Real estate marketing is getting ever more mobile, but one of the most effective tools an agent has is still that iconic, printed yard sign.

For those agents interested in directing potential clients from printed materials to the ever-ubiquitous smart phones in their hands, startups specializing in QR (Quick Response) codes are springing up.

A QR code is essentially a two-dimensional barcode that can be read by smart phones or dedicated QR readers, similar to the codes scanned at a store checkout.

The codes can be attached to printed materials — such as yard signs, fliers, postcards, business cards, etc. — and consumers can snap a picture or scan the code through a mobile application on their iPhone, BlackBerry, Android or other mobile device.

There are free QR code generators out there — Kaywa QR-Code was used to generate this code (see sample embedded in this article) for the Inman News home page.

There are also services such as Clikbrix and Qonnect that offer unique QR codes connected to mobile-optimized websites.

For a monthly $49 subscription, Clikbrix creates both standard and mobile Web pages for an unlimited number of properties that automatically list to a real estate professional’s profile Web page. For an example of an agent’s mobile Web page, click here.

The property listing pages come with detailed property descriptions, a gallery of photos, a Google Map and Goggle Street View, as well as ways to share the listings through e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter and contact the agent.

The agent’s own unique QR code may be attached to any printed material desired so that potential clients can be instantly directed to their mobile Web pages. Options to customize and brand a code are also available. The startup launched earlier this month.

Qonnect offers a similar service that delivers mobile content through unique QR codes, which it calls a "qonnects." The company suggests its codes are useful in offering highly targeted content, virtual tours, and in tracking the effectiveness of advertising through its analytics system.

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