New Virtual Tour Service

With homeowners spending more time than ever inside the house, it’s an ideal moment to consider renovation projects that maximize space and allow for the everyday needs required by this “new normal.” But the question of how to safely undertake remodels while practicing social distancing is an important one.

Spurred on by the current stay-at-home orders and a deep desire to continue to assist customers in their home needs during this uncertain time, Aptitude has introduced a first-of-its-kind virtual tour-and-quote service. This simple process allows Aptitude founder Matt Mierek to provide homeowners with an accurate renovation quote without setting foot inside the home—whether families are looking to upgrade a home office setup, reconfigure a kitchen or renovate an en suite bathroom for children who may have returned home during this time.

The process begins with a quick virtual tour. “Essentially, homeowners walk around the space and take video and talk about what they're looking for—what their general wants and needs are within the space, some style ideas regarding what they like, etc.,” says Mierek. “From there, we ask them to take an easy measurement of the space—so, if it's a kitchen, for instance, and you know the length and width, then, based on the videos, we can formulate how many cabinets will be needed based on those measurements.”

Homeowners can also send inspiration boards—such as those on Houzz or Pinterest—to Mierek to help focus in on the types of finishes and fixtures that will be used and ensure an accurate quote. Mierek handles the quote process personally for each project, ensuring accuracy and helping guide the project toward success from the start. “Because I’ve been doing this for the past 20 years, because of that background and doing so many quotes, I have a pretty good idea of costs going into most projects,” he explains.

After the preliminary quotes are given to the homeowner, the Aptitude team gets to work coordinating with various vendors to select materials and finishes. Because viewing finishes like tile and countertops in person is so important, it makes the most sense for homeowners to meet with Aptitude’s trusted vendors at their regular locations—but Mierek explains that each company Aptitude works with has put new precautions in place to ensure an easy and safe experience for consumers.  “All of our vendors—cabinet places, tile places—are still seeing our clients,” Mierek says. “They're scheduling meetings one on one with no one else in the store and also making sure to observe social distancing and guidelines.”

While Mierek says the virtual tour-and-quote process has been very successful already in the short time since its introduction, he assures customers that this is a temporary measure and that Aptitude is not considering a permanent move to a virtual quote system, as Mierek prefers the personal touch of meeting and seeing the space in person. But in these unprecedented circumstances, he knew that a little change was necessary in order to continue serving homeowners to the fullest extent of Aptitude's ability. “We would never change to just doing virtual tours,” he says. “But in in the interim, we've adapted the way we do things. And we're seeing how it goes from there.”