QR Codes for San Mateo Co coastal tech-savvy buyers

[idx-listing mlsnumber=”81105378″ showall=”true”]

One of the most exciting new marketing tools to come to the real estate industry is big news for me as a listing agent.  It is called a  “QR code” – or Quick Response code.  While I learned about this emerging technology use for real estate about a year ago, it didn’t seem timely to implement them into property marketing plans yet as smart phone users were still on the upswing.  Coldwell Banker even implemented QR campaigns in 2010.  I was impressed that a big company like CB tried something before I started using it!

With my first listing of the new year, now seems like the right time.  So I’m using QR codes as part of the combined online/offline marketing plan for this property.  This is how I’m using my custom generated code:

  1. First, I created a “property listing” page for 1510 Grand Ave., Pacifica on this site, giving the page its own URL.  The beauty of this is that the image is not tied to a listing number or another product that will go away in the future.  This way I will always have this page to maximize the exposure of my own inventory.  I’m going to be adding the “walkability” features to this Pedro Point’s listing page next!
  2. Browse the web to find and create a free account with a QR code generator (such as BeeTagg).
  3. While logged in to your generator’s site, create a QR code of the URL of your choice.
  4. Turn the QR code into an image (I made a jpg).  You will be given instructions on the site.
  5. Put the image on the property’s flyer/brochure, and in any other print media you feel is appropriate for your listing.  Example:  Put the image on Just Listing postcard mailings to your contacts and the surrounding neighborhood.  Share your ideas if you’ve already done this.

For this listing, here is a small portion of the entire Half Moon Bay Review print Ad for the 2/16/2011 edition below.

Why do we care?  With more than 90% of buyers starting their searches online, and simultaneously a decline in print advertising, this could make print advertising relevant again by melding the online and offline world to improve ways to find the perfect home.  Think about these two scenarios:

A buyer is driving by a house where they just happen upon a Broker’s For Sale sign.  Attached is a rider that says “Click Here for Virtual Tour”, or “Click Here for Property Website” just by opening an App on their smart phone and pointing the screen (if iPhone/live) or scanner (for BB) at the geometric image.  Within a minute you have as much information as you would have if you took the time, either on your smart phone, desktop or laptop to type in a url (if you had it) to manually search.  It would take a lot longer if you simply used your browser to try to find the page specific search.

No sign?… as is the case with this listing…  Put the QR code on print marketing.  In this marketing plan, I’ve put it on the property brochure, and will be delivering that brochure to many areas that I think are target markets.  It’s also in a newspaper ad, noted above, and postcard mailings, so far.

Another question that comes up now…what QR code generator do I use?  There’s a difference between phones.  And not to confuse further, there’s a difference in the codes.  For our purposes here of marketing a listing using QR codes,  most iPhone owners use www.beetagg.com.  If you’re new to this, their blog provides updates, etc. for their product.  I learned that for my Blackberry Tour 9630, I tried and love QR Code Scanner Pro.

I showed my listing to a friend at lunch this week by bringing a copy of the ad and pulling up the property website from the ad’s QR code, all while eating the best fish tacos in the world at one of our great local restaurants, Flying Fish Grill!


Dave Blockhus, Los Altos CA real estate on using QR codes