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QR codes on real estate signs: an effective tool for home buyers or a marketing fad?

You see them once in awhile on real estate signs and on printed real estate brochures.  They appear as a square box with a black maze design… What are they?  They are QR codes and they are very similar to barcodes found on products at the grocery store that can be scanned at the register to ring up a product name and price.
Smartphone scanning a QR code
QR code, abbreviated from “Quick Response Code”, was created and trademarked in Japan for the automotive industry and has greatly expanded to many other industries and applications.
You can download a QR reader to your phone, and when you’re out driving around and come across a home with a QR code on the sign, you can scan it with your smart phone to obtain information on that listing – in the form of a website page or a video tour.
While it allows you to access property information quickly (eliminating the many extra “clicks” involved in a web search on your mobile phone) the QR code has not really taken off in real estate.  In my experience, what seemed like a great concept has turned out to be, in reality, less practical for buyers. Why?
The downside for a prospective buyer who scans a QR code on a for sale sign is that the listing agent captures the buyer’s contact information and it typically goes into their database for future solicitation or follow up.  Most people are NOT OKAY with this – they typically want to obtain information anonymously at first. The property might not even meet their criteria, and buyers often don’t want to interact with a listing agent until they are certain it’s something they’re interested in. If the buyer has their own Realtor they’re working with, they may not want to interact with the listing agent at all.
Also, practically speaking, unless they are already savvy about QR codes, a prospective buyer is probably not going to take the time to stop their car, get out, figure out how to download a QR reader, and then point their phone at the code and download the information….  The truth is, many people recognize what a QR code is and that it can be scanned, but they don’t have any idea where to begin to
So, while there was a lot of noise, discussion and promotion of QR code technology as the latest marketing tool in real estate a few years ago, it’s turned out to be more of a gimmick, not the effective tool that real estate marketing experts had hoped for.  As a buyer, if you come across one and you find them helpful, you should use them, but be prepared to end up on a real estate agent’s solicitation list.
Looking for Arizona golf homes for sale?  Contact me at 602-694-3200 or fill out the contact form below to make an appointment to view properties.
Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
[email protected]
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