Most of us have seen barcodes for years on products in groceries stores. They allow stores to quickly scan products to add them to your bill, and at the same time update their inventory databases.
Pretty much anything you buy nowadays has one on it, but what you may not have seen are the relatively new QR codes (which stands for ‘Quick Response’). They work with smart phones and are meant to automatically pull up extra information, such as linking to a website, a video, or a map, instead of being used at a cash register.
I first noticed them in my local Best Buy flyer awhile back and now they seem to be everywhere. And then I read an article that mentioned how some real estate agents are beginning to include them on their signage and even their business cards.
Really? I had to see this. So I Googled
'QR codes real estate'
and found this informative article.
Hmmm… maybe there was something to this and investors should sit up and take notice.
Then I found this article by a realtor in Phoenix, Arizona. This guy isn’t convinced. In fact, he makes a few pretty funny comments throughout the article — check it out:
I decided to try it out for myself. I recently bought an Apple iPhone 4, so I installed a QR code reader and tested it out on the QR code in this article. The app takes a picture of the code and then after 5 seconds of processing, it opens a website. How neat.
Then I searched for
'qr code real estate ottawa'
and I found a realtor’s website with contact information, and BIG code below it. Huh? Why not just post a link?
I tried the code… and after 8 seconds of processing, I was finally directed to (you guessed it) a website with this realtor’s listings on it. (chuckle)
So are these the next big thing in real estate? Will everyone be running around with their smart phones scanning codes on property lists?
I don’t know, but to me they just seem like glorified hyperlinks. Maybe their usefulness will improve as their acceptance becomes more widespread and more innovative applications become available. Until then, I think they’ll simply be a curiosity to most people (even the ones who own smart phones).
What do you think? Do you scan QR codes for real estate or other information?