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Pre-sale condo industry well suited to COVID-19's social distancing thanks to early adoption of tech and Internet-based services for purchasers

Hudson Place One, standing 85 meters above the 700-block of Herald Street between Douglas and Blanshard streets, is readying for summer occupancy. The Capital's pre-sale condominium industry is an early adopter of technology and Internet-based services for potential clients, which has made the transition to COVID-19's social distancing requirements straight forward while remaining familiar to purchasers.

Pre-sale condo industry well suited to COVID-19's social distancing thanks to early adoption of tech and Internet-based services for purchasers
Social distancing requirements may have changed the way Victoria’s pre-sale condominium showrooms cater to the needs of their clients, but the new norms necessitated by COVID-19 are highlighting just how far the industry has come with its use of digital technologies and bespoke services for homebuyers.
Elise Virtue, the sales manager at the Hudson Place One condominium tower now selling along the 700-block of Herald Street, says the fundamentals of buying a pre-sale suite haven’t changed during COVID-19, and that has caught some buyers off guard.
“Pre-sales have historically relied on novel ways to allow our clients to experience their future home through technologies like digital walkthroughs and interactive websites,” Virtue says. “And coincidentally, the services that have been so heavily used by potential purchasers prior to COVID-19, remain perfectly adapted to support clients in present times.”
With no physical product to walk through, developers have invested heavily into technologies that allow precision-rendered environments to substitute for what will eventually become the finished product. In addition to a showroom and presentation centre that familiarize purchasers with the attributes of each suite, digital tools supplant that experience from the comfort of a client’s home. The sales team, meanwhile, is always available to answer any questions.
“While normally purchasers begin their familiarity with a project by walking through the presentation centre, the only thing that has changed in today’s market is a shift from operating with specific hours to by-appointment showings,” Virtue said. “And we’re always available by phone, or by email. In fact, very little about the pre-sale process has actually changed.”
As the 25-storey Hudson Place One nears its summer completion, Virtue says her team is ramping up to support purchasers as they transition into homeownership.
“I’d really like to emphasize that our sales team remains available to our purchasers to answer any questions they may have. With so many businesses having temporarily closed, or reduced their hours, the impression may be that access to our team is also limited due to the closure of our sales centre, but we’re always just a phone call away.”
Although the local real-estate market has seen a reduction in activity, buyers who were committed to making a purchase prior to COVID-19 remain motivated to do so, albeit many are uncertain of how the process works given the changes seen across most industries.
To that, Virtue says buying a pre-sale is largely business as usual during unusual times, and encourages individuals to reach out to sales staff and enquire about showings or available resources.
“Every project will be approaching social distancing differently and presentation centres will have unique ways of handling in-person client enquiries, scheduling appointments and closing deals. We strongly encourage individuals to reach out and discuss the strategies presentation centres have implemented, and to take advantage of various incentives. In our case at Hudson Place One, we continue to offer pre-completion pricing on our remaining suites, and now is the time to take advantage of price points only available ahead of our summer occupancy.”
Topped out and standing as Vancouver Island’s tallest building, Hudson Place One’s 176 luxury residences – priced from $435,900 – have remained top-of-mind among purchasers in light of each suite’s spa-inspired bathrooms, world-class kitchen designs and opulent finishings with smartly-designed living spaces that maximize utility while taking advantage of the backdrops beyond.
Those looking for amenities will have the option of utilizing Hudson Place One’s full concierge services, a fresh room with cold and dry storage for residents' deliveries, an electronic-controlled parcel delivery room and secure bicycle storage with a repair station conveniently accessible through a separate entrance next to the lobby.
The tower’s third floor is designated as an 11,000 square foot indoor and outdoor amenity space featuring private gardens and gas fire pits with seating areas, a dining and social lounge, a yoga room, a hobby room, a business centre and a guest suite. Residents will also enjoy a fitness centre, a billiards room overlooking the gardens and an infrared sauna.
Situated next to the Public Market and minutes by foot to Chinatown, grocery stores and downtown Victoria's eclectic mix of retail amenities, Hudson Place One gives residents the very best of a walkable lifestyle in the heart of the city.
Hudson Place One is scheduled to welcome residents to the Hudson District by mid-2020. Home to the Victoria Public Market, a collection of condominiums within a restored Hudson’s Bay Company department store and three highrise rental towers, the District is one of downtown Victoria’s most sought after residential communities already home to over 500 residences and a popular collection of local businesses. C

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