Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Andrea Crossman Group Implements Text Messaging and QR Codes for Real Estate in Holland, Michigan

Andrea Crossman Group is adding some new technology to its extensive marketing package. The Andrea Crossman Group will be introducing text messaging and QR codes to advertise their real estate listings. The group will be placing signs in front of their listings with a QR code and text code unique to the property. The QR code image or text messaging message will allow interested parties to capture a picture of the QR code or send a text message to a five digit number that will reply with information about the property they are standing in front of.

 By using a unique QR code or text in a matter of seconds information is sent to you phone including the address, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square feet of the home, and the price. The message also includes the phone number to contact the Andrea Crossman Group displayed below the listing details to call for a showing. The text also includes a URL for those with Internet on their phone to view more information on the home such as a short description, pictures of the home, and a video.

The text messaging will have a five digit number that you dial in place of a normal phone number. After dialing the number a unique text code for each property will be entered. Once the unique code is entered the message can be sent. Lets give it a try! Text GOTO ACG1 to 95495. For those who are not as tech savvy  as others, 95495 is entered in place of a normal phone number on your phone. Then you type your message GOTO ACG1. It is not a case sensitive message but if you receive an error message and do not receive the information check your placement of spaces. There should not be a space between the words "GO" and "TO". After entering the message and hitting send you will receive a text message reply with the information.

The QR code will allow a smartphone to receive instant information about the property as well. A person with a smartphone, standing in front of a beautiful home they are interested in, can simply take a picture of the code and information is instantly sent to their phone. Lets try it! By scanning this QR Bar code to the right, on any supported phone, you can instantly learn more about one of the Andrea Crossman Group's listings as well as obtain our contact information. Each code is unique to the property just like the text message code.

What is a QR code?
QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. These unique bar code was originally created by Japanese company Denso-Wave to keep inventory. They were also used for commercial tracking, logistics, inventory control, and advertising. However, because QR codes allow for more data than the standard 10-digit bar code, and because scanning requires less effort than typing a URL, the QR code is quickly becoming very popular. Their popularity is climbing in Europe, the United States, and Canada as people increasingly use mobile phones to access 3G networks.

A QR Code is a specific matrix barcode or two-dimensional code that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can access images, websites, text, URL or other data. Decoding software on tools such as camera phones interprets the codes, which represent considerably more information than a one-dimensional code of similar size.

How to read a QR code:
Make sure your phone can scan a QR code with its camera, either with an application that you download or via software that's already installed on your phone. When you see a QR code, use your phone's application to scan it. Anyone with a smartphone can scan and read QR codes with the click of a camera, and anyone with access to a computer can generate QR codes themselves.

QR-Code reading software is available to download on the Internet. You need to download and install the QR-Code readers to view the information in a QR code: KAYWA Reader,  i-nigma Reader are just two readers that allow you to scan and view information within a QR code. More Readers such as Nokia Reader, Lynkee Reader, UpCode, QuickMark, SnapMaze, BeeTagg, NeoReader, ScanLife, MobileTag to name a few are also available online or at your app store.

Once you have downloaded a reader that is compatible with your phone, you point your camera at the image and get a message, website, or other piece of content beamed directly to your smartphone or computer. These easily scannable information bar codes are becoming increasingly popular as more people use smartphones and similar technology. A QR code can now be used as a vCard (electronic business cards), or placed on a business card which allows instant scans of contact information to be saved onto a smart phone.

A great article for more information on QR Codes can be found on Educause.

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