Virtuo co-founders Casey Kachur and Nate Edwards say the estimated 20 to 40 hours a homebuyer spends on
settling into their new digs can be reduced to a 10-minute phone call.
Supplied by Jager&Kokemor Photography
As exciting and emotional as buying and taking possession of a new home can be, the road to settling into those new digs can be full of stressful and tiring bumps.Virtuo is a Calgary-based company founded three years ago with the express purpose of smoothing out those potholes to take the stress out of the relocation adventure.“Our company partners exclusively with builders to deliver a tech-enabled service that streamlines the critical elements of a move, reducing the estimated 20 to 40 hours a home buyer spends on their transition to a 10-minute phone call — all compliments of their builder,” says Nate Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of the company.The home buyer pays for the physical move and for transactions like media and utility hookups, cleaning and junk removal, change of address activity, garbage and recycling setup and even the cost of mounting a TV set, but Virtuo handles all the work that goes into setting up appointments, getting the best estimates, and other services.“As we deliver the concierge experience on behalf of the builder, our fees are paid for by the builder,” explains Edwards.In the three years Virtuo has been operating, it has grown from moving one Calgary customer in 2016 to a point now where it does 60 possessions a week throughout Alberta. It also has a catalogue of 18 builders as partners, 14 in Calgary and four in Edmonton.Both builders and Virtuo want to make possession day as painless as possible, to cut the impact of chaos and unexpected problems that can dull the whole dream of settling into a new home.Brookfield Residential was the first builder to partner with Virtuo through a 2017 pilot program that has since proven successful.“We are always seeking new ways to enhance the customer experience and add value to our customers’ lives,” says Trent Edwards, Brookfield chief operating officer for Alberta.“Virtuo’s customer experience philosophy and goals are very aligned with Brookfield Residential’s desire to create an easy experience. Being able to partner with them on reducing the inconvenience, hassle and stress of moving was very appealing to us.”Figures provided by Brookfield show that 250 homeowners took advantage of the Brookfield-Virtuo partnership.Coventry Homes in Edmonton was also early to jump onboard in a partnership with Virtuo.“Our company’s purpose is to enrich people’s lifestyle. As such, we are constantly looking for ways to heighten our clients’ home-building experience,” says Robin Nasserdeen, Coventry’s director of sales.“We found that Virtuo’s focus on providing an exceptional customer experience had a natural synergy with our corporate purpose — providing our clients with the best experience possible.”To date, Nasserdeen estimates 70 home buyers have used the service offered by Virtuo and backed by Conventry.Now that Virtuo has established itself in Calgary and Edmonton, plans are afoot to grow its market. Edwards says the company will be moving into the Vancouver, possibly as early as June, and has plans further down the road to enter the California market.By way of background, Edwards says the Virtuo partners spent the past 15 years helping some of Alberta’s largest companies relocate their employees around the world…and to help the employee assimilate into their new destination as efficiently as possible.“We focused on removing all of the transitional pain points on the end-to-end journey versus just the move itself. This is where the idea for Virtuo was born,” he says.