QR Codes Tie Print Advertising to Online Inventory

QR codes1. are one of the hottest topics in real estate marketing for 2011. A quick scan with a smartphone’s camera can now provide access to additional information about a property or agent.

However, some of the uses of this technology that we’ve seen seem to be a case of using technology for technology’s sake. For example, if you provide a QR code in your email signature that takes people to your website, you’re making life more difficult for people compared to just placing a link to the same location.

But, there are some interesting uses of QR codes that are worth pursuing. One of those is tying print marketing to online marketing. Here is an example of how we do this at WhereToLive.com for our clients:

Print Listing with QR Code

This is a property listing brochure that is auto-generated by our marketing platform for the listing agent. It pulls property photos, details and description along with the agent’s photo and contact information together into a professional designed print marketing piece that can be printed in a home office, work office, or print shop, depending on the print quality the agent is looking for (they could also email the brochure as a PDF).

As of April 21st, WhereToLive.com clients can also automatically include property-specific QR codes in print pieces that allow prospective buyers to easily access more information about that property. This doesn’t take any more work by the agent. The QR code is automatically generated for every listing by every agent for every broker that works with WhereToLive.com.

We didn’t stop there. We figured that it would be worth tracking whether anyone ever scans the QR codes included in print pieces, so we embedded tracking capabilities into the QR codes we generate. This will allow us to provide solid data to our clients on whether QR codes drive traffic and leads.

This technology isn’t limited to property marketing. We use it for more than that today and will expand our use of the technology as adoption rates increase. However, when considering listings specifically, one of the real strengths of QR code integrations is maneuvering interested consumers from a single print piece to all of your active inventory. Clearly, the majority of the people viewing a specific property flyer will end up buying a different property due to location, price, or features. The easier you make it to find their next home, the better.

Feel free to scan the QR code in the example flyer. It goes to an active listing today. If the image is a bit too small to scan, clicking it will take you to a larger version.

1. If you’re unfamiliar with QR codes, they’re a new form of barcodes that are capable of containing more information than standard barcodes. And, they can be generated by anyone, for free. Most popular smartphones are capable of scanning them using QR code (and barcode) scanner applications. Search the app store of your phone to see which applications are available.

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One Comment

  1. Bob Sheddy April 26, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Personally, I prefer the Short Url’s ie. http://www.century21.ca/100574410 but one area where I think the QR codes have great value is in sharing the agent’s full contact info by linking the QR code to a vCard.

    I’ll do whatever I can to offer a convenience to my customers.

    Regardless of what they are used for, I agree that the embedded tracking capabilities are key to a QR Code strategy, and ultimately ensuring that the QR code converts to Leads and hopefully sales.

    Bob Sheddy
    Commercial REALTOR
    Alberta, Canada

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