Victoria companies take extraordinary measures to connect to people digitally
VICTORIA -- As people adapt to a new way of life at home and socially, Victoria businesses are shifting to digital platforms.
From realtors to restaurants, people are shifting their businesses to allow for customers to still get what they need.
Jason Binab with the Agency said his company is using virtual tours of homes online to sell real estate.
“We are asking in advance that if you are the buyer that you make sure you’ve seen the 3D tour,” said Binab. “It will be the closest thing to you being in the home.”
Then, if someone is interested, they can come inside the home while making sure they stay two metres away from others and wash their hands.
“Next week, I am shifting to full, virtual walkthrough,” Binab said.
Toque Catering chef Nicholas Waters said his business has taken a hit and had to lay off almost 30 employees.
“The hardest part is not having the staff,” said Waters.
The company decided to change its business model and started offering its cooking with free delivery.
“We started basically a frozen entree line that we are delivering everywhere,” said Waters.
This is normally the catering company’s busiest season, with it serving an average of 40 weddings per month. With the digital shift of the business, the company was able to bring back four staff members this week.
“This week is starting to pick up,” Waters said. “We did about 30 orders this week.”
Victoria Hyundai has stepped up as well, offering to have an employee pick up a customer’s vehicle, do essential services on it and then drive it back.
“A lot of customers are appreciative still that we are able to help them out,” said owner John Kot.
Right now, the company has about 15 appointments a day and plans to continue the service for at least 30 days.
A Victoria business expert said people should just try to shift to digital.
“Your customers may adapt to it, you may learn and adapt to it too,” said Dr. Mark Colgate.
People should try to fight through these next few months, as getting started from scratch will be even more challenging, he said
“Bringing in that little bit of revenue that might keep you going for six months, whereas if you have no revenue coming in you might have to shut down permanently,” said Colgate.
Due to the digital demand, Colgate said entrepreneurs will flourish in this environment.
“There is a chance for you to provide services remotely or deliver to people’s doors that people didn’t require before,” he said.
All of the businesses CTV News Vancouver Island spoke to said this is a new challenge, but they are doing their part to keep going for their customers.
“We are all adapting like everyone else, but we are all in this together,” said Binab.