The popularity of QR codes has seen many ups and downs in its nearly 30 years of existence, but with the need for contactless menus and transactions during the pandemic, barcode technology is making a comeback. From 2018 to 2020, QR code usage grew by 96% and many of the top real estate agencies around the world took notice.
With internet listings now the primary way to find homes, the ease of use and speed of QR codes have made this once forgotten technology more valuable than ever.
Here’s how top agents are using this simple yet effective tool to connect with customers.
It used to be that one of the biggest downsides to QR codes was that whole segments of the population didn’t know how the technology worked, but that’s changed dramatically since the pandemic, says RETSY co-founder Chris Morrison. “I went to a restaurant with my mother, who is not tech-savvy, and watched her easily scan a QR code to order a drink. I then realized that many more people must know how to use this technology than before.
It was this realization that led Morrison to start RETSY and develop the proprietary technology that would define the Scottsdale-based brokerage. “We use QR codes on almost all ads. What it does is give the consumer easy access to the information they want without all the extra hassle. No agents harassing you for months, no 1-800 records, no boxes of empty flyers, just scan and you have everything you need.
For Tracey Atkins, director of Private Property Global, QR codes not only make listings easier to access, but also more engaging. By removing unnecessary text from advertisements, Atkins states that “we are less like selling a house on the market and more like telling a house on the market”.
The Melbourne-based marketer added: “We only use the image, address and a QR code, and that leads them to a video where they can get a deeper level of understanding and engagement. “
Tried and true methods meet modern technology
Most agents have learned that traditional means of communicating with customers, such as newspaper ads, billboards, and maps, can sometimes work best. However, for Catherine Bassick of Bassick Real Estate Advisors, adding a little update to these methods can make all the difference.
“I send out postcards of properties that are coming on the market as well as recently sold ones and include a QR code to allow people to go directly to the property’s website instead of having to find it in several stages.
Atkins says PPG used QR codes alongside more traditional advertising strategies when marketing the famous Melbourne mansion, Namarong. “We did a big campaign that included using QR codes through a national newspaper, which was a powerful way to leverage that medium and an opportunity to tell more stories.”
Intel Agent, made easy
The ease of QR codes doesn’t just apply to homebuyers, but also to agents, Morrison says. “When someone sees a property they like, they can scan the real estate panel and now we as agents can show them not just that property but other similar ones. We’re trying to create the ecosystem perfect for our agents.
By using technologies such as QR codes, Morrison says RETSY has been able to attract some of “the most successful luxury agents who know that the tools we provide give us an edge over any type of competition.”
Team leader Morrison added that the data collected from the QR codes is used only for property and real estate.
“Many companies distribute QR codes in order to retrieve your information, but with our system it’s a closed loop, and it’s designed just for real estate agents.”
Create a personal connection
In addition to connecting homebuyers to listings, Jim Dolan, owner of CDR San Miguel, says scannable technology also helps market himself and his brokerage.
“We put QR codes on the back of our cell phones. That’s awesome, I’ll be at a conference or meeting and someone asks for a business card and all I have to do is flip my phone and they’ll instinctively know what to do.
The luxury broker continued that unlike physical business cards, digital cards are more likely to stay in the hands or phones of potential customers. “Most of the time you get these cards and they end up in a pile in your closet. But with QR codes, my information goes straight to their phones, and that’s very important to us.
CDR San Miguel, Private Property Global and RETSY are exclusive members of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and member network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes. Look for the latest luxury listings here.
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