How many here use custom QR codes?

16 Replies

Do you use QR codes to advertise your rentals?

I started to experiment a bit with it as a way to point them to a web site with more information and details.

As you know, if you use Postlets or any real estate web site that syndicates, most visitors at most get 50% of the information you put in.

Go try it, you go to the syndicated site, and 75% of the space are filled with ads, most of your terms, features are either cropped, gone or worst blocked by a pop up requiring some account creation or some animated video ads.  I think one time I looked at my own ad in Trulia and it was overlaid by another paid advertiser's ad, to the point that their pictures covered my pictures, if I didn't know I would have assumed their pictures are those of my own.

So I started to stick in the actual postlets link into the body of my ads, and I embed a RQ code to that link in my pictures.

Lately, I started to put QR codes onto my yard signs.  The sign would say FOR RENT, and an info box containing a bunch of one page information sheets.  When the sheets are all gone anyone driving by will still be able to scan the 4"x4" QR code on my sign to take them to the web site.

If they scan my QR code on the sign, I know they are there on site.  My introduction is a bit different, my description would vary a little "Thank you for taking the time to visit my property...standing in the front yard looking at the front door, to your left is the garage...to the right is a giant olive tree...behind that..."

Anyone else doing stuff with QR codes?

I have not looked into it.

Pretty interesting though.

I haven't done anything with QR codes, particularly because I'm always concerned people won't know what to do with them. Scanning a QR code isn't a built-in feature on Android or iOS devices so that has always cooled my enthusiasm for what otherwise I think is a great idea.

Do you track how many people actually visit your sites from the QR codes? Do you format your website for mobile devices?

I'm very curious to hear more about how you make it work, especially since I'm only a bit down the road from you!

@Rafael S.

I haven't tracked traffic that comes to me via QR codes.

I also think this is very location specific.  I do this in my Sailboat Bend rentals where the renters are mostly younger professionals and most have smart phones and know what to do with it.  I think you can assume 100% of students nowadays know what to do with it.  Actually I am beginning to consider doing away with printed sheets in a plastic info box and replace it with a QR code on the sign, that's it.  The paper get wet sometimes in the rain and I am not always there to refill it when it's out.

However, I would not consider doing this at my Hallandale rentals, as Hallandale population and demographics is much older and some people there are probably still on rotary dial phones.

Here is a picture.  I put about 20 or so property sheet into the info box outside.  Once it runs out then they can still get all the info from the QR code, I also tell them if the box is empty please text me a message so I'll come refill it.  I did get a text message LOL.

I personally dislike QR codes. I'm of a young generation (<30) and I can admit that I do not know one single person who uses them.

Think of a QR codes as a bar code. Why doesn't your can of peaches simply have a big bar code on the front that you can scan with no other descriptive information? Imagine if you had to take every item to the code reader to check for prices? I wouldn't shop at that store!

QR codes are essentially a difficult way to solve a simple problem. QR code = web address you cannot remember. They will never remember the website and will never navigate back to it at a later date. 

QR Codes are difficult to use. I can open my browser and type in the address and open it on my 4g network faster than you can open your app-store..download a qr code reader..open the app, let it load, scan the code..get an error..scan it again..let it look it up then redirect to the webpage. I want my info NOW and I don't have time to waste with bar-codes. 

I would drive by the house and notice it's for rent. Before I even got out of my car I've searched the address on zillow, google, craigslist, backpage, and anything else I can think of. If I can't find the property listed online, I'm probably not even going to stop as a roll by. 

Simpler is better. Replace the QR code with a simple, easy to remember web-address in the same location or even your phone number. There is a reason why Realtor signs have a giant phone number on them but no QR codes. If you have a number I would stop in front of the house and call you. 

I'm not a marketing expert, but I subscribe to the idea that you want as few barriers as possible between me and my lead.

I'm done with my rant against QR codes. If you couldn't tell..I really dislike them! haha

@Eric Bowlin

Thanks for the input.

Some of the reasons you mentioned are the reason I use it now as a supplement.

Normally, there would be a dozen of two of 8.5"x11" pieces of paper with detailed information, floor plan and inside photos, as well as web address for additional photo, my phone number, email etc...all on one single page.

The problem is when that runs out...I put the box up first day all the papers are gone, probably from nosy neighbors walking by, so the QR code is a backup, it's better than an empty box.

Obviously it's only for those who drives by, those who found the place on the web already have the web address and relevant information.

As far as popularity goes, I guess my experience is a bit different.

A recent quick survey I did at a party and a picnic, most of the younger kids, by that I mean teens and in the twenties have QR code reader apps on their phones, there is no need to download an app.  Most of them have used it for something, although nothing serious.  The most surprising usage to me was they used QR codes to tweet, as well as to send text messages to girl friends and boy friends.

As for the analogy to supermarket products, I don't think the context is the same.  At the supermarket you are trying to find a simple price, a number, which would occupy a smaller piece of real estate on the shelf then an QR code would, and you as a consumer are trying to look at possibly a dozen similar products at a single glance and knowing the prices of all of them at the same time is important.  Same reason why electronics stores have all their TVs grouped together for your side by side price and performance comparison.  Whereas in this case it is an alternative to an 8.5"x11" sheet full of details, photos and contact information.  I would love to have a web address that is easy to remember, but I don't, unfortunately, it's one that you need to type in and it's long, tedious and with a sub-domain, so I don't expect people to type in the web address.

