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Written by rosalind renshaw

Strutt & Parker is set to be the first national agent to roll out the new Kremer Signs’ smartboards, which have QR code and NFC technology combined.

The technology allows would-be buyers who are passing by a property to scan a QR code or NFC chip to obtain immediate information via a smartphone about the home for sale or let.

Strutt & Parker is linking the roll-out with the launch of its new mobile website.

Strutt & Parker’s smartboards will be fixed to the post beneath the standard sale board, and the bold QR code and vibrant red design will attract the attention of passers-by.

The code can then be scanned by any smartphone or, with more advanced phones, the latest NFC technology can be used to merely touch the board to initiate the information download.

The phone will then show full property details including floor plans and photos, as well as offering the option to complete a short request form for further information or a viewing.

Kiersty Long, head of digital marketing at Strutt & Parker, said: “This is remarkable and groundbreaking technology.

“We are incredibly proud to be the first agent to trial this innovative product from Kremer Signs, and we feel confident that it will open new doors in marketing our properties.

“As some of our more rural properties are down the end of a long driveway, the smartboard enables buyers to see what the house looks like from the end of the lane.”

Mark Fraser, of zappit.co, which is behind the technology, said: “It is the future of marketing and we are excited about introducing it to the property market.”


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    I imagine the product is low cost to produce and therefore replacements are probably free. Gary?

    • 08 November 2011 08:24 AM
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    What about the cheap people around my area who nick the boards to use to clear driveways when it snows? It's going to get expensive if that keeps happening.

    • 07 November 2011 14:33 PM
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    This will get the market moving. Great stuff, go for it.

    • 05 November 2011 15:21 PM
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    A good one.

    • 05 November 2011 09:57 AM
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    It depends what you want.

    • 04 November 2011 20:52 PM
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    No, really. How do you pick a good one ?

    • 04 November 2011 20:49 PM
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    @ Property agent

    Big post.

    Bang on the money.

    Yeah, big brands who have gazillions behind them in research and in predicting future trends. Plonkers.

    No one will catch on to new technology, like yeah ! Smart phones are a fad, everyone will go back to Motorolas.

    Stick to the same old same old . . . . safe!

    Wtf is it with estate agents . . . . detatched from the rest of the world ??? no bloody wonder they are stuffed.

    How do you pick a good one from a pile of SII!^e.

    • 04 November 2011 20:47 PM
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    To 'Mr Burglar'... Do you have an iPhone or other type of Smartphone? Do you download Apps? Do you share photos and updates on Facebook? Sign up for vouchers? get deals via email?.. everyones life is already exposed, If you think the Smartboard will help burglars, well.. your obviously not a very good Burglar. Maybe become an estate agent and rob people another way!

    I like to consider myself an open minded, early adopter of technology. Anything that helps a person get more information, when they want it, has to be a good thing. If you're looking for a property and happen to wonder past one you like, before you call the agent and get involved in a long conversation, why not get more info, if more info is on offer. As I understand it, you don't have to register to get the property info, just scan or 'touch' the board and bingo.

    I'm not a very patient person so maybe the idea of getting info, when I 'demand' it is more appealing to me. However, I bet most people would like info on demand, therefore I think this idea is actually rather good. We all love TV on demand after all.

    It's also worth considering, every major brand from nike and coke to visa and tesco's are spending big bucks on this technology, surely they can't all be wrong?

    It is normal for those who don't understand the technology to see this as a' dragons den' idea. If I didn't spend time learning about technology, I'm sure my opinion would be similar. However, to those who consider this a 'fad' or 'gimmick' or just a bad idea, I suggest spending some time researching and finding out what the future really looks like for all of us. If you think this is hard to process, grab a whisky before you start digging.

    Worth also noting, in Japan, QR codes and NFC are a main source of information 'on the move'. This has been the case for 2 years. The only reason it's taken so long to get here, like most things, is because we hate change. We'd have a very 'smart' country and much easier lives, if we embraced new technology.

    Last point, this is not a replacement for SMS. Just consider the work needed to send a text, and then what's needed to scan a qr code (just one click to launch the qr code scanner... done!)... and for NFC.. you don't even need an App, just take the mobile out of your pocket and tap the board... now I'm lazy but even I can do that!

    I'm with you 'another agent'. Welcome to the future people.

    • 04 November 2011 19:13 PM
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    This is absolutely brilliant. I am a techy wizard and I am going to take this idea and develop it to the next stage. I am going to go to the house, get all the details, take some photo’s and a floor plan and put them on a website so that the public can view it in the comfort of their home or office. It won’t have the full address so Mr Burglar cannot ply his trade and the house holder will not need to keep a store of base balls.
    All I need is a good name for the website. Any suggestions?

    • 04 November 2011 16:46 PM
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    FBA, I think the first bit refers to the QR codes and NFC combo.

    I'm only guessing, I may be wrong, don't make a big deal about it.

    • 04 November 2011 16:15 PM
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    Gary Gosney,

    yep, thats why we pay the IT people.

    I know a few 'smaller' agents (not 'National' I agree) who are already doing this, in print in magazines too.

