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Have a QR code scanner on your phone? Test it out using the QR codes we’ve embedded in this article.
There’s a multitude of quotes about the risks of ignoring the lessons of history. Something about being doomed to repeat it or whatever.
Well, turns out that’s true. At least as far as QR codes are concerned — because they’re back.
Yes, a tragic global event fueled the resurgence of these blocky, fragmented data icons, much like it forced the adoption of remote online notarization and online home tours, among other technological advancements in the way people buy, sell and live.
Know that Apple and Samsung are partly responsible for applying the defibrillator to QR codes, too, as both smartphone manufacturers blessed recent versions of their incredible cameras with the power to read bar codes.
Why is this important? Because people don’t want to download an app to read codes, which was likely a major reason they struggled to initially gain traction.
A July 2021 joint study of 1,100 U.S. consumers conducted by marketing resources company The Drum and consumer study organization YouGov found that 54 percent percent of consumers ages 18 to 29 have clicked on a marketing-related QR code, and those aged 30 to 44 did so 48 percent of the time, meaning they’re becoming an expected component of consumer-facing advertising.
Relative to general use, the report uncovered that “three-quarters of adults say that they would be willing to use more QR codes in the future. This number rose to 82 percent among adults 18-44, but dipped to 64 percent of adults over 45,” according to the study.
So, as a tech-forward real estate professional, are there ways for you to leverage QR codes? Many, in fact.
Use QR codes for print marketing
QR codes make highly effective tools for sending postcard campaign recipients to landing pages, lead capture forms or 3D video tours of listings, as Holofy Spaces and Peek offer. Your marketing teams can use a number of free online tools to create codes. Here’s one.
Use QR codes on your property flyers, too. Link them to agent introduction videos and websites or to your testimonial pages.
Property signage is a great use of QR codes. Consider using them to open a video tour of the home, a showing request form or to a web page with “similar listings to this one.”
A full-color inside cover spread in your local lifestyle pub is expensive real estate, so get the most out of it by including a subtle QR code that sends readers to a unique listing micro-site or a company video.
Be everywhere at once
Ever hold or sponsor an event in conjunction with a local business partner, charity or entertainment venue? A simple QR code table care can lead attendees to your digital business card, a joint promotional incentive or donation webpage via Venmo, for example.
The beauty is that QR codes are non-intrusive; they allow consumers to take in information on their own time at arm’s length, another concept the pandemic augmented. You can get in front of people you didn’t have time to meet in person during the event.
If you’re fan of seeing your name on the race tags of local marathoners or the banner on the stage of a regional concert series, then you need to start using QR codes.
Place them on available signage you’re allowed to use as an event sponsor, from food stand menus to lineup cards and pre-event marketing emails.
Coming to Inman Connect in Las Vegas? (Why not?) If so, get those QR codes in use to send booth guests to quick software demonstrations, in-show promotions or to register for the “secret” location of an after party you’re holding for attendees.
If you attend trade shows in matching company T-shirts, use a QR code as a conversation starter, allowing people to scan “you” for a team bio or inventive promotion.
Can’t meet everyone at the open house? Then QR codes are your answer. Use them to link to registration and feedback forms. A small sign at the entrance or on a foyer table is all it takes to easily capture who’s stopping by and hopefully, whether or not they plan to act on their interest.
The Drum-YouGov study said consumers agree that QR codes are here to stay, “… with nearly six in 10 (59%) of all respondents saying they will be a permanent part of using their phone in the future.”
But don’t take that as carte blanche to plaster them on everything. Yes, there are all kinds of ways for you leverage the “quick response” code — and just as many ways to overuse them.
Make sure the use of a QR code fortifies the instance in which its being applied, be creative, but practical. It’s possible for QR codes to get in the way of an otherwise well-executed promotion, thus, keep in mind that their purpose is to deliver supportive, not superfluous, content.
Also, use a couple lines of text to share what a person can expect to gain by scanning the code, e.g., “Meet the team,” or “Get a look inside.”
If you’re considering using more QR codes in your marketing, scan as many as you see to pick up tips and best practices. Note what works well, and copy it.
Are you using QR codes to deliver valuable real estate content? We’d love to hear about it. And if someone tries to tell you their old news, take solace in the fact that they likely still own a fax machine.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.