The mobile phone has been an indispensable tool for real estate agents. If someone can’t get hold of you a sale could be missed. And few of the agents I know can afford to miss a sale.
Real estate agents – and brokers, too – also recognize the opportunity for connection that came with the development of smartphones. Of course, for sale signs always have a phone number you can call. But now people can engage with the signs through the use of that strange mark called a QR code. By scanning the QR code with a smartphone a potential buyer can get information on the home; more than one would get on the paper flyer, such as videos and many more pics. That is, if the agent has thought through the process.
On my way home last week I drove by a house offered through Windermere Real Estate by agent Kirk Mitchell and was curious about some of the details including the number of beds/baths, lot size and asking price. Pulling into the drive I noticed that the box of flyers was empty. Bummer. I noticed, however, a very prominent QR code.
Perfect, I thought, I’ll just scan the code and get the information. After all, right below the QR code it says, “Property Information”.
And, admittedly, someone was thinking when they made the code so big you didn’t even have to get out of your car to scan it. So, I scanned it from the front seat of my car, curious and hopeful. The result:
Whaa? Where’s the ‘Property Information’? This just shows a picture of the home and its address. I already have this information – I’m parked in the driveway! No, I don’t want to call anyone and I don’t want to email either. Not only is this more work but that will undoubtedly kick off a conversation that I’m not yet ready to get into (i.e., Do you have a house you need to sell? Are you pre-qualified? What is your ideal home? What price range are you looking at?). I just wanted to know the basics of this house. Grrr.
What could have saved this campaign?
I really was hopeful with this one. I wanted it to work like I think it should. It was so close with that big scan-from-your-car QR code. The basic fix is pretty obvious but there’s more.
1) Keep your promise – if you provide a QR code that promises ‘property information’ then provide it. At least give people what they might otherwise get on the printed flyer. I’d also argue that this is the wrong time to ask for contact, anyway.
2) Use a service designed specifically for real estate sales – Kirk is using nanoqr.com, a French company who has tricked him into thinking that what they offer is the “right” thing for him. They promote it clearly on their site:
Though it’s more expensive Kirk should consider a service like Qfuse, who clearly understand his market better than the folks in France.
3) Finally, Windermere Real Estate has a serviceable mobile site. This QR code could have directed me to the exact listing for that house. It even includes a phone number and email address for Kirk. I think this is what most people would expect by scanning a QR code on a home for sale sign.