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QR Codes: Countering 5 Objections

July 11 2012

3925 200px qrcode crackEric Holtzclaw of Inc. Magazine (Inc.comInc.com) thinks you shouldn't bother with QR codes. In his article, he provides five points to support this position. Is he right? Well, it took us only seconds to come up with counter-arguments to his objections. We'll provide both perspectives here, but the only person who can truly determine whether or not QR codes are "worth it" is YOU. Please comment below and share your perspective with other agents and brokers.

Objection 1: People don't know what they are.

According to Holtzclaw, "97% of consumers don't know what a QR code is." Whether or not this is true, it's certainly changing. Awareness of QR codes is steadily growing. According to an article on MarketingCharts.comarticle on MarketingCharts.com, QR Code scans were up 157% in Q1 2012 from Q1 2011.

Objection 2: They're too much work for consumers.

Holtzclaw argues that, in order to use a QR code, consumers must find an app, download the app, take a picture of the code, and then (once they've made it to the destination of the QR code) dig around the site to find what they're looking for. What he fails to mention is that:

  • The selection of a QR-reader app and downloading the app only needs to happen once – not every time someone wants to scan a QR code – and only takes a few moments.
  • Most QR-reader apps (including the one I use) do not require the user to take a picture of the QR code; instead, you simply open the app and hold your phone's camera over the QR code and the app automatically scans it.
  • A smart mobile marketer knows how to choose a strategic destination for their QR codes – whether it's creating a designated landing page or wisely choosing an existing page from their website. Although the burden is on you to give the consumer what they want without them having to dig, this is far from impossible to do.

At the root of being a consumer is being a shopper. When consumers recognize that they can get more detailed information about a product or service by using a QR code, many will try it if only to satisfy their curiosity.

Objection 3: Before people even encounter a QR Code, they've already made their purchase decision.

Maybe this is true in other industries; maybe it isn't. Either way, it certainly isn't true in real estate. Some of the most popular locations for real estate-related QR codes occur exactly where undecided consumers will see them – on yard signs, business cards, property flyers, etc.

Let's look at yard signs as an example. Someone looking at your yard sign and noticing your QR code is probably interested in the property but needs MUCH more information before they make the decision to purchase it. By using your QR code, if it sends them to a single property website or the listing details, you're giving them just the information they need to make the next step in their purchase decision (contacting their own agent or you, the listing agent, to schedule a showing).

Objection 4: Effort is greater than reward.

Holtzman says consumers are consistently disappointed by what they "get" when they scan a QR code. Once again, this doesn't have to be the case. The burden rests on YOU to give the consumer an excellent experience when they scan your code. Not sure how to do this? There are companies that have made mobile marketing their business and you can call on them to craft a QR code strategy for you.

Objection 5: A single negative experience with a QR code can poison a consumer against all other QR codes.

Sure, consumers remember bad experiences, but let's give them a little more credit than that. We're talking mobile technology here, people – not a car accident or anaphylactic shock! Most people aren't so fragile that a single bad experience is going to prevent them from ever trying again.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below!