Elite AgentOPINION

The QR code comeback: Bill Shields

Like the Minidisc and the Beta video, the QR code seemed destined to be another technology that never quite caught on, despite its many possible uses. Then, the pandemic hit and the QR code was suddenly everywhere. Bill Shields explains how the QR code should be harnessed as an open house tool.

If you’ve been to a cafe or restaurant lately, you’ll have noticed QR codes have suddenly become synonymous with checking-in.

Just scan the code with your phone, enter your details and take a seat.

QR codes have been around a long time, having been created back in 1994 in Japan. Although we see them from time to time, they never made it big in Australia.

With the arrival of COVID-19, the simplicity and effectiveness of QR codes was rediscovered and became a perfect fit for the collection of customer attendance.

I’m sure I was not the only one sitting in a cafe, having just scanned a QR code and recorded my details, to think, ‘why aren’t we using QR codes for open homes? Why didn’t we do this before?’

Well, the answer is two-part: Firstly, before COVID-19, not enough people were familiar or engaged with QR codes.

Secondly, mobile phones previously required a special app to be downloaded to understand QR codes. This could make the whole process a little clunky for our tech-challenged customers.

A few years back, modern phones started to understand QR codes without special apps, meaning most people can just open the camera on their phone and wave it at a QR code.

The idea behind QR codes is very simple. They essentially represent a website (they can represent other things too, but we’re after the website bit). That blocky pattern is read by a computer and converted into a string of text, which points to a website.

When your customer scans the QR code, their phone asks them their details and lets you know they have checked-in.

Now let’s apply this to real estate

1. Print your QR code and take it to your open home.

2. Place the QR code somewhere prominent, prior to the attendees entering the property.

3. Attendees scan the QR code with their phone and enter their details.

4. Their phone now shows they have checked-in; you can ask to see the confirmation screen.

5. Your CRM immediately receives their details, and sends a communication of your choice to the customer.

So, as a salesperson, you’ll want a piece of software that does this – check your CRM supports QR code check-in.

So, why is this better?

It is contactless

This matters now, and will continue to be important well into the future.

It is convenient for your customers

They are using their own familiar device, they know how to spell their names and don’t need to check if their oddball email address has all the correct characters in the right places.

If they have viewed other properties, there’s a good chance it will just remember their details from last time, making it a one-click process.

It’s great for you

You can save time recording people’s details, and focus on discussing their needs, rather than their parents’ idea of spelling.

Customer details are recorded accurately

If you have a busy open home, they can be collected simultaneously. People can step forward and scan the QR code, then step aside to complete their details, show the agent their confirmation screen and enter the home, while allowing others to do the same.

The QR check-in is instant

This means your CRM can immediately welcome your open home attendee with an email or SMS. It can automatically provide them with further information on the property and/or you as an agent, like a brochure or microsite. They can request additional details, or even a contract.

You can even harness QR code technology to ask them for feedback on the property, whether they are still interested, if they have a property they are looking to sell – all of which goes directly into your CRM.

As you can see, the humble QR code has finally delivered on its promise. It can make open homes easier and faster for you, your staff and your clients. While reliably and efficiently collecting all your customers’ details, it also enables immediate and ongoing permission marketing.

This increases your opportunity to sell property, build a great database and, ultimately, find more vendors.

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Bill Shields

Bill Shields is the Managing Director of Inhabit, and has built some of the most highly-regarded and used residential and commercial platforms in the industry. For more information visit inhabit.com.au