We've been placing QR codes on our rental signs/flyers/advertisements for over two years now.   We use them to take the prospective tenant to more detailed information on the unit being let and a copy of the application policy/form.

They are extremely popular amongst our student tenant population.

Quite possibly different social sub-groups use technology differently! Being 29..I know a lot of 20 somethings. My youngest sister is only 21 and still in college. 

I would agree and I think most people have tried it simply as a novelty. I couldn't dislike it so much if I hadn't tried it.

If the particular demographic you are targeting is likely to use it, and it is successful for you, then awesome!  

I might say..just take the first page of the flyer and put it there..that way no one will take it!

Just for fun, google "are qr codes relevant". A lot of Good info on the topic.

Eric,

Quick Response codes have been adopted for lots of irrelevant uses these days ... using them to encode a URI does not really leverage their potential.

In simplest terms, they are a 2-dimensional barcode, originally developed about 20 years ago to allow encoding of Kanji along with ~7000 numbers).  Due to the amount of information that can be encoded, QR codes were readily adopted various industries (auto, banking, pharmaceutical as examples) to allow for tracking of parts/documents/products as they flowed through the manufacturing/business/sales process.

With the advent of smart phones, the use of QR codes to encode URIs has blossomed.

@Roy N.  I was doing a little research about them this morning It is very interesting what they can be used for and I'm sure their use won't go away for many many applications. I just personally don't see how long they will stay with social media or advertising.

From what I read from people who follow such things...A lot of people complain advertisers have used them in many completely irrelevant and useless ways..which led many end users to stop using them.

Perhaps in the future as good web addresses become difficult to find or too expensive (because they are all bought up and being auctioned for thousands)  and if advertisers have excellent quality information behind the QR code..then maybe they will become more prevalent.

From my point of view, and most of my social group, I don't spend my time on them. But I'm not part of a normal group since probably 80%of my peers from college are still single, binge drinking, and working day jobs. So I'm part of a bias sample.

Technology is very interesting... Could talk about it for hours..days even.

Am I showing some nerd-like traits by really enjoying this conversation? :)

I think @Eric Bowlin  is making a good point about the additional steps that are required to open the QR code. Since the QR code itself only contains a URL, why not use a URL shortener? I first thought to use Google's http://goo.gl but when you enter a website it gives you a random bunch of numbers and letters which isn't practical to put on a sign.

But I found bit.do that allows you to customize the link. So, for example, bit.do/Rafa takes you to my page at www.facebook.com/rafael.saldana.

It's free and it also gives you some access statistics on how many people are using the link. 

The shortened link tackles the issue of providing an easy way for a person to pull up the property on their smartphone while minimizing the amount of work on the user's part. 

What do you think @Sam Leon  @Roy N.  and @James Wise  ?

Im also pretty young. (27) & have never looked into it.

@Eric Bowlin  has made some pretty good points. While it is interesting, it's not simple. If I as a twenty something have not had this on my radar I imagine those in their 40's or 60's will likely not be using this technology either.

A cool concept but I think instead of a QR code a URL would likely be more successful.

I don't think these are mutually exclusive options.

For me, I would like to give whoever interested choices that work for them.

If you want to flip open the info box, and pull out a piece of paper with information and pictures, you have that option...until the papers run out and I am not there to replenish it.

If you want to scan the QR code to get to the web site with more details and more photos, great.

I could put on there a URL address, or a phone number.  Problem is you would have to type the URL in, or dial the phone number in.  Most folks I have asked said when they see a URL or a phone number, they end up taking out the phone and snap a picture of it so that they can go back to it 1 minute or 20 minutes later, when they get back into the car, get back to the office...instead of dialing or typing in a tedious string right outside under the sun.  The act of taking out a camera and snaping a pic is the same number if steps as scanning a QR code.

It may also be a matter of habit.  I don't know the last time I typed in a full URL.  Unless its something short like eBay.com or espn.com, any longer I don't bother so to me a cryptic URL is too "complicated" and I won't bother.

I think QR codes is best to use to provide more information in certain situations.  If I go to a museum and it has a QR code where I can get a $5 off coupon for the admission price I would use it.  However if there is a QR code next to each painting or artwork for the story or data, and I have to take out my phone once for every piece of art I would go crazy.

Can you snap a picture of a qr code and access the website any time you want? Serious question, I don't know the answer.

Originally posted by @Eric Bowlin :

Can you snap a picture of a qr code and access the website any time you want? Serious question, I don't know the answer.

Depends on the QR code reader you have.  Some will only scan from the camera, but some will scan from QR code in the image gallery, or a QR code inside your Word or PDF documents.  There are hundreds of free QR decoder scanner out there and it's not an issue.

What may be an issue is if you snap a picture of a QR code for later use, there is a chance the app may not be able to decode it because a falling leaf or something partially obscured the QR code, or your hand moved a bit too fast and the image got blurry, or there was a bit too much glare, or raining/snowing...so for me I wanted to make sure I got the right QR code, and the only way to make sure is to try and scan it first.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.