QR codes for Realtors

by KaylaB
31 replies
I just got my first Real Estate client (yeah!) and will be setting up a mobile website and managing their SMS text message marketing for them.

I was wondering what would be a good size for the QR code sign that will hang from or beside the Real Estate sign. The QR code will generate an SMS text message, which will send back the info for the house.

I know I have to test it, but I was thinking a 12" square QR code would be a good size to be scanable from inside a car stopped on the street. I would also put the "TEXT ABCD to xxx-xxx-xxxx" on the sign as well for people who prefer to text rather than scan. (I am using a longcode SMS service)

Thanks
#codes #realtors
  • Profile picture of the author thumperhartley
    Congrats on getting the client. Not sure if the same rules apply wher you are but in the UK we have stupid rules about the size of the signs so if you are putting it on the realtors sign then you may want to check with the agent if there are any size restrictions.
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    • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
      Thanks - I will check with the agent. I am in Canada. The agent did not mention any restrictions when I discussed it previously, but I will double check.
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      • Profile picture of the author midasman09
        Banned
        Kayla...just saw your post and thought I'd toss in something from my experience with RE Signs.

        Some yars ago I got a "Hot Flash" when having lunch with one of my RE clients (a guy who owned (still does) a large RE firm with 17 agents)

        We were just "mish-mashing" about "HY-potheticals" about...."ways to promote a RE Agency"!

        Well....when he told me his BEST "Advertising TOOL" was his SIGNS on each of his Listings....which were sitting IN FRONT of each of his Listings...BUT....he added.....he would LOVE to have his signs be..."more effective"!

        So....as I usually do...I placed MY body....into the body of someone looking for houses for sale; Here I am.....in a nice neighborhood....in my car...cruising along, on a Sunday afternoon....looking for "For Sale" signs and....I imagine pulling up in front of a Sign for one of MY client's properties.

        So...what do I see? Well...it's a white sign with Blue Letters...with his Agency's Name & #.

        Nothing else! It looked like ALL the rest of the RE Signs!

        So....because this was when the Internet was just getting going....
        ...I thought; "Hey...why don't I get a Domain Name for the "Address" of this house? Ex: 1255 SE Maple.com

        So....the next day....I went to 2 of my RE guy's listings....got their address and popped for a Domain. Then went to my buddy Tim, who owned a sign shop and had him make 2 signs that could hang from below the regular sign....and...all it had on there was....www.1255semaple.com

        Well....in those days....MOST people knew what that meant and....they could go home or to their motel room and enter the URL to see some photos (later on a Photo Tour) and basic info on the property.

        This increased biz by almost double.

        And....the SAME thing can be done nowadays with "QR Codes".

        The signs I had were SIX inches high by as long as the regular sign was! Perfectly LEGAL in every community "BO" (Before Obama)

        So....placing a Sign below the regular "For Sale" sign.....6" by as long as the regular sign is....SHOULD be OK in most areas.

        And....the words; "SCAN THIS CODE FOR MORE INFO >>> (QR Code) WILL get people to...Aim their Phone at the sign and "snap a picture" to bring up the info you've placed on the MOBILE website you've built for the Realtor!

        Now....one question you may get from a Realtor is; These House Hunters are IN the cars....can the Scan the Code on the Sign from their Car?

        I look at the guy (or gal) asking this question and respond with: "Ahem...Mr Prospect! If someone scans the Code from their car, parked at the curb and....CANNOT....take a photo from that distance
        .... do YA think.....they MIGHT get off their "butt"....open da door an' WALK UP TO DA SIGN an' Snap a Pitcher from dere?"

        (excuse my "Dummy-Lingo" but...questions like these tell me 2 things; 1) either I'm talking to a REAL-bonafide D U M M Y....or they are 2) trying to give me a "Stall") either case I simply smile and say; "If the House Hunter can't scan the Code from their Car....they usually open their door and walk up to the sign so the Code is in their Phone Screen!"

        So....I hope this has given you some ideas. One thing I've always done with any of my programs is...."Put It Together and GO OUT AN TRY IT!"

        The WORST that can happen is...someone will tell you "It Can't be done YOUR way!" And...because WE...still live in a "civilized society"....someone WILL tell you....the PROPER WAY to do it!

        And....Ya Don't Know Unless'n Ya Tries!

        Don Alm.....STILL comin' up with new and different idees and....tryin' em out
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        • Profile picture of the author DaveOffen
          Thanks Don. Great "infotainment"!

          Love the idea of url for the property as well

          www.123MyRoad.info, a quick redirect to a squeeze page (with a mobile version too), then page on the realtor site. Job done. Visitor get the info on the house, the realtor gets the contact details.y.

