Letter from our Vice-President, Brent Bommes
The current COVID-19 crisis has blind-sided everyone. As countries around the world struggle to contain the outbreak, many people have been forced to change their whole lifestyle very abruptly.
Parents and children have had to suddenly adapt to home-schooling, students and office workers are rapidly learning how to work remotely, and our supply chains and health services are being put under enormous stress.
This is a unique situation, and none of us have ever been through something like this before. Here at Sterling Homes, we want you to know that the safety and well-being of our staff team and customers is our top priority, and is at the forefront of our minds.
Our main focus right now is to accommodate those who have the most urgent need for housing and at the same time minimize the risk to both our staff and the public.
We appreciate that for many people, buying a new home is nowhere near their top priority right now. But for those who are currently engaged in the home-buying process, we’re doing all we can to make this process as safe and convenient for you as we possibly can.
These people find themselves in a wide variety of situations:
- They began before the outbreak started and now find themselves in need of a new home after their old one sold.
- A family with a baby on the way that needs a safe space to come home to.
- People looking to get out of high-density areas or buildings.
- People who want to lock in on their new home and take possession before any disruption to their job.
- Those who aren’t experiencing any disruption to their work (not everyone has been affected the same way by this outbreak)
- People who have to relocate for work, whether from another city or province.
- Those who want to take advantage of the current low-interest rates on mortgages.
We all need a place to live, and for some, this is an urgent necessity right now.
This is a uniquely difficult time for those in need of a home, as we all need to follow the self-isolation and social distancing rules and, understandably, people with houses for sale don’t want strangers wandering through their homes.
Naturally, we also don’t want large groups of people congregating in our Showhomes in the current environment, so to that end, here are the steps we’re taking in our showhomes:
- Showhomes will be available for private in-person showings by appointment only
- Onsite representatives are offering virtual guided tours using [Facetime or Zoom] so you can view models safely and remotely
- We’ve implemented digital document signing with DocuSign so that paperwork can be processed without needing a face-to-face meeting.
We are also following extremely stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes in all our homes in order to protect any of our staff who are conducting virtual or private tours. In those rare cases where an in-person viewing is necessary, all showhome doors will be open and lights will be on, so the only thing you’ll need to touch is the front door handle on your way in.
We understand that this is an extremely stressful time for anyone who was already into the home-buying process when this crisis began. You may have some anxiety around not knowing how you’re going to complete this journey safely. For those people, our only goal is to get them into their new homes as safely and quickly as possible.
Your home is your safe space in these uncertain times, and we know how important it is to get you there as soon as we can.
Throughout all of this, the priority for all of us should be to take care of ourselves, our families and loved ones, and our communities.
We all need to be there for each other, and we’ve already seen examples of this throughout the housing industry, from banks deferring mortgages and waiving fees, to landlords giving their tenants a break on their leases and some even offering food and gift cards to their renters!
We all need to work together, and here at Sterling Homes we’re always available to serve our clients as best we can until we all come out at the other end of this. In the physical hierarchy of needs, food, shelter and clothing top the list, so we are providing an essential service to the public.
If you have an urgent need for housing please know we are here to help you navigate these unprecedented times safely and comfortably. This is our number one priority.
-Brent Bommes, VP Sterling Homes Edmonton
How we’re keeping you safe:
Sterling Homes is practicing social distancing. Whether taking extra precaution while washing your hands, avoiding large groups, asking those who feel sick or have been in contact with those who are sick to stay home and refraining from shaking hands. Our team is still here for you and ready to greet you with a virtual smile. In each department, we are taking precautions.
The Sales Team:
- Sterling Homes Sales Centers are now open by private appointment only.
- Hand sanitizer is readily available at each location and our Sales Offices are cleaned regularly.
- The Sterling Homes Online team are virtually available to address any questions and schedule virtual appointments.
- You can buy a new Sterling home through our BUY ONLINE program via the Sterling Homes website.
- Buyers can sign a contract digitally without coming into the office.
- All large-scale events have been cancelled.
- Home Showing Policy:
- We are limiting contact to door handles and light switches only.
- Prior to entering our Showhome, please ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you traveled from outside of Canada within the last 2 weeks?
- Have you been in close contact with someone who has travelled outside of Canada and is feeling unwell?
- Are you experiencing any symptoms of illness (fever, cough, difficulty breathing)?
- If you answered YES to any of these questions, please do not enter the show home for the health and safety of yourself, our employees and the community.
Viewing our homes safely
Virtual Tour from the comfort of your homeExplore Sterling houses from your couch with a guided real-time virtual tour from one of our area specialist. You can also take a 3D tour. Unlike still photographs, specialized Matterport cameras can capture multiple angles in three dimensions that let you explore rooms as if you’re inside.
Self-Guided Tours via Lock BoxYou can schedule a time to view aone our of Tour Now Homes, once you're in front of the property, you will be texted a code to enter via our self-entry lock box.
Pre-Arranged Self-Guided ToursBook a time for you to walk through one of our homes, on your own schedule. (1) We will unlock the doors for you in advance. (2) Wait for you to tour the home and be on call to answer any questions you may have. (3) We will lock up after you are down touring
1 on 1 Show Home Tour with Physical Distance AssistanceYou and an area specialist in a beautiful showhome at a time that is convenient for you, while also practicing physical distancing.
Construction Managers and Supervisors:
- All New Home Orientations have been modified to self-guided appointments.
- The Construction teams have been social distancing while working from the field.
- The team is equipped with hand sanitizer and sanitizing spray.
Trade Partners and Job Site Best Practices:
- We ask that our trades do not work on the job site if they have signs of illness, in particular coughing or fever.
- We are minimizing the number of trades allowed on the job site or in a the home at a one time
- Maintain 6 feet of distance between individuals. Be sure to enforce physical distancing.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
The Warranty Team:
- Has stopped all non-essential and non-emergency in person warranty appointments.
- Available during business hours for advice and assistance over the phone.
The Main Office:
- The teams have gone to staggered shifts with many working from home.
- Outside meetings have all been moved to be virtual.
- Hand sanitizer is readily available at all entrances.
We want to send all of the love and light to all of those who are on the front lines of these significant circumstances & do not have the option to self isolate and be at home with their families. From everyone at Sterling Homes, You are our Hero’s!