    Not first

    • 04 November 2011 15:56 PM
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    We have them in our window as an experiment and dont think it will do us any good at all. Time will tell though

    • 04 November 2011 13:43 PM
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    Biggles - If your idea of selling a home relies solely on somebody seeing your for sale board, then I am a little concerned.

    Use an agent mate. As much as it will pain you, you WILL get better results than the "hammer post in ground and make sure the door bell has batteries" approach. Don't lurk by the front window to see who is looking at your board, that will make you look a bit too desperate.

    • 04 November 2011 13:22 PM
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    I agree- it will be a great tool to win instructions as well as the points I mention below.

    Another selling point for the Smartboards. Helps to imporve your board presence and brand too

    if you dont have the house to sell (even if it never gets scan) then you wont get any comission either way.

    • 04 November 2011 13:01 PM
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    You may as well add 'Knock the door to view' be much easier, who needs an agent.

    • 04 November 2011 12:59 PM
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    In my opinion this has major drawbacks for the agent as well. Is it not in the best interests of agents to just have an enquiry so that they can use their personal expertise - as that is what they are paid for?

    However, maybe in (say) 5 years time it will provide a percentage of leads - but now? Won't work.
    But, for once, I could be wrong! ;>)

    • 04 November 2011 12:58 PM
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    Funboy Agent

    Totally agree with you. Its easy to put QR codes on boards but its more about the:

    Mobile formatting
    Individaul property details
    Easily assign/ overwrite QR code to new property

    NFC Technology *(Search google wallet in search bar) to understand how powerful and important this will be in the UK next year.

    Recieve the user details and lead generation

    All of these unique points are what make the smartboards unique and a powerful tool to the agents. If you place a QR code on the board without being able to do the above, then it is not that beneficial to the agent or the user (you will just get the ammount of scans recieved)

    • 04 November 2011 12:57 PM
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    I Agree AOS.

    Its a great little gimmick to sell to vendors to win an instruction.

    • 04 November 2011 12:45 PM
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    They are probably neither first or exclusive. We are having our new boards printed now with QR codes. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy for the IT savvy. (thats not me, but I can see it works).

    • 04 November 2011 12:31 PM
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    entrepreneurship for the sake of entrepreneurship. You see it on dragon's den all the time.

    A substantial slice of the target market do not know how to use this technology.

    Those that do, will have some savvy and think they can get on to the agents web site later and/or be satisfied they can find it on a portal.

    If the for sale board had a "TODAY ONLY - 25% off asking price" label attached to it, I think it would entice these people to urgently scan it....otherwise, unless you have no idea of the area or road you are in (lost), or you are extremely forgetful, this is nothing more than a gimmick.

    Good 'tool' to promote to vendors, but I think many will be dazzled by it and not realise it won't really deliver much in return.

    • 04 November 2011 12:08 PM
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    The most important things to consider is that these QR codes will give you a mobile formatted page (much easier than viewing normal website on the smartphone), to save you going home and pulling up details on the PC (quicker & easrier).

    Once the user is interested they can engage by filling out a very quick form. (tick boxes)

    The agent will then recieve instant details on an interested buyer/tennant. and the chance to send similar properties and use their selling skills - Lead generation.

    Last point is that the boards are NFC enabled too, so agents can also use the boards without the app (future-proofing).

    The proof is in the pudding, but technology is always moving forwards.

    • 04 November 2011 10:40 AM
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    We did something very similar to this about 3 years ago with a company called text boards. It was useless!!! no one used the services and all it did was make the boards even more attractive for students to nick!

    • 04 November 2011 10:31 AM
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    In theory its an inventive idea, but i guess the proof will be in the pudding once its out there and buyers are using it.

    Few years ago, we signed up for a trial where if a buyer sent a text to the special number on the board, they would get a text back with some basic property info. Trialled it six months and got nothing back.

    For this to work, someone needs to be walking past the board, then get out their phone, download a QR reader App (most people don't what these are still,), then put in your personal details and finally get the info.

    Quciker to call the agent, go direct to their website or knock directly on Mr Vendors door.

    • 04 November 2011 10:31 AM
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    This business model is flawed. Surely the objective is for the agent to take the initial enquiry and to log the call and also to introduce themselves. There is always the danger that the buyer could bypass the agent by obtaining details of the property directly.

    • 04 November 2011 09:59 AM
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    *baseball bat

    • 04 November 2011 09:48 AM
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    Self defence

    I have been hit with many things climbing through windows, but never a baseball.


    • 04 November 2011 09:34 AM
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    Mr Burglar, I look forward to smashing you over the head with a baseball when you try to break in.

    • 04 November 2011 09:31 AM
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    that is a silly response Mr Burgler and im sure that agents stuck in old ways of practice said similar back in the day it was suggested put up a standard 'for sale' board we see all over our towns today!

    Great idea, moving with the times

    • 04 November 2011 09:12 AM
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    This is excellent - so, from the end of the country lane I can see whether it is worth wandering up the lane to burgle the house.

    Thank you

    Yours faithfully


    • 04 November 2011 09:05 AM