You can leave your hat off for Redrow's newest virtual hard hat tour
Hard hat tours of new Redrow homes under construction have gone virtual as part of the homebuilder’s response to COVID-19, with one homebuyer keen to see the switch made permanent.
Mike Braid and his partner had been looking forward to having their first look inside their new home at Fox Meadows in Chadderton when the country went into lockdown.
But their disappointment turned to excitement when we advised that once building work resumed they’d be able to take a virtual tour of the property.
“When we reserved our new home in January we were looking forward to going on holiday for our son’s 18th birthday in February and so we were keen to exchange really quickly. There was a lot of excitement and we went on holiday relieved that we’d exchanged; then as lockdown started we wondered how it would impact on us,” Mike explained.
“My partner was disappointed at the thought of missing out on the hard hat tour, but Redrow handled it really well and kept giving us updates. Pam, the sales consultant, explained that once they were back building they were going to do it virtually.
“We wondered if we’d get the same feeling as we would walking round the property and if we’d be able to ask questions, but it was just as good. Redrow could have simply not bothered but went above and beyond to put something in place for customers and it shows that they care.”
We previously introduced hard hat tours at first fix stage – when the property is watertight, cables and pipework for the various services have been installed, but before the internal walls have been plastered – to help purchasers appreciate the layout and room sizes. It also enables them to really understand what goes into building their new home and check that their optional extras and upgrades have been accounted for.
The move to virtual hard hat tours is in response to additional safety measures introduced because of the Coronavirus and site managers are now showing buyers around their new homes using the Zoom video-conferencing service.
“Our site manager Obi really knew his stuff and took his time to give us a great view of the house in its entirety and explain how they build the homes and run the pipework through. There was plenty of time to ask questions and we could text or call afterwards if there was anything else we wanted to ask. We were sent photos too, which was great because I probably wouldn’t have taken the right ones,” Mike added.
“Doing the hard hat visit virtually was as good as doing it in person and gave us a real feel for the property and it has created a real level of excitement for us now. It’s much more time efficient as it meant we didn’t need to take time off work for the tour. It adds a new dynamic that I would encourage Redrow to keep even post COVID-19.”
Mike works in IT for Auto trader, while his partner is a keyworker in admin for Tesco. They have three children aged 18, 16 and seven and wanted a new home for more space.
“We started looking for a new home in December 2018 but it took almost a year to sell our old home and by that time the Redrow homes we originally wanted were no longer available.”
In July last year the family moved into rented accommodation while they continued to search for their ideal home. They eventually reserved their four-bedroom Shrewsbury style home in January this year following a new release at the Fox Meadows development in Chadderton.
“We were due to have completed on June 19 but because of COVID-19 we’re now looking at September. It’s a bit of a disappointment but it’s not a massive problem, especially when there are people struggling so much because of Coronavirus. At least it gives us time to save for more furniture, so there’s a positive side,” Mike laughed.