than typing, which personally I still find finicky on an iPhone, for example.

So, What Kinds of Uses Do They Have Already?

QR Code for Union Street Media Team
Union Street Media Team

I’m sure you have started to see these codes on websites, newspapers and print ads, but people have even started to use them on business cards, yard signs and, yes, wrapping paper! So the social aspect of these codes has started to come alive. A fun way to use them is to record a video Christmas message, upload to YouTube, generate a QR code for that link and print to wrapping paper. When a friend or family receives your gift, they can scan the gift and see your video, without having to crowd around the computer to Skype, or retrieve a link from an email.

For example, here’s a QR code I generated for our team. I took the url of the page and slugged it into the QR Generator.

How Can I Integrate QR Codes into My Marketing?

First, take the time to consider what works for you before spending money on a form of advertising that wasn’t working for you previously, just to be able to put a QR code on it. If you advertise locally and do see some return on investment, then a QR code resulting in a listing landing page, virtual tour or a carefully considered buyers, sellers or Agents page can pay dividends. Lets say you have a listing and on your website you have the ability to add your own information, such as more pictures, video, links and more information about the listing’s neighborhood. Adding a QR code of that listing page on your website onto your yard sign is going to send people where you want them to go instead of looking up the listing address and ending up on Realtor dot com or an MLS site. Furthermore, you rely less heavily on your website showing up high in search results organically. The physical reach you achieve with yard signs, brochures, flyers and postcards is leveraged by helping visitors find you more quickly.

Here is some recent data that I came across courtesy of Pew Research Center & Morgan Stanley Research:

  • Local Search volume is growing exponentially at 50% every year;
  • 80% of searchers research online before purchasing in a 10-20 mile radius;
  • As of right now, half the connections to the Net are from smart phones;
  • #1 access method for local info is the mobile browser;
  • Mobile users will be greater than desktop users in 5 years.

Calling all Realtors:

  1. Have you heard of a QR code before this reading this post?
  2. How would you use them?
  3. Do your current buyers and sellers use them at all?

I welcome your feedback!

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