Covid news | Take #2
Hey smarties, it’s been six months since our original update at the beginning of the 2020 drama that is, and continues to be, Covid-19. So, now that we’ve entered a new stage of restriction easing and our Victorian buddies are doing better than ever, it’s about time for another update. We’re chuffed to say we’ve kept all our promises, innovated the heck out of our business, and are going to keep doing so post-pandemic.
Let’s dive a little deeper
With all the drama of 2020 – implementing social distancing, upping our hand hygiene, and collectively binge-watching Tiger King – we’re proud that our country and state have banded together. But what’s changed on the business side of things? Without listing all the zoom-related changes we’ll dive straight into our world. The building world, that is!
What did we do differently smarter?
Many builders were still open during March and April with in-person appointments and a tonne of foot traffic. But us smarties had a different approach. We didn’t change to curtsies instead of handshakes, but we certainly voted for it. No, we took a real stand when it comes to company values and shook up our industry practices. Because our clients (that’s you guys) and your health, is what matters most. We immediately transitioned our staff to work from home, closed our displays, and explored the world of 3D home tours. Not only that, we upped our hygiene protocols. We’re talking hand sanitizer ERRRRYWHERE… and lots of it.
“This was a moment in time when our values really needed to stand for something. We’ve always been customer-focused, digitally-savvy, and nimble. Our future-proofed marketing activities allowed us to be prepped and ready for anything Covid threw at us. Virtual home tours were just the beginning!” Anthony Oldershaw, General Manager, Smart Homes For Living.
Contribution, smart style!
You guys are what really mattered (and still do! but we gotta stick to past tense for this Covid flashback) and, while these changes may seem minor, when you think of all the priority workers literally putting their health on the line for us, we knew we needed to play our part too. A lot of you told us that you thought your new home dreams would have to be put on hold during Covid, unsure of whether you’d be able to continue building at all. But like the smart fairy godmother (aka our work alter egos), we stepped up to make a difference. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, bring on the glass slippers and the matching new home too!
“In a matter of days, we had Covid-19-safe solutions so that people could continue their new home journey with Smart Homes For Living. We worked alongside Government advice to create private display home tours, online appointments, 360-degree virtual tours, and a fly-through video campaign that was a huge success,” says Oldershaw.
And we didn’t stop there
360 homes was a great first step, but as a business (one that was focused on thriving and surviving through Covid) we had a few more tricks to pull out of our sleeve. It was time to contribute to the industry and our clients in a meaningful way. Enter, four new online services for the win:
We quickly upped our private tour game. Because with high-level restrictions in place, social distancing was key and our private display homes meant that we could still give that fab in-person experience, minus the crowds. This way, Miss Knowles, your private tour awaits!
It’s pretty safe to say that communication changed in an instance. A zoom party on one day, a virtual wedding the next. And, then there was work. For us it became a WFH status stat so …. Enter, online appointments! With Face-to-face off the cards, we had to find a way to keep the personal touch of Smart and not lose contact with you. So, our smarties shifted to digital for everything from finance health checks to design consults (and maybe a few internal Zoom parties thrown in for good luck, but that’s a story for another day)!
Picture it, BOOM Covid hits! And in just one week we launched 360-degree virtual home tours. How’s that for fast and smart thinking?? Like an OG beat about to drop, our tech smarts were on overdrive (and working overnight) to develop this epic virtual experience. So, all us homebound bodies (introverts rejoice) got the visual joy of wandering through a new home and allowed you to continue on your smart journey from your couch. You can see why it’s now a smart standard.
Born out of many coffee-fuelled brainstorming sessions, we created an experience that was pitched as a home shopping experience. But the way, how many coffees is too much, 11? 14?…asking for a friend. Okay, back to the campaign. The music matched with the interiors to create a mood; not to mention the film and editing techniques to create a pace and energy you just can’t get from scrolling through pictures. Look at you, A-lister, living your best life and starring in your own new home shopping experience.
The innovation era (yep, we’re re-branding 2020)
Sure, Covid may have been the driving factor for some of these seriously cool innovations to the building industry, however it’s shown us a new side to creativity too! Which means it’s not stopping there. Here on the West side, some of these changes are living on post-Covid (knock all wood surfaces at the mention of ‘post-Covid’). Communication, campaigns, and tech innovations have simply become a smart standard. And the real truth behind why, is because it suits you! We may not be held back by strict isolation measures, but these at-home methods are still valid. So, our Smarties are determined to keep inventing to curate the best of the best for our clients.
One more thing, our Smart Portal!
And speaking of innovation, we’ll soon be launching the new Smart Portal! This is a HUGE deal for us and an even bigger one for new home builders (hey, you). Why? Because it’s a programmed one stop smart-shop to follow your building progress in real time, online! Yeah, that’s right. See your plans, make selections, find all your documents in one space, and be able to communicate via a personalised portal. With your best experience as our focus, this is just the beginning. See? Now you know why we won’t – nah can’t – stop innovating, Covid or no Covid. That’s a promise to you.