          Add the QR code into the mix to collect a mobile number and then return the web optimised property information.

          Everyone's a winner.

          Originally Posted by midasman09 View Post

          Kayla...just saw your post and thought I'd toss in something from my experience with RE Signs.

          Some yars ago I got a "Hot Flash" when having lunch with one of my RE clients (a guy who owned (still does) a large RE firm with 17 agents)

          We were just "mish-mashing" about "HY-potheticals" about...."ways to promote a RE Agency"!

          Well....when he told me his BEST "Advertising TOOL" was his SIGNS on each of his Listings....which were sitting IN FRONT of each of his Listings...BUT....he added.....he would LOVE to have his signs be..."more effective"!

          So....as I usually do...I placed MY body....into the body of someone looking for houses for sale; Here I am.....in a nice neighborhood....in my car...cruising along, on a Sunday afternoon....looking for "For Sale" signs and....I imagine pulling up in front of a Sign for one of MY client's properties.

          So...what do I see? Well...it's a white sign with Blue Letters...with his Agency's Name & #.

          Nothing else! It looked like ALL the rest of the RE Signs!

          So....because this was when the Internet was just getting going....
          ...I thought; "Hey...why don't I get a Domain Name for the "Address" of this house? Ex: 1255 SE Maple.com

          So....the next day....I went to 2 of my RE guy's listings....got their address and popped for a Domain. Then went to my buddy Tim, who owned a sign shop and had him make 2 signs that could hang from below the regular sign....and...all it had on there was....www.1255semaple.com

          Well....in those days....MOST people knew what that meant and....they could go home or to their motel room and enter the URL to see some photos (later on a Photo Tour) and basic info on the property.

          This increased biz by almost double.

          And....the SAME thing can be done nowadays with "QR Codes".

          The signs I had were SIX inches high by as long as the regular sign was! Perfectly LEGAL in every community "BO" (Before Obama)

          So....placing a Sign below the regular "For Sale" sign.....6" by as long as the regular sign is....SHOULD be OK in most areas.

          And....the words; "SCAN THIS CODE FOR MORE INFO >>> (QR Code) WILL get people to...Aim their Phone at the sign and "snap a picture" to bring up the info you've placed on the MOBILE website you've built for the Realtor!

          Now....one question you may get from a Realtor is; These House Hunters are IN the cars....can the Scan the Code on the Sign from their Car?

          I look at the guy (or gal) asking this question and respond with: "Ahem...Mr Prospect! If someone scans the Code from their car, parked at the curb and....CANNOT....take a photo from that distance
          .... do YA think.....they MIGHT get off their "butt"....open da door an' WALK UP TO DA SIGN an' Snap a Pitcher from dere?"

          (excuse my "Dummy-Lingo" but...questions like these tell me 2 things; 1) either I'm talking to a REAL-bonafide D U M M Y....or they are 2) trying to give me a "Stall") either case I simply smile and say; "If the House Hunter can't scan the Code from their Car....they usually open their door and walk up to the sign so the Code is in their Phone Screen!"

          So....I hope this has given you some ideas. One thing I've always done with any of my programs is...."Put It Together and GO OUT AN TRY IT!"

          The WORST that can happen is...someone will tell you "It Can't be done YOUR way!" And...because WE...still live in a "civilized society"....someone WILL tell you....the PROPER WAY to do it!

          And....Ya Don't Know Unless'n Ya Tries!

          Don Alm.....STILL comin' up with new and different idees and....tryin' em out
          Signature
          Visit my blog at www.daveoffen.com for more of my views and experience in Offline Marketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zenaida
    Originally Posted by KaylaB View Post

    I just got my first Real Estate client (yeah!) and will be setting up a mobile website and managing their SMS text message marketing for them.

    I was wondering what would be a good size for the QR code sign that will hang from or beside the Real Estate sign. The QR code will generate an SMS text message, which will send back the info for the house.

