What is a QR code and as an Estate Agent, why should I care!?
So you've all got yourselves your mobile 'apps' and are
frantically getting to grips with the wonderful world of 'social
media', but what about the latest craze to hit the world of
business? - The QR (Quick Response) code.
Put very simply, QR codes are a form of barcode that make the
storing and retrieving of data very quick and simple, principally
through use of an app on a mobile phone such as an iPhone or
Android device. Simply open the app, point the camera at the
QR code, and wait for the magic to happen.
Scanning a QR code can perform a number of different actions
from displaying text, contact information, composing an email, or
opening a web page in your mobile phones web browser. The later of
these actions is probably what you will see most often - point your
camera at a QR code and be taken to a web page with all the
information the company using the code would like you to see.
The QR wave
QR Codes were created by Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to
track vehicles during the manufacturing process, but have since
burst onto the scene in 2011 with virtually all major global brands
including Subway, Coca-Cola, and the BBC making use of them on a
regular basis. The technology should not be ignored. The
increasingly common use of so called 'smart phones' to access the
internet means QR codes offers interesting opportunities for estate
agents to direct people from offline media to online.
Take a simple scenario in the world of the property agent. A
prospective client walks past a property you're marketing, scans
the QR code you've added to the For Sale board and within 5 seconds
is looking at a page on your website with all the information they
need about the property. One more click and they're making a call
to your office to arrange a viewing. Neat eh?
Here are some advantages to using QR codes:
- Simple, fast, and inexpensive to create and distribute
- Connects people with detailed product information
- Smartphone's with QR code readers are becoming increasingly
And here are some examples of what a QR code can include
- Phone numbers
- Complete contact information
- SMS text messages
- Calendar events
- An email address
- A geographic map location
Simple to get started
Here's the best part... no matter what that company you've
spoken to has told you about making the most of QR codes, you
really shouldn't have any problems doing them yourself. There are a
plenty of sites out there for generating QR Codes and they are
allcompletely free. An internet search for QR code generator
will offer many choices, here are but a few:
Simply save the QR Code image generated and add to your
marketing collateral as you please.
Top 5 ways to use QR Codes for Estate Agents.
- For Sale Boards- Consumers like to get as much
information as humanly possible before calling someone in your
office. By placing the QR Code on your For Sale and To Rent
Boards you will be instantly providing the hottest leads (those
people actively driving around looking for property) with the
price, interior photos, floor plans and those all important office
- Business Cards- Add a QR code to your business
card to direct people to your business website or Facebook
- Direct Mail -For specific, targeted marketing
campaigns by direct mail, adding a QR code will direct your
potential clients to additional information which may have not been
able to feature on the literature. Less is more, as they say.
- Property Flyers -People are used to viewing
information online. It is simple, effective and available at their
convenience. Flyers can hold limited information on
properties but with a QR code you can ensure a potential buyer is
able to view the full features of each property by directing them
to a specific webpage.
- Newspaper advertising -We all know one of the
biggest issues with your newspaper advertising is that they go out
of date almost the second they are published! What about adding a
QR code to your newspaper ads with the message 'scan to view our
- Window cards & Shop Front Literature -By
having a QR code against each property window card a potential
buyer can scan the code and view full property details. This can be
very advantageous out of business hours.
How effective is my QR code?
So you've been using QR codes on your advertising for a few
weeks now and that question finally pops into your head - "Are
these blocks of dots actually doing anything for my business?".
This is where the art of 'URL tagging' comes in to play, allowing
you to track and monitor how many people are using your QR codes
and how they move through your own business website.
Let's say you have a very simple QR code that directs the user
through to your home page e.g. www.propertylive.co.uk .
The resulting QR code (using http://qrcode.kaywa.com/) would
look as such:
But how do you separate the visitors to your website from the QR
code vs. direct traffic in your Google Analytics account or other
web analytics system?
free URL builder and fill in all the details about your QR code
campaign. Using the PropertyLive.co.uk example again I filled in
the form as follows:
Simply click to 'Generate URL' and I get a shiny new URL -
which I can plug in to a QR code
generator to get a new QR code:
Scan this one and I'm still taken to the PropertyLive.co.uk
homepage, but with the added benefit as an agent of being able to
track people visiting the site at the new URL in my web analytics
Is your website mobile friendly?
Top tip: Make sure the page you direct your visitors to from
your QR code is 'Mobile friendly'. Have your tried visiting your
agency website from a mobile phone? Compare navigating your website
on a phone to the experience of navigating the BBC website for
For more information on making your website mobile friendly, for
only £15 per month + one off set up cost, please call
PropertyLive.apps Team on 0845 250 6012 or email