One of the big lessons I learned at from being an agent at JohnLScott.com for 10 years in Issaquah, WA is that the marketing power of a simple rider sign with a direct link to a listing site is huge. Since about 1999 JohnLScott.com listings have had a simple 5 digit number for every listing. For example the URL johnlscott.com/58639 takes you directly to a listing site for that listing. John L Scott supplies it's agents with rider signs that have everything but the 5 digit number. Agents can then simply use sticky numbers to create a custom rider sign for each listing. This means agents can easily put the simple URLs on flyers and rider signs. This is a huge marketing advantage! Neighbors use the URL as well as potential buyers cruising through the neighborhood .
Today's QR codes are simply and extendsion to the general concept of having a simple URL that prospective buyers can write down or agents could put on flyers. My tracking of statistics of traffic from our listing pages indicates the benefits are huge. Nowadays anyone can get this same benefit by using a tour or property site that has a simple URL. And anyone can create a QR code from ANY URL with a site like createqrcode.appspot.com or other similar sites. Then just print the QR code and attach it to the rider sign.
I've recently had several exchanges with Realtors/Photographers that don't understand the basics of how to use real estate for sale sign riders. I'd like to list some principles:
- Every listing should have a rider (24"x 6" sign below the main For Sale sign) that gives both a simple URL and QR code that will take you directly to a tour/property site for the listing. I say both QR code and URL because why exclude anyone. Some will know what to do with the QR code and some won't so a simple URL only expands the effectiveness of the rider.
- If you are a Realtor and your broker doesn't have a way of providing a simple URL for you to use on a rider you need to be using a tour provider that does. For example pfretour.com/19 . There are many other tour providors that do the same thing. The main idea is you have to have a simple URL that prospective buyers can jot down if they don't have a smart phone that can read the QR code.
- If you are a real estate photographer have part of your product a way to provide this kind of tour/rider sign to your client and be able explain why it's important.
- For both Realtors and real estate photographers, creating a simple rider sign that has both the tour URL and the QR code is easy and inexpensive. Use a site like Supercheapsigns.com to create rider signs. They will create 100 signs for $1.25 USD each. Don't have the number part of the URL or the QR code printed on the sign. Put it on afterwards so signs can be reused. Use transparent packing tape to attach numbers and QR codes. I used this approach for years in wet Seattle winters and it works great.
- Use electrical zip ties (available at any hardware store) to attach riders to the main for sale sign. Carry a power drill to make wholes for the zip ties.
You could use a "topper" signs as shown in the photo above but I find the rider approach works better because it's easier to attach to any for sale sign. Based on my personal experience seeing how well these rider signs work any Realtor that isn't using a URL rider sign is not marketing effectively. Real estate photographers can build this into their product and use it as an opportunity to help their clients market more effectively.
John in the discussion below made me realize there is an angle that I didn't mention. This is the URL shortener sites. If you'r not familiar with them you can take any long ugly URL ( like the URL for this post ) and shorten it to something like bit.ly/vzoD2G
. This was done at the site bitly.com
. This could work nicely on a sign rider although there are brand benefits to have the tour in your own domain (agent or photographer).