    I know I have to test it, but I was thinking a 12" square QR code would be a good size to be scanable from inside a car stopped on the street. I would also put the "TEXT ABCD to xxx-xxx-xxxx" on the sign as well for people who prefer to text rather than scan. (I am using a longcode SMS service)

    Thanks
    I have seen QR codes being used on brochure box flyers here in California, don't know about Canada, but will assume it should be legal.
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    • Profile picture of the author jasonx2
      How you decided to move forward with the signage is up to each town your client lists properties in. I would not add additional sigs, I would work with the sigs that are already acceptable in your area. The qr cade can be printed on vinyl and changed as the listing requires(just have another printed and place over the other.) I would just use the upper portion of the sign rider (sample below)
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  • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
    Thanks for the tips midasman09. Jason - great suggestion.
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  • Profile picture of the author godinu
    and just for fun you may want to try seeing what the ideal "at a distance" qr code size is. just take any existing high-quality qr code, print it on a sheet of paper 6 inches square, 8 inches square, etc, then see how far away you can scan it in decent daylight. You may also want to look at an existing realtor's sign to see how much space they could afford to give for a qr code sticker that can be placed on the sign for that location.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenny007
    I just recently ran in to QR, I heard this has been available for a while in Japan and Europe. We are late to catchup, but I like the process, just scan it on mobile and get the web link to open and find out info.
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    • Profile picture of the author aimco
      The smallest you can have a qr code is 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm
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  • Profile picture of the author ASUService
    I don't have a RE clients BUT my S.O. and I are in the market for a new house so I'll give feedback from the House Hunter viewpoint.

    Before I start I have to comment that I think Godinu has a great idea!

    As most know the Flyer Box on the sign is MUCH better than not ... if a RE sign doesn't have these I rarely dig any deeper. To get one of those, a prospect must get out of the car. So I would assume that scanning the qrcode could be done at the same time. HOWEVER, I have no clue how many are like me ... inherently people are lazy.

    That said I'd hazard a guess that a qrcode would need to be at least 8 inches to be able to scan from a distance. Of course the bigger the better but that could be a double edged sword depending on how much info is already on the sign.

    One gripe I have with the RE agents here is those that are using qrcodes have it take them to the agents website or MLS site but rarely is there instant info about the specific house. IMHO, that's a bad move ... personally if I scan a code and don't get any info on that house I move on. I don't want to be slammed with call after call from agents.

    I recommend you follow Godinu's advice and try simulating the experience to see what works best. I also think flyers are a must have and should include two qrcodes ... one for info on the house, and one for contacting the RE agent.

    I hope this is helpful feedback.
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  • Profile picture of the author EvanBeck
    Originally Posted by KaylaB View Post

    I just got my first Real Estate client (yeah!) and will be setting up a mobile website and managing their SMS text message marketing for them.

    I was wondering what would be a good size for the QR code sign that will hang from or beside the Real Estate sign. The QR code will generate an SMS text message, which will send back the info for the house.

    I know I have to test it, but I was thinking a 12" square QR code would be a good size to be scanable from inside a car stopped on the street. I would also put the "TEXT ABCD to xxx-xxx-xxxx" on the sign as well for people who prefer to text rather than scan. (I am using a longcode SMS service)

    Thanks
    Real estate is one place that QR codes make sense right now, another is restaurants.
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  • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
    Thanks godinu and Mike for your great suggestions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dhira
    Excellent idea for the code on the RE sign....
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  • Profile picture of the author Daymon
    I use to work for team of real estate agents back in 2005, I can imagine if we had this thing back then how much it could have helped the marketing aspect of Real Estate.... Amazingly you can create them for Free on some sites online!
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  • Profile picture of the author Shmigola
    I've the question. What the distance can I scan the QR code sign?
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    • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
      This depends on the quality of the phone, the QR code application and the print material and the size of the QR code. There are lots of different factors.

      From my experience I use the inigma app on iPhone 3G and sometimes I glance the camera over the QR and it just redirects within milliseconds.

      I dunno what phone my brother has, but he has told me that scanning can be pretty difficult for him, he has to be a certain distance from the code and hold the phone at a specific angle etc.

      So it just depends.

      Originally Posted by Shmigola View Post

      I've the question. What the distance can I scan the QR code sign?
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      • Profile picture of the author BKH
        Kayla, I would be real interested in hearing how this works out over the next couple months. I have gone completely away from QR codes and have stuck to just SMS. My experience has been less than one percent of the users will use the QR, so I'd like to hear some feedback on how it works for you, I might need to re-implement them.
        b
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  • Profile picture of the author limecellular
    QR is good, but you can also incorporate a keyword to text that links to a mobile website listing of the property, also listing contact info of the agent.

    The thing is, a lot of you posters expressed issues regarding QR codes. In short ranges, its easy to scan, but scanning from the st. is more difficult. And with scanning technology depending on things like the specs of the phone, the apparent asymmetry of capabilities between different scanning applications, it may serve to create more frustration and not less.

    Regardless, if someone has tested different distances with multiple phones and scanning programs, it would be interesting to find out the ideal distance from which to scan and what size is worth printing on the sign.
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    • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
      I am using both a QR code and "Text ABC to 555-555-5555" on the Real Estate rider sign. This gives prospective buyers the option of scanning the QR code or texting. The reply SMS gives details on the house and a link to mobile webpage with a virtual tour of the house.

