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NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Tag readers come to real estate

March 2, 2010

Like the tiny computers that they are, smart phones are changing lives wherever they go.

Indianapolis-based Carpenter Realtors is about to push change again by becoming the first real estate brokerage east of the Mississippi to adopt Microsoft’s Tag Reader software.

That means, beginning later this month, you’ll be able to point your phone at a print ad or a yard sign on a property, snap a picture of what in effect is a colorful barcode, and take a digital tour on the phone.

Houses priced at $250,000 and up will include video tours; less-expensive houses will have photo galleries. But all will include the taxes, square footage and other stats buyers have come to expect online.

Carpenter Senior Vice President Dave Caveness got the idea during a flight when the guy in the next seat pointed his phone at a story in a golf magazine and proceeded to watch a video of a golf lesson. So, Caveness thought, why wouldn’t that work for real estate?

Carpenter became a beta site for Tag Reader, which Caveness has private labeled TagIt. Marveling at the technology, and pointing out that younger buyers have come to demand information on their phones, Caveness says, “You just click.”

One problem in the Indianapolis area is that yard signs must be several feet from sidewalks. That’s too far for cameras to recognize the bar code, so would-be customers will have to get out of their cars.

Nevertheless, Caveness figures he has a short window to nab customers before other brokerages get the technology from Microsoft or elsewhere and plaster it on their signs, too.

What do you think? And where will bar codes show up next?

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