Online to Offline to Online Again: QR Codes Breakdown the Barriers for Providing Information

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Nov. 18, 2010

I received a press release the other day from Sage Real Estate in Toronto, claiming they had a made “a move certain to revolutionize the resale homes market in the GTA.”

I’m not sure I would define it as revolutionary, but it’s certainly something to pay attention to.

As part of its break away from being a franchise member of Sutton Group, Sage Real Estate has become the first brokerage to make personalized online and social media marketing part of its basic package for clients.

Sellers who choose Sage not only have access to the Multiple Listing Service, but they also have their home featured on its own dedicated web site linked by key words to search engines such as Google and social media sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Realty Stock, Oodle, Craigslist and Kijiji.

The most interesting part, is that every lawn sign for a Sage listing includes a QR code (Quick Response bar code) that takes you to the house’s individual website. Instead of having to type in the URL, a potential buyer simply has to hold their smartphone over the code, which looks like an old-school Pac-Man maze, and the phone’s code reader will access the URL.

It’s digital, it’s easy and it allows you to reach your customers when they are most likely to be interested in your product. A buyer can quickly link from a real-world experience to a content-rich website – from anywhere.

So let’s translate this into the development world. Think of all the valuable information you could pass onto a potential homebuyer simply by including a QR code on the hoarding around a new project.

Flip open any recent magazine and you’ll see QR codes. How about an ad that includes a QR code linking to an entire video about the making of your showhome suite? You could even include QR codes in your showhome suite, on the furniture or on the upgrades. That way guests walking through the suite could still feel excited and confident about furnishing their new place before it was even finished. The possibilities are endless.

From the simple purchase of something like a jar of spaghetti sauce to the huge life-altering purchase of a new home, consumers want more and more information. And now, more than ever, it’s easy to give them that information.

You can easily download a QR code reader for your smartphone for free. Mobile Barcodes is one site that provides the software. Once equipped with a camera phone and the correct reader application, you can scan the image of a QR code and display the corresponding text, contact information or URL.

It even works on your computer screen – once you have the reader installed on your smartphone you can point your camera at the code above and it will take you to a video, a website, a photo – anything you want really. We’ve seen these on hoardings in Vancouver already, and storefronts too. Your entire sales centre for a young tech-savvy first time buyer could use codes on all the wall boards so people could download floorplans on their phone and take them home to think about later.

Give it a try!


David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

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David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more





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