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.
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?
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.