New Brunswick — A simple concept that may have huge implications, the decision to provide virtual home tours to people interested in relocating to the Maritimes may be the answer to the age-old question of how to attract people to New Brunswick.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We can grow our population, while not having to deal with problems like improving services and rebuilding infrastructure. And let’s face it — it’s much easier to sell relocating to New Brunswick if you don’t have to actually, you know, show people New Brunswick.”
The idea was originally conceived by Royal LePage agent Ashley Summers as a way to continue selling homes during COVID travel restrictions.
“But it’s really taken on a life of its own!” the agent explained during an interview. “I just wanted to be able to keep showing houses during lockdown initially. But then I saw a trend, and it turns out, when people don’t have to be here in New Brunswick to see a house, they’re much more likely to decide to move here.
“I just had a record sale — 20% above asking price for a 100-year-old townhouse in Saint John!”
We reached out to Tyler Bradford, a financial planner from Toronto who purchased the home in Saint John.
“You know, the Atlantic bubble is working so well, I just want to get a bit of safety and stability right now,” he said. “I don’t know much about Saint John itself, but Ashley showed me some pictures of the river and Rockwood Park, and it really looks beautiful!”
In his morning presser, Premier Higgs had high praise for agents like Summers.
“We’ve spent decades trying to find a way to attract people to New Brunswick and this is really a breakthrough that I wish we had thought of earlier. Who knew that all we had to do all along was to avoid showing, or even talking about New Brunswick. I feel like we won the lotto here!”
The government has since committed to taking this model even further and exploring the possibility of virtual cruises in 2021.
“Basically, we’re thinking that we can just run a Zoom meeting and slap up a few virtual backgrounds for folks on the cruises,” Higgs explained. “That way, they can see the area without leaving the ship. Pay five dollars, here’s a background of the Hopewell Rocks, pay another five, we’ll change it over to the Reversing Falls.”