Stop the insanity

I was listening to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts recently. The discussion ranged from tech issue to tech issue before settling momentarily on real estate. The hosts were puzzled by an email one of them had recently received from their Realtor, exhorting them to check out their website by using an attached QR code.

Take a moment to let that sink in. An email with a QR code to their website inside.

It’s no wonder these tech savvy hosts were befuddled.

Stop the insanity

Over the last few years I’ve witnessed the rapid adoption of technology by agents of all stripes. By and large this is a good thing. As a lifelong geek, it makes me happy to see so many people step out of their comfort zone and try new technologies.

But I think, unfortunately, that in the mad dash to embrace the latest and greatest, many Realtors have missed the point.

Let’s start with QR codes.

The debate around QR codes has raged across the industry this year. Some have called them game changing, while others see them as no more than the rebirth of the CueCat. (I probably fall more into the latter camp).

But in all seriousness, if you are going to use a QR code, please know when it’s appropriate. They are meant to bridge the physical (real) world to the ethereal (web) world. Slapping a QR code on a listing flyer, on a For Sale sign, or in your office window makes some sense.

But sticking a QR code in an email – or, worse yet, on the homepage of your website – makes zero sense whatsoever. It’s not necessary, when I can just as easily click on an image or link.

Stop the insanity


Social media chicklets. Little rounded squares with a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Youtube icon. They’re springing up everywhere – presumably because marketers think they signal to consumers that, I’m hip, I’m with it… see, I’m on social media.

Chicklets make some sense on a website (though many go way over the top here) because they can be hyperlinked. But they make no sense whatsoever on your postcard, newspaper ad or bus bench. You’re consuming valuable real estate with some other company’s brand.

I’m not against highlighting your social media presence in your advertising, but please, if you do, spell them out. Better yet, create an page (e.g. where all your social media profiles reside and use that link in your ads.

Stop the insanity

These are just a couple of the most egregious examples I’ve seen recently of marketing getting in the way of technology and vice versa.

Please, let’s all get together on this. Let’s go into 2012 with a firmer grasp of when, where and how it is appropriate to demonstrate your tech prowess.

We’ll be doing everyone a favor.