Quick Response Codes.
Have you picked up a magazine lately and seen a strange square shaped image like the one to the left in an adverstisement, and wondered what the heck it was? What looks like a bird pooped on the page is actually the latest fad in marketing: The Quick Response, or QR, Code. A QR Code is a two-dimensional bar-code that is easy to create, and even easier for electronic devices to “decode”, or understand.
Encoded in this special bar-code is usually the address of a website that the advertiser wants you to visit. So how do you read it if you’re thumbing through the magazine? If you have a scanner or bar-code reader native to your phone, you simply scan it. But most people don’t — so you simply need to snap a picture of the QR code with the camera on your smart-phone, and then use one of the many apps that are available to “read” the QR code in the picture. There are many QR Code reader apps available for all of the popular smart-phones, like this one or the iPhone 4.
How is it Used in Real Estate?
You have probably already started to see QR codes popping up in real estate literature, whether it’s on a postcard, a property flyer that you pick up at an open house, or in a magazine. With the growing popularity of single-property websites, like 2623SanCarlosAvenue.com, QR codes are an easy way to embed the web addresses of these sites right into the property literature. Any web address or property information can be embedded into a QR code.
In case you were wondering, the QR code that is featured in the picture above is actually the web address for the White Oaks Blog. It took all of 2-seconds to create.
The Jury is Still Out.
QR codes originated in Japan, and are very popular with consumers in Europe and Asia, but adoption here in the States has been slow. Part of this may be attributed to the fact that smartphones have only been in the hands of most Americans for only a few short years. There’s also the fact that it’s a multi-step process to get what you’re looking for (snap the picture, open the app, decode the QR code, and then finally get to the website.) For some, it’s quicker and easier to simply type in the web address on their phone.
But some technologies take time to gain traction — just look at Twitter. As more major corporations find creative and interesting ways to use QR codes in their marketing, the buying public will become more accustomed to using them.
What are your thoughts on QR codes? Useful, or just a passing fad?
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