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Want to Track the Effectiveness of Your QR Codes?

December 23 2010

goomzee qr codeDid you know you can Google “Free QR codes” and create your own QR codes? It’s true. This technology is not patented and therefore costs nothing to generate.  Better yet, real estate technology vendors are offering this service for free too!

The next step with a marketing tool, like QR codes, is lead generation.

How do you track the success of your marketing efforts? If you can’t measure it, does it have the value or reach you expect?

The good news is that QR codes can be harnessed to validate marketing efforts, providing real estate agents and brokers with and understanding of who viewed your marketing, and more importantly – your QR code will track the potential customer’s phone number.

This week we were able to preview the Goomzee QR code solution ( for real estate professionals. We spoke with Mike Sparr, founder of Goomzee.  Before founding Goomzee, Sparr worked for Nokia and believes in keeping a pulse on mobile consumers to target emerging technology trends. While Goomzee started working with QR code technology three years ago, Sparr believes the time for QR codes is just now in the beginning stages.

During this call we questioned Goomzee’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 Goomzee offering to the industry?

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

One of the main benefits to using QR code technology is that mobile trends are starting to show QR codes as an emerging way to translate and communication messages to consumer groups. QR codes are new, exciting and show signs of rampant adoption.

QR codes are everywhere.

“You walk through Best Buy and every product in the store has a QR code on the price tag, providing consumers with more details about the product. I just flew into Denver International Airport and discovered an entire wall of the airport filled with QR codes promoting different products,” says Sparr.

The impact of this trend is not as much the increasing number of QR codes used in advertising, but in how these advertisers are educating consumers to use it.

“Let’s look at text messaging. Ninety percent of mobile users send/receive text messages daily. That was not always the case. Four years ago fewer people were texting. Then a popular television show called American Idol started asking their TV viewers to text in their votes. Their ads were educational and it worked.  Millions of devoted fans started to text in their preferences. Other companies followed suit. Now text messaging has taken off,” explains Sparr. “At Goomzee we try to watch for these types of trends to help gauge what technology will be adopted. We are now seeing QR codes being used everywhere, and companies are explaining how to use this technology to large consumer bases.”

Further benefits include the fact that generating QR codes is free. Real estate agents and brokers always welcome free technology. They also provide a tangible way to capture the phone numbers of interested buyers. Technologists refer to this as “call capture.”

“At Goomzee, we had prototyped QR codes three years ago, but phones back then did not have auto focusing technology. A key benefit now about QR codes is that Smartphones are equipped with auto focus and can support multi-media uses of QR codes.”

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

Sparr identified one of the main challenges to adopting this technology is that QR codes are still in the infancy of mass adoption.

“Only something like 26% of Americans have Smartphones. Let’s assume that only 10% of those know what QR codes are and how to scan them. That means that only 2.6% of users in the U.S. could be effectively reached with this technology today; is that enough of a market to expect high numbers of leads? Not yet.” Mike Sparr goes on to say that he predicts it will take another 3-5 years for this technology to really take hold.

Another drawback is the variety of good and bad QR readers consumers can choose to download. Mike Sparr pointed out that the effectiveness of these QR code messages depends on the integrity of the QR readers downloaded on the users’ mobile devices.

“Barcode readers are not standardized, and how they interpret QR codes varies,” he pointed out. If you refer to the list of QR code readers from the first article in this series, it will give you a more clear idea of which readers to recommend people to download on their various mobile devices.

The final challenge with QR codes is the inability to reuse QR codes. Right now agents and brokers will have to go in and individually create new QR codes for each property, email address, and website URL they want. This means all marketing materials will have to re-branded each time a new QR code is generated. This is heavy lifting for the agent.

What solution is Goomzee offering to the industry?

Goomzee is providing a two-pronged solution, both of which are in Beta and set to release in 2011.

The first solution is a free QR code generating website. Goomzee users can sign into Goomzee’s website and create their own QR codes, manage the links, track user traffic and validate leads. This tool is available at and is free for anyone to use.

goomzee qr codes

Users can sign in and choose what type of message they would like to be translated into a QR code. Goomzee’s solution provides the following options:

1.)  Phone number – this will enable home buyers to scan a QR code and receive the agent or broker’s direct phone number, which they can save to their phone or call directly.

2.)  URL – once scanned, the QR code will direct users to the website via the user’s web browser.

3.)  Email – if a homebuyer scans a QR code that points to an email address, users will be able to email the agent or broker immediately through their mobile email application or save the agent’s email address for future reference.

4.)  Text – this enables a homebuyer to text the agent or broker directly, without having to type in the agent’s number

5.)  Contact information- once scanned the user’s phone will show the contact information the agent wishes them to see

6.)  Geo location – this helps homebuyers locate any location on a map that the agent would like to direct them to

7.)  WiFi network – users can gain access to a WiFi network once scanning the QR code

8.)  Calendar event – agents can choose to promote an open house or event once the QR code is scanned

For example, using Goomzee’s URL, Mike Sparr was able to simply select URL from the drop down options and then type in Within seconds a QR code was generated.  I tested the QR code on my Android and sure enough my mobile browser pulled up this website in a matter of seconds.

goomzee qr 2

Goomzee’s free website offering also provides a way to track leads.  Sparr created a QR code for, translated it into a short URL and then both he and I scanned the QR code to see how the product would track us as leads.

Below is an example of the reporting components to this service, showing several locations from which my QR code was read:goomzee qr code four clicks

Goomzee’s tracking features include:

  • Number of clicks
  • Country, state, city of lead
  • Total leads in the last week, month, year and overall

The second product offering Goomzee is rolling out in 2011 will be through their text message marketing solution, RealtyConnect. They plan to utilize the same text message marketing features available in RealtyConnect, but instead of texting consumers directly, users will be able to opt in by scanning QR codes.

“We have piloted our mobile MLS and mobile IDX solution in 2 markets and will soon be announcing our new product bundles that include Text + QR + Mobile Search all in one place, fully integrated with MLS data, and a single price and admin to manage everything mobile,” announces Sparr.

goomzee qr realty connect preview1

Sparr states that this technology is unique for two reasons:

1.)  Reusable QR codes- this solves the problem of having to rebrand and create new QR codes for every listing and website URL. Goomzee has created a way to avoid rebranding by recycling these QR codes to reflect the updated links and property details the agent would like. The agent can manage their QR codes on Goomzee’s platform, without having to generate a new QR code.

2.)  Call capture – Goomzee’s solution will filter traffic and validate leads. This solution captures the phone number of the lead.

When asked about potential privacy concerns, Sparr was not concerned. “I am not worried about privacy concerns, as no one is forcing the consumer to scan the QR code.  In doing so, they are opting in and establishing a relationship with the agent.”

Goomzee keeps the phone number confidential. If a consumer if trying to get to Agent X, only Agent X will have access to their phone number.

“It’s no different than someone calling your home phone number and your message machine displays caller ID. This is not a new concept,” explains Sparr.

Both of these two products are not available to the public currently, but stay tuned as will report its release in 2011!

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.