People are busier than ever and time is at a premium. People who want to purchase a home don’t have the time to browse listings, let alone run from listing to listing to find the perfect home. Narrowing down the search for the potential buyer is key here and what better way than to use a technology that allows buyers to weed out the wrong homes and head straight to their desired home? Technology makes life easier for everyone and with QR codes it’s a win win situation for agents and clients alike. Here’s a short lesson on what QR codes are and why as a real estate professional you should be using them.

Short for Quick Response because they can be read rapidly by a cell phone, QR codes look similar to bar codes that cashiers scan for pricing information when you purchase a product. A scrambled looking mix of dots and lines, looking closely at a QR code a maze might come to mind. Originating in Japan, the QR code is used to take information from any number of sources and transfer them into your cell phone. If you think about it, you may have seen these boxes in a magazine advertisement, web page, a business card or label. Once scanned by a cell phone, the QR code gives them pertinent information about the product or service that the advertisement, label or sign has been created to confer. Information can include a URL, a coupon, addresses, 800 numbers and more. Unlike the standard bar code used in retail, QR codes can store much more data and text and do not require a handheld scanner to read them. With the proliferation of smart phones, just about anyone can scan and read the data from a QR code.It takes seconds for smart phone users to download a QR code reader to their phone and it’s free. With more of these codes turning up everywhere, you have probably seen someone using their phones to scan something.

For the real estate professional, QR codes present another marketing opportunity to network with potential buyers and sellers in the virtual world with little time and effort. QR codes can be generated by using one of the many sites that offer QR code generators such as Google’s QR code generator. You can create a number of different codes that will leave various data in the user’s cell phone relevant to your real estate business such as contact info, phone number, listing locations, videos, pictures of listings, the URL of your real estate firm and even open house event information. Where you put your QR codes is as important as the data you choose to have scanned into potential buyers and sellers cell phones. Consider these three ideas a starting point as you begin to add QR codes to your marketing campaign.

1. Consider adding your QR code as one of your images in your listings. This will make it convenient for interested clients to to text you or call you about the listing when they see it. When you make it convenient the client may be more inclined to act on their interest right away as opposed to putting it off until later or ‘when I have time’- possibly forgetting to make that contact altogether.

2. With the cost of print ads, adding your QR code to the ad gives you more return on your investment. Again, making it easy for a potential client to find out more about the listing with the simple scan of their phone means the difference between contacting you on the spot or putting it off until later or, worse yet, never.

3. Business cards are ideal for the real estate agent to add their QR code to. Though we like to think that once someone has our card, they have our contact information forever, it’s not a guarantee. In this day and age of virtual paperwork, most people purge their desks and pockets of business cards they’ve accumulated during their busy week. With a QR code on your business card, client interest may be piqued enough to scan your QR code into their phone when they get it. The result? Even if your card is one of the ones that lands in the garbage pail at the end of the week, your valuable contact information is in their cell – giving you a better chance of them contacting you.

Using QR codes in your real estate marketing plan is a must with so many people using technology in their day to day lives. QR codes are very interactive and can be used anywhere you advertise your listings. They offer the real estate professional a fast, easy way to get a lot of information in front of a lot of potential clients with one simple scan of their phone.

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