It seems that everyone is always trying to improve on the poor old “For Sale” sign.
I was reading a recent Blog at Sellsius which speaks about Custom Fit Realtyin Wisconsin who is using Matrix codes on its house for sale signs to reach mobile users. The company’s new technology allowing buyers to take a photo of a “For Sale” sign on a house, and then get taken to the property information through their smart-phone browser.
I’ve got to say I was underwhelmed. While this latest piece of technology is pretty neat, and one that I would want to try just because I like to play with toys. I don’t think it ie unique or even new. People have been inventing ways to disintermediate the salesperson as long as there have been sales signs. Without thinking deeply I can think of…
- “Talking” Houses – FM transmitters that play the property information for the potential buyer. This is actually more efficient since almost every auto today has an FM receiver, while not every phone is a smart-phone.
- Property Brochure Boxes – OK , so this is a little Lo-Tech, but come on, its doing the same thing isn’t it? And it has the advantage of being a little more durable and easier to share than the site on a cell phone.
- Marketing Voice Mail Boxes which use a code number on the sign to allow people to call for property information. Again, every mobile phone user can do this, while the smart-phone, though more common is not yet ubiquitous.
- Single Property websites posted on the property sign
- MLS number and Company Web site printed on Yard Sign Riders
All of these marketing support systems have one thing in common however. You need to have located the property, and be sitting in front of it to utilize them. So the marketing system that worked here is obviously the Yard sign – the original real estate technology to advertise a property for sale. (In all fairness, they might have located the property through print advertising, but if they had called the office or seen the property on a website, they would have already had the information these systems provide)
We need to remember that the purpose of a real estate brokerage is to make money, and that under the most common current business model, that means that our sales associates need to interface with consumers at the earliest possible point in the sales curve. So why would we want to provide them with yet another method of avoiding contact with a sales associate , who should be able to provide them with better information than a website , pre-recorded message or property flyer?