      My client just put up their first rider signs with the QR code and text last week, so I don't have any results to report yet.

      What my client is finding is that her Blackberry QR code reader does not work very well. I suggested she download a couple of other readers (i-nigma and Optiscan) and they work better, but still not 100%. No problem scanning on my iphone or Android.

      Re scanning distance, I have been researching this and there is a tradeoff between ECC (error correction capability) and scanning distance. The higher the ECC the lower the scanning distance. Under ideal conditions, with an ECC at 7% (low) you should be able to scan from 10x the distance of the QR code size. So, for a 4" QR code you should be able to scan at up to 40" away.
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  • Profile picture of the author JToneyUK
    Kayla, keep us informed with how this goes for you!! Very intrigued as to it's success. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shmigola
    Kayla, how you charge you costumers? Monthly fees? (how much?) or per QR-code (how much?). Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisnotes
    Wow I was just thinking about the txt reply bringing them to a virtual tour- such a sweet idea to make it a more interactive experience that could instantly bring the home buyer into the home, all assuming you have the photos to make a slide show. Did you learn the SMS and virtual tours from the $1000/day Empire?

    I'm still trying to figure out how to set up these flows in open VBX for car dealers and Realitors and having a brain freeze.
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    • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
      Kayla, keep us informed with how this goes for you!! Very intrigued as to it's success. Good luck.
      Thanks! Will keep you updated.

      Kayla, how you charge you costumers? Monthly fees? (how much?) or per QR-code (how much?). Thanks
      I offered the Real Estate agent a packaged deal including the mobile website, 3 home pages and unlimited text message marketing for one month for $397. Additional home pages will be $97 and maintenance of the website and the SMS service starts at $97 month for up to 100 subscribers. I use Yeez - a long code SMS service - because the client has a dedicated SMS number and unlimited keywords. All QR codes and training is included. For each home page I include a Youtube video with a virtual tour - created from the images the client supplies. I will probably increase my prices, but this is where I am starting.

      Did you learn the SMS and virtual tours from the $1000/day Empire?
      No - I don't know that program.

      Re. the SMS Jay Fairbrother has a training program that is starting tonight. He is on this forum.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shmigola
        Originally Posted by KaylaB View Post

        All QR codes and training is included.
        But Real Estate owner needs QR code for each house he sells. Isn't he?
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  • Profile picture of the author redbaron13
    You can attach your QR code to the outside of the flyer box. That means you can easily have 8"x8". Putting it there would be very obvious that your QR will get them more info about the house, just like the flyers inside would. Put a second smaller QR code on the sign itself for contact info for the Realtor. I have not tried this, but I used to have a RE license and putting myself in the buyers shoes I think this will be a great value add for both sides. Great ideas folks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dhira
    Kayla, how did you get this Real Estate Client? You approached them, or vice versa?
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  • Profile picture of the author neoo28
    Yes, Kayla thanks for information. i am also from Canada and I was looking for sms provider in Canada.

    Kayla, I also would like to know how did you get this Real Estate Client. Do you meet them face to face .

    thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
      Great suggestion redbaron13!

      But Real Estate owner needs QR code for each house he sells. Isn't he?
      It is possible to reuse the signs if you keep the QR codes generic:
      Example:
      Text HOUSE10 to 555-555-5555
      Text HOUSE20 to 555-555-5555
      Text HOUSE21 to 555-555-5555

      You can use the house numbers to identify the area and location. For example all houses starting with 2* are over $500,000. When that house is sold you can reuse the sign for another house meeting that criteria. The agent saves on printing costs and knows that anyone looking at HOUSE21 will probably also be interested in HOUSE20.

      Kayla, how did you get this Real Estate Client? You approached them, or vice versa?
      Kayla, I also would like to know how did you get this Real Estate Client. Do you meet them face to face .
      I received a brochure in the mail from this agent for a house that was for sale around the corner. I then emailed him letting him know what I do, that I lived in the area, and that he did not appear to be using QR codes in his marketing. Included a QR code to a demo mobile site I built for him. After several emails back and forth I met with the agent and showed him how the QR code, SMS texting and mobile site would work. Made him an offer he could not refuse and he took me up on it.

      TIMING was a big factor here. A lot of people - especially real estate agents - are thinking about mobile but don't know where to start. If they like you and what you have to offer, you are making their life easier! I need to remind myself this daily!
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  • Profile picture of the author manny2513
    WOW nice info will start contacting realtors and offering the service of adding QR Codes on their signs
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