25 May 2020
Househunters dreaming of their perfect move have been making full use of CALA's Remote Reservations service during the lockdown.
Since the middle of March, a number of buyers have reserved their homes remotely with CALA Homes (East), which covers Edinburgh and the Lothians, despite such a big change to ‘normal circumstances’; something not anticipated going into lockdown.
Indeed, the Edinburgh-headquartered housebuilder swiftly ceased activity on its sites and sales offices in March to ensure safety for staff and customers. However, there were people still looking to secure their next home with the developer, and as such it launched its Remote Reservations service to offer clients a safety net to do so.
The service is supported by a wealth of online video and virtual tours to allow buyers to start their search remotely and explore their range of homes and apartments across the region. As well as this online support, CALA’s dedicated 5* sales team is also still available daily to discuss any of its homes with buyers, from the comfort of their living room.
Along with the offer of CALA's part exchange services, which remain available, the whole process is designed to offer extra peace of mind and security, while still allowing those who need or want to reserve their new home the opportunity to do so with the builder.
Philip Hogg, Sales and Marketing Director with CALA Homes (East), said: “Like everyone else, we weren't sure what to expect as we headed into lockdown. It felt very uncertain and we simply did not know if buyers who were considering moving home would wish to continue.
“Launching our Remote Reservation service was something we felt we could do to offer a little bit of certainty to those still needing to move.
“It's really important to us that, as we return to a new normality, we do so in a way that always supports our customers and staff safely.”
Reservation fees made through the service are fully refundable, to offer an extra level of reassurance.
It has proven a lifeline to the buyers who have benefited from it. They have ranged from first time buyers seeking an apartment or three-bedroom home, through to those seeking their dream family “forever” homes.
Rachel McCabe was one such purchaser, and has recently used the Remote Reservation service to secure her dream home, CALA’s five-bedroom Melville housetype, at their Letham Views development in Haddington.
The mother of two, who is moving 15 miles east, from Bonnyrigg in Midlothian, said: “I completely fell in love with The Melville, and was determined it would be my next home.
“When I saw the last one was available at Letham Views, I was panicking that the current situation would make it really hard to see a move through, but CALA’s Remote Reservation service allowed me to secure my dream family home.
“I used their part exchange offer too – all of which was done remotely. I helped an estate agent to carry out a virtual viewing of our old home - it was very strange, but fully possible thanks to amazing technology.”
CALA has found that many buyers reserving in recent weeks are opting to use its part exchange initiative which has remained available, as has their Guaranteed Buyer service. Guaranteed Buyer sees the developer step in with a “cash offer”, while allowing the seller to test the market, safe in the knowledge of having a secure back-up.
Philip added: “At the moment, we just want to give buyers like Rachel some certainty and some comfort. People are justifiably nervous and are worrying about things like being able to safely sell their homes.
“That's where we think our services that you can use in tandem with Remote Reservations, such as our Guaranteed Buyer and Part Exchange services, will become a vital lifeline in making a move happen.”
For more information on how you can reserve remotely with CALA, please click here.