From Wikipedia: a QR code abbreviated from Quick Response code is a specific matrix barcode or two dimensional code that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data.
Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is the one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. The QR code was designed to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. There are two main things that you have to have when you want to use QR codes:
- A mobile phone with a camera and internet connectivity
- A QR code reader
Where do I get a QR code reader is the first question you may ask. The answer is most smart phones nowadays have a QR reader already installed. For other smart phones you would need to download the reader and install it yourself.
After you have your reader installed, you go to the application and snap a picture of the QR code. Make sure that you include the entire code into the picture. If it appears the scan has failed, just try it again.
It may take five to thirty seconds for the application to go to the link. The decoding of the information written behind the link is taking place. If the code is a URL, the QR code reader will open your browser and let you surf the mobile site the code links to.
QR Codes are Everywhere
With QR codes it means that you have a bridge between your offline products with online information. Something as simple as shooting a favorite recipe from a magazine to giving a buyer the directions to an open house is the convenience and simplistic usefulness of a QR code.
Ordinary people can generate a QR code for free and get others to go to their website, blog, business social media site, product pages, articles and physical business site.
Reasons QR codes are going big and you have already seen them in the newspapers, magazine ads, direct mail and on business cards are the following.
There are over 50 million smart phones users in the US today and more around the world. Japan, The Netherlands, and South Korea were the first to use QR codes consistently. Toyota first used them to track their car parts during production. Now the world has caught on at a high speed.
It is free to you and me although Denso-Wave has the patent on it, and has made it available to everyone. You can get your own QR code and embed these in your marketing materials and company merchandise. The convenience of instant access to the product you want your customers to see is huge.
You can measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts better than traditional marketing strategies with the QR code since it is your own designed code.
You are not limited to the amount of information you want to tell your customers either monetarily or by space. With traditional ad space it is going to cost more per ad size and with QR codes in terms of length, size and space you are limitless. More and more people are accessing the web through their mobile devices. Global traffic is huge and increasing daily with the advent of wireless connectivity.
How Does This Fit Into Real Estate?
“Scan the Tag” is a great slogan to start using to have your clients and customers start thinking how easy it is to view a complete list of open houses, information about each house, neighborhoods, you, your company via their smart phone. All the customer has to do is download the free application on their smart phone device at http://gettag.mobi The agent’s business card information is downloaded to the customer’s phone instantly. The directions to the house, any and all information about the property is given with the direct link to any and all information you wish the potential buyer or seller to know about the property and about you.
I recently opened the Sunday newspaper and in the Sunday Real Estate section one large company had a QR code embedded in every picture of every listing their company advertised for that week. There were 48 houses being highlighted and all pictures came with more than the usual limited information. They came with QR codes that told “everything you, the agent, would like to say to a buyer to get the most complete picture of the house, the office building, the office park, the industrial site, the apartment complex and surrounding area.
The QR code is a tool that has arrived. The information above is another reason to stay updated and current. The real estate industry is already actively using this tool. Start today by adding a QR code to your business card and your company brochure for contact information. Add it to your listings, your advertising pages, and your magazine promotional. Why? It is only going to give you potential access to hitting over 53 million plus people.
Rita Santamaria is the owner of Champions School of Real Estate and has campuses in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and On-line Campus. For more information www.ChampionsSchool.com.