QR Codes – Another Reason to Have Tours/Video Look Good on Mobile

January 23rd, 2011

In Oct 2009 I did a post on QR Codes. Before that I’d never even heard of the things. You can see from the comments on that post there was a fair amount of skepticism about QR codes in general and why real estate photographers should even care.

QR code technology has become popular in various parts of the world at varying rates. They’ve been popular in Japan for a while. They are gaining popularity in the EU. I’ve seen videos of the Open2View folks in AU running around with QR codes on their tee shirts and vans and just recently in the US it seems they are getting more popular.

Here we are 15 months after I did the post on QR codes and I think several things have happened that make the subject of QR codes more significant:

  1. There are way more smart phones now than there were 15 months ago.
  2. Big retailers in the US like Target, The Gap and Best Buy are starting to use QR codes.
  3. You can now buy your latte at Starbucks with your smart phone via QR codes.

I don’t know about you but when Starbucks starts doing something I start paying attention!

So what does this have to do with real estate photography? What this means is more home buyers are going to be coming to the tour/videos you build for your agent customers with a mobile device because the way QR codes work is you scan the QR code on a For Sale sign or sign rider and the App scanning the code takes you directly to the tour or video that tells you about the property. Pretty smooth! But it means you need to look good on mobile devices.

In the last post on this subject readers asked why are QR codes better than keying in the tour URL? Well, would you rather click once to go to a tour or key in a 10 to 30+ character URL on your mobile device. For me it’s no contest. I’ll take the single click. QR codes make going to a tour or video ridiculously simple.

Have you seen any QR codes on For Sale signs or sign riders yet in your area? If you haven’t they are coming soon. Everyone is telling agents they need to start using QR codes in their marketing. An when agents are buying latte’s at Starbucks with QR codes they will become believers and users.

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14 Responses to “QR Codes – Another Reason to Have Tours/Video Look Good on Mobile”

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Julia Hull and Rob Armstrong, virtualottawa. virtualottawa said: Virtual Tours Ottawa offers QR codes with every tour. Interesting article. […]

  • QR codes are used a LOT in many of the newspaper dailies here in Canada to drive readers from traditional print media to news websites and have been for sometime (at least since Larry’s original post on QR codes) and it is gaining acceptance here in Canada. Larry as usual you’re right on the money with your posting!

  • Your QR Code shown seems to be missing the “h” from “http://”.

    We generate PDF flyers for all of the local listings (and ours as well of course) with a QR Code that goes back to the website. is an example of one.

  • I’ve been generating QR codes for clients for a few months…. They put them on their For Sale signs, flyers, Just Listed/Just Sold cards, etc.

    Although more and more people are understanding what these things are (and I agree, Starbucks is a big one!), I think the single biggest benefit is on a listing appointment.

    Being able to sit at a listing appointment with a seller, and DEMONSTRATE the QR codes (I suggest they take an 8 x 10 photo of them standing near their For Sale sign with the QR code), the seller is WOWED in a big way. Even if the seller has never heard of this technology… and even if they’re 95 years old and have never been on the internet before, you have to be dumbfounded at this technology! There’s a lot of sizzle in that demo! Imagine, if a potential buyer drives by the house, they can snap the sign and take a walk through video of your house from the driveway!

    One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is having a QR code go to a website. This is a MOBILE technology, and unless you have a website optimized for mobile, you’ll be creating a substandard experience for the user.

    I have had a QR code on my car for several months (, and have actually seen people scan it in a parking lot!

  • I just gave a talk on using QR Codes in real estate at the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in New York last week. I’ll be posting my slides shortly.

    They are picking up steam in a big way and definitely you should expect to see them in yards and on flyers in 2011. We added integrated QR code support across our entire product line about 4 months ago and are already seeing increasing usage.

  • Any suggestions on best way to generate QR codes?

    And what about the Microsoft Tags. I am seeing more use of those in print material in the Houston area.

  • @John, Checkout and google “how to generate QR codes” for many more.

  • Microsoft tags = Betamax, laser discs.

  • Sotheby’s here in Central Fl has been doing this for about 6 months now and they have them on a large amount of their for sale signs and in gallery adds etc and it leads right into the home video or property video. I see it more and more every day.

  • The real estate industry here in the south metro Denver area has just started talking about and using these codes in the last few months. I have actually seen one or two on for sale signs.

    I am just now starting to promote their use to my realtor clients.

  • I have been making a little print out talking about these codes. Saw them pop up a year or so ago in Long Beach WA and I knew then it would be a matter of time before they were used everywhere for real estate. I give everyone a code to the pfre tours I make. They can put the code where they please. I like them personally.

  • I am giving a presentation at a KW office today. I wll be bringing up QR codes and video. I will be using both this year. I showed somone a sample video from a QR code scan on a Mytouch 4G android last night. The comment was “how can I get that, can you help me?” I think this will get my foot in the door at a lot of RE offices that would never talk to me about photos. I am also going in the QR code/Google places business on the side. You also need ten good photos and 5 videos to complete a google places listing properly. How many businesses do you drive by each day to go to photos of homes? They all need these photos/videos done professionally.

    Google is promoting it with Google Places. Check out this blog post on active rain:

  • @Bob- Yes, good point about using this to get help make contact with agents. Many agents want to try to use all the new technology and want to use any thing like this that makes their marketing stand out.

  • Larry, thanks for this fantastic insight. I am going to integrate QR codes into my service offerings immediately.

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