The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all types of businesses. Within the new home industry, developers closed sales centres, model homes and canceled in-person appointments.
Of course, with lockdown restrictions in place, the traditional new home sales event with long lineups and crowds of people had to be reimagined. And even as lockdowns begin to ease and sales centres reopen with physical distancing measures in place, there remains a market for virtual tools to help manage the process.
Rising up to the challenge of launching a new mid-rise condo project in the age of COVID-19, Ryan Design International suggested to the builder, Castleview 500 Developments, to implement a new Virtual Sales Event System for The Charlotte condominiums. The difference between this tool and other virtual tools on the market is the focus on sales events and moving them online.
“The Virtual Sales Event System is a comprehensive program,” said Linda O’Connor, CEO and Partner at Ryan Design International. “It enables home builders to connect with prospective buyers, build momentum, emulate the line-up outside a sales office, and bring real-time exhilaration to the lot and suite selection process – just like the way it traditionally happens around a site plan table.”
The proprietary system connects sales staff at The Charlotte to potential homebuyers through a virtual sales centre that can be used to sell low-rise homes or condominium suites. Virtual sales events provide a touchless experience where customers remain in the comfort and safety of their own homes but can communicate live with sales representatives over Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp. Prospective homebuyers can explore amenities, browse floorplans and view available units, while sales teams can keep track of unit sales through a live site plan and availability chart.
The Charlotte was the first development condo project to implement the Virtual Sales Event System at a limited release in May, and after a two-day virtual sales event, the project was nearly sold out.
Located in downtown Whitby, the six-storey residence boasts contemporary architecture by V&A Architects characterized by a dark brick facade, large windows and inset balconies. Interior spaces and common areas are by Toronto-based TACT Design and come well-appointed with sleek finishes and modern features. Suites feature thoughtfully-designed one-,two- and three-bedroom layouts with bright open-concept floorplans. Onsite amenities include a party lounge, games room, theatre and a green roof.
“With the right tools and technology, sales teams can feel confident to continue selling while providing buyers the same level of service they were used to receiving at a sales centre,” said O’Connor. “With this new and innovative Virtual Sales Event tool, some home builders were able to pivot successfully to virtual sales, while still using traditional advertising such as TV and radio commercials, emailers and websites produced by Ryan Design International to promote their projects.”