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Using QR Codes to Market Each Property Listings

December 20 2010

homefinder QR signWhere else could QR codes be flaunted to attract the eye of homebuyers trolling neighborhoods, looking for their dream home?  For Sale signs!  Homebuyers cruising around on a Sunday afternoon pursuing attractive neighborhoods can scan a QR code from a For Sale sign from their car and view photos, property details, pricing, open house schedule and the listing agent’s contact information.  In an era of convenience and catering to the consumer, QR codes start to look for attractive in promoting real estate listings.

This week we were able to preview a marketing solution by Homefinder.com that provides a QR code component for real estate professionals. We spoke with Mark Tepper, VP of Business Development and Sales, specifically with regards to QR codes.

qr code homefinder logo

HomeFinder.com is an online portal that connects buyers with sellers, and gives agents the chance to reach both parties through HomeFinder’s listing enhancement and advertising services. They have just released a solution, Single Property Websites, that incorporates QR codes to help promote agent listings. It is currently in Beta, but can be located at www.homefinderwebsites.com.

During this call we were able to understand several of Homefinder’s points of view regarding the following:

1.)  What are the benefits of using QR codes to promote real estate business?

2.)  What are some industry challenges you see with QR codes for marketing?

3.)  What solution is Homefinder.com offering to the industry?

What are the benefits of using QR codes to promote real estate business?

Given the increased usage of mobile devices, having the ability to offer potential home buyers the ability to learn more information about your listings or yourself is quite important.

“Home buyers still are looking for instant feedback and the gratification of getting what they want fast,” says Mark Tepper. “If you as an agent can offer them that, you will have a leg up.”


Tepper believes one of the best ways to leverage QR codes is in promoting real estate listings.

“It’s a natural way to get people to go to view more information on your property.  Instead of having to type in a URL or search for the home online, they can just scan the code and quickly be directed to the listing they are interested in,” explains Tepper.

Homebuyers may have found the code on a listing sheet from a home they walked by or even off of the sign in the yard. Agents have the opportunity to include their QR code in any marketing material they would like. QR codes are versatile and can be utilized on almost any marketing platforms online and offline. There are many ways that agents can promote their QR code to help direct more home buyers to the properties they are selling.

What are some industry challenges you see with QR codes for marketing?

It is too early to really tell how widespread QR code adoption will be. Right now QR codes are new and enticing, but not every Smartphone user knows how to use this technology. This makes it hard to create a solution that relies entirely on QR code use and promotion.

Another key industry challenge, as described by Mark Tepper, is search engine optimization (SEO). For agents to compete for online traffic hits, they need to ensure that their single property websites are optimized effectively, so they appear in the top of related search results. QR codes can be an effective and fun way to drive traffic to an agent’s website. This is a more direct approach than waiting for homebuyers to type in the exact keywords needed to direct them to an agent’s single property website.


 

What solution is Homefinder.com offering to the industry?

Homefinder.com provides unlimited single property websites to agents. These single property websites provide agents with a website devoted to promoting one of their listings. See below for an example of their single property solution.

homefinder qr on flyer


HomeFinder.com’s single property website provides the following features:

  • Social interaction – Shows the number of Tweets and Facebook Likes and the Google rank
  • Vanity URL
  • Brokerage/agent branding, linking back to brokerage or agent website
  • Local school information
  • Local community/lifestyle information
  • 888 phone number for online traffic to call to request more information – calls to this number are tracked for lead generation
  • Address displayed
  • Property details displayed – price, property type, MLS ID, social networks share button, photos, property descriptions, interior and exterior details and a lead generation form
  • Open house times/schedule
  • QR code pointing to the single property website for marketing promotion

HomeFinder.com designed this solution to be easy for agents to walk through and set up. For agents whose listings are already in the HomeFinder.com portal, there are only three steps to setting up the single property website and generating a specific QR code that directs home buyers to this online website.


Step 1: Agents start the process by copying the URL of their listing, as found on Homefinder.com.

Step 2: They select the vanity URL they would like for their single property website. HomeFinderWebsites.com will alert the agent if the requested URL is available. If it is they can select it and proceed to the final step.

HomeFinder Domain registration

Step 3: They can choose which design they would like for their single property website. Below are two of the options.

homefinder spw templates


It is also important to note that HomeFinder.com configures their QR codes to point to a mobile optimized version of their single property website, to make mobile navigation smoother for homebuyers. If you would like to see the difference, try using your Smartphone web browser to find www.homefinder.com/classic and then try to find http://m.homefinder.comhttp://m.homefinder.com to see the mobile version of the site. The difference is notable and serves to show that mobile optimized websites are far more user friendly and efficient to use. If a homebuyer scans a HomeFinder.com QR code, the Smartphone will pull up a mobile optimized single property website. This is a highlight of this solution.

Stay tuned to learn about Goomzee's QR code marketing later this week!

This is part one of a five part series called "Cracking the QR Code." If you would like RE Technology's editor to create a similar series on a different type of technology, please comment below or email us directly, and if we get enough requests for a topic we will produce a similar series.

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Other articles of interest: AgentOffice | MLSFinder.com