QR codes forbidden in the great northwest
The Northwest Multiple Listing Service has banned all 2D codes like QR codes and the proprietary Microsoft Tags from listing photos.
Agents across the nation have begun putting QR codes on flyers, billboards, yard signs, business cards, blogs and more which allows users to point their smartphone at the code, bring up a free scanner application, click scan and are taken automatically to the website the QR code is designed for.
NWMLS and QR codes’ background:
The NWMLS famous at one point for pulling their listings from Realtor.com and later for fining Redfin $50k for term violations is now making another move that will capture many peoples’ attention by curbing QR codes in listing photos, or simply uploaded as photos.
Several associations take steps to limit additional links and additional virtual tours, this seems an extension of that common step. This is no surprise as we have noted the security of QR codes is questionable (imagine if a Realtor uploaded a QR code as a photo and it was scanned and led to a porn site or worse, the agent used a phony QR code generator, didn’t test it and it generated a virus link). There is currently no verification or security system available for QR code applications.
Violation of NWMLS Rule 10(i)
NWMLS member, Realtor Marlow Harris notes that “The rationale behind this ruling is that QR Codes often point to websites with additional information about the listing and these websites are usually branded with the listing agent’s contact information and branding and, as per Rule 10(i), advertising is prohibited in listing data.”
We anticipate that other Associations will follow suit- what do you think of the NWMLS ban on QR codes?
The NWMLS was not immediately available for comment. Story will be updated as confirmation is reached.