Remember the days when the most information you could access when driving past a home for sale was—maybe—a flyer in a plastic holder attached to the For Sale sign? They gave way to accessing Web sites on a smartphone, which isn’t always ideal because surprisingly, not every listing agent creates a property-specific Web site. And there’s only so much you can glean from your Redfin app.
What I think is going to revolutionize home buying and selling is Microsoft Tag’s 2-D barcode technology for use in marketing materials and signage. BLU at 631 Folsom in SoMa is using the technology now; it essentially lets you snap a barcode placed on the building frontage and view, in this case, a video of one of the units. I think the technology fits hand in hand with the need for buyers to see the inside of a property anytime they happen to drive by. These days, many buyers explore neighborhoods on their own before working with a Realtor. The barcode technology lets these same buyers get a feel for what’s inside a building without having to deal with setting up a showing. If they like what they see via their mobile app, they’ll most definitely want to make time for a showing appointment.
I tested out the app on my iPhone, and found it to be quite easy. It’s pretty cool technology, and has great potential for the real estate industry.