Real Estate Property uses QR Code

Last week’s Timeout New York had a number of QR code-based advertisements and listings, many of which were for real estate properties in the New York City area.

One Brooklyn QR Code

The advertisement above for One Brooklyn Bridge Park caught my eye, because of something very simple. The advertisement’s main headline/call to action reads, “One Scan. One Amazing Life” which is all well and good, but how does the property owner/manager expect prospective buyers to “scan” without any kind of instruction or explanation of the code. Ah yes, they probably 1) assume that everyone in the population knows how to scan a 2D barcode, so there is no need for explanation, 2) are only interested in courting the small percentage of consumers who happen to be early adopters of 2D technology, as opposed to reaching out to a wider audience, or 3) believe that if the reader can’t figure out the code they will just make use of the URL address listed in the advertisement. All pretty big assumptions, which then begs the question, why bother using a 2D barcode?

One Brooklyn QR Code 1

Beyond the advertisement itself, when the code is scanned, the reader is brought to the property’s web site, which is not a mobile version, but the regular version. Once on the site, there is no real call to action or incentive for the prospect to go much further down the purchase path. Yes, there is a ton of information about the property itself and the surrounding neighborhood, but why not provide an offer of some kind to the prospect, something of added value. For example, why not partner with a local restaurant and offer a discounted meal, this way a prospective buyer can come into the neighborhood and sample what it’s really like to live there. Or offer discounted movie tickets to a local theater, or a couple of free drinks at a local bar.

There is little doubt that 2D barcodes work great in a real estate application, but real estate agents, property managers, developers, etc. need to think beyond just showing and focusing on the property itself as the code scan resolve. Value is what counts, and value that is not expected counts even more.


3 thoughts on “Real Estate Property uses QR Code

  1. Fascinating, the QR Tag is presented as a lifestyle icon, more than as a practical digital tool to segue to a mobile experience.

    I think it's saying: “this is a cool, tech, hip place to live.” via the Tag as “art,” rather than the Tag as a functional item.

    I could be wrong, but, I'll bet there were meetings where those kind of “creative” discussions took place.

    Getting it “right” would require the above thinking combined with a fantastic mobile experience. But, it's an interesting approach, compared to Art Directors who loathe QR tags; here's one who embraced them for their emotional pull.

  2. A: You raise a very interesting point, but for some reason I do no see the creative team or property owner/manager/developer thinking about the use of a code in this manner. Mostly because there is no fantastic mobile experience, just a resolve to a web site.

  3. Your point is well made. The initial fascination with QR codes is simply the fact that they link the physical and virtual worlds. Like some sort of cool magic trick. But if that's all they do, then their value is reduced to a convenience play… scanning vs. typing.

    Where they become effective is when they are part of a strategy, a call to action, or some type of incentive — and all optimized for the mobile experience.

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