Pictured home: 79 Halaulani Place, Hilo
Back when I needed a new treadmill, we were visiting Costco pretty regularly, so I began looking at theirs seriously. I started taking notes when I noticed the little square QR code on the side of the box. A simple “snap” put all the specs right on my phone. For many, this is old stuff, but for the few uninitiated, QR codes may seem a curious little blip on an ad.
Much like a UPC code, Quick Response Codes encode digitized information. Unlike UPC codes which are commonly read by a commercial UPC scanner, QR codes can be read with any camera phone equipped with an easy-to-install reader. Most commonly found on smartphones, the appropriate application captures the QR image which opens a website, connects to a YouTube video, or displays whatever information the originator desires.
Great for Real Estate
Move over George Jetson! It’s a snazzy tool, to be sure! Some display static data, while others are more robust. Take for instance, the code we put on our house ads. One click and the words in the ad come to life. Opening the QR code on the sign posted outside our listings takes you on a virtual walk inside. Buyers no longer need to sit outside a listing and call agents for additional information.
Remember, the purpose of advertising is to “get the phone to ring.” Because sign calls are some of the strongest calls we receive, the idea that we are giving away so much information runs counter to the core concept of lead generation that agents learn is so critical from the moment we get our license. After all, no call, no appointment.
Too Much Info?
Time was, real estate listing information was closely guarded. As commonplace as it is now, the idea of putting listings online was initially considered completely radical. To put it mildly, not all REALTORS® embraced the idea of making the entire Multiple Listing Service self-service. Public perception was that providing access to listings was our core value. In fact, it was predicted that real estate agents would become obsolete.
Truth is, being the gatekeeper of listing information was never our value proposition. For me, arming the public with MLS information has made my job easier. Buyers are better educated about the inventory, the property, and the process.
Armed with a QR code reader, a buyer calling after taking a virtual tour linked to a QR code is a stronger, more mentally qualified buyer than those slugging along the old-fashioned way. So go ahead, click away, take the tour, “break the code “but by all means, if you have questions or want to take a look inside, there’s still a human anxious for you to call.