updated 15th October 2016
Quick Response Codes,
otherwise known as QR Codes, are fast becoming a useful tool for many in the
real estate business today. Although some consider the matrix to be over-used and over-hyped, agents
selling real estate in the Denver, Colorado area consider it an integral part of their business system.
Real estate agents and brokers alike speculate that in this unstable market, it will be the larger areas
that will benefit the most from the QR technology. Smaller cities and regions where family owned or
locally operated businesses are more prevalent, may not consider a QR Code system as a necessary tool
and may be able to integrate it at a later time.
Used much like scanned bar codes on products we see every day, a QR Code offers at-hand, fast
information to agents, brokers and real estate buyers looking for details as to available properties. Real
estate agents apply the small, square, dot-matrix pattern to business cards, listings in printed
advertising and signs on available properties. When applied as a smart phone application, interested
parties can scan the code with their phones where the application is allowable and the property
information can be instantly and conveniently accessed from any location. When applied to an agent’s
personal business card, properties marketed by that agent, specifically, will be shown via their own
website or personal page.
However, QR Codes are not without their annoyances. The visual acuity of the images on any provided
websites linked to the QR Code will largely depend upon the formatting of the website where the QR
Code is linked. If the website is not formatted specifically to provide for the upload of these images,
the application will fail. This will most certainly frustrate property buyers who may turn to another
more dependable means of information instead of continuing with that agent’s listing.
Other issues relating to the use of the QR Code is the removal of the traditional one-on-one interaction.
Personal interaction and face-to-face instruction has been historically practiced by traditional real estate
agents. Where in the past, the norm was for a listing agent to be contacted by an interested buyer and a
subsequent meeting scheduled at a property for its viewing, the QR Code removes such an initial
interaction completely. While proponents for the QR Code praise it as a valuable time-saver where
both agents and buyers are pressed, some agents believe this approach removes a critical aspect of their
marketing and sales strategies. However, with more available properties on the market now than ever,
the former may hold truer than the latter.
Where the heavily flooded real estate markets in Phoenix and Las Vegas are concerned, this is a
weighty issue. While agents may have more listings available than ever, thus reducing their personal
meeting times considerably, buying a home will always remain a pinnacle decision in their clients’
lives. Those who carry skepticism of the QR Code system advise clients that a completely informed
decision can only be made when coupled with the expertise of an educated agent who can guide and
advise them as to their property interests. They feel that although time may be an issue to both agent
and buyer, the overall decision is important enough to warrant in-person instruction.
Having only been in use for a little over one year at this point, the QR Code technology is not as yet
widespread. Although when asking a real estate agent currently employing its use, they may see it as an
emerging and highly popular form of business technology soon to wield a large and faithful audience
of users. Citing its beneficial advantages based on their own experiences, they may deem it an
irreplaceable tool for consistent insight into an ever-changing market. While agents, less confident of
its capabilities, would consider it to be a fad-like, passing trend meant only for occasional use where
time is of the essence and property details are not immediately warranted or required.
However, property buyers, with an array of choices as to gathering information on and viewing a
certain property, most likely will consider QR Codes as more of a convenience than not. If made more
mainstream within real estate circles, many technologically savvy buyers will use this application and,
in time, may consider it as a dependent means of gathering information quickly and accurately without
the need for human interaction. Where phone calls and leaving messages were once the expected real
estate norm, in today’s advanced technological society, speed and accuracy are expected. To many who
have used it, QR Codes provide both.
While many buyers will expect to enter the property for a physical inspection, QR Codes remove the
initial need thereby freeing their time to explore alternatives should their original interests not be met
through a simple QR Code view. But, again, in the event QR Codes become the predominant norm, it
will always be used first and foremost as an initial tool for first visual inspections. Like the internet,
which is now used more for initial real estate viewing than cold calls to agents, QR Code technology
will raise the bar in home buying and selling.
Although not yet mainstream, many in the real estate field consider it a rising technology. QR Codes
are making familiar and consistent debuts in magazines and product labels thus giving them a smaller
point to begin their use. This foot-in-the-door advance gives potential buyers a sneak-peek at the
simple forms it takes as they begin to recognize the familiar sight of its dot-matrix design and learn
about its capabilities from these smaller trends.
Once more formally introduced, the applications will be more widespread and readily available.
Although, as with all emergent technology, it will lose its footing if it is not made user-friendly as it
becomes more prominent. Although many new technologies come with system or operating issues,
with the widespread availability of property search alternatives, QR Coding will need to make certain
of its competitive nature in order to stay relevant.
Jeremy Hayes is an Australian realtor and a blogger exploring new technologies and trends in
real estate business as well as testing fresh approaches that might benefit other real estate agents.