Are you looking for a way to remain connected to your loved ones? Have you tried video calls? Online video calls provide an easy and cost-effective way of staying in touch and it's just like you’re sat chatting with friends and family in the same room.
Video calls can provide that much needed connection, especially during winter months or if those you want to talk to live far away. Seeing someone 'face to face' can be an instant pick-me-up and, as you become more familiar with video calls, it can be as easy as popping your head over the fence for a quick hello!
So, whether you’re arranging to call loved ones abroad or in the UK, or have a meeting booked and someone has chosen the platform to use for you – video calls are quick, simple and usually only require an internet connection!
Read our quick 4-step guide to making a video call – plus bonus tips for getting the most out of your Homewise consultation!
There are 4 simple steps to making a video call...
- Choose your platform
- Arrange a time for your call
- Get up to speed with your tech
- Feel comfortable and relaxed
1. Choose your platform
There are many offerings available to host or receive a video call, the most popular being Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, Microsoft Teams, Google Duo, Google Hangout... the list goes on.
Most are free to use, although they may require installing an app or creating an account, but once you choose your preferred platform it can be quick and simple to make or receive a video call.
Your chosen platform will have online help guides to get you started or you can ask your loved ones to talk you through the options, if you’re unsure at any time. The important thing is to feel confident and prepared, and this means a little research and planning ahead. Plus, once you’re familiar with one platform you're pretty much set for any as they all work in a similar way.
Here at Homewise, we have chosen to use Zoom for all of our video calls, including our online consultations. It’s simple, reliable and secure, which is key when discussing personal information and building your bespoke Home for Life Plan.
Do you have an upcoming consultation booked? See our Zoom instructions for how to join your Homewise meeting and read on to ensure you’re ready to get the most out of the call on the day.
2. Arrange a time for your call
The next key step in feeling prepared and confident for your video call is to arrange a time and date. This is especially important if you’re arranging calls that have many people involved as you'll want to make sure everyone is available on the same day at the same time. There’s nothing worse than hearing that drawn out dial tone with no answer! Plus, if you're speaking to friends and family outside of the UK be sure to factor in their time zone.
If you're booking a video call with Homewise, we'll always arrange the best time and day to suit you. And that includes anyone else you'd like to invite to the appointment too. We encourage your loved ones to join the video consultation so that everyone understands the process, and that way you're able to make a fully informed decision together.
3. Get up to speed with your tech
Using new or unfamiliar technology may feel overwhelming at first, but it might be easier than you think! Video calls can be easy (and most of the time free of charge) to join and offer a unique opportunity to speak with those who you may not have seen for some time.
Whether you’re using a mobile phone, tablet or your computer, the most popular video calling platforms are usually able to run across any device. In order to feel confident and ready for the video call, we recommend placing a test call beforehand. This way you'll be ready on the day and will know exactly how the call will connect, before attempting to get in touch with your loved ones.
Did you know you can run test calls through Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams? This allows you to check your internet connection (sometimes you may have to sit closer to the WiFi router), your sound levels and your camera angle all before the real-deal. It’s good to familiarise yourself with the settings on your device so you can get the volume and brightness right for you.
Plus, top tip, make sure your device is fully charged! You never know how long the call will last and how much battery power it could use. Or, better yet, have your charging cable near you, so you don’t run out of power mid-way through.
4. Feel comfortable and relaxed
So, you've chosen your platform, arranged a time for the call and tested the technology out, all that remains is to get comfortable and enjoy your call!
You'll want to be in a comfy chair and have your device set at the right height for you to easily see the screen. Laptops and computers will be on a table or desk perhaps already, but if you're using a mobile device (like a phone or iPad etc) you should always try to use a stand so you do not have to hold this throughout the video call. Nothing worse than arm ache 10 minutes in to a juicy story! If you don't have a stand that's no problem, cook-book holders or shelf props can work well too!
If you're preparing for a consultation with Homewise, we'd recommend keeping your hands free so you can make notes during the video call. That way you can jot down the answers to your questions and any key points of information throughout the discussion.
Trying video calls for the first time may seem daunting at first, but that’s simply because it’s new and unfamiliar. Once you settle into and know how to work with the different platforms, it’ll be as if you’re sat in the same room as those you're speaking with, so it's definitely worth a try. Plus, you can always get away with wearing whatever you're comfortable in, even pyjama bottoms if you like!
With the restrictions on seeing family and friends ever-changing and continual lockdowns on the horizon, using video calls is a simple and effective way of remaining connected to loved ones. Video calls can help you stay in contact and see a friendly face, which is especially vital if you’re clinically vulnerable and shielding.
Winter can often be one of the hardest seasons to get out and about too, and using these tools will help you keep in contact with loved ones. AgeUK provide a range of guides and tips on looking after your mental health, which is key to keeping safe and well over the winter months particularly, and staying connected plays a huge part in maintaining mental and physical wellbeing.
By using video call software you’ll remain connected to friends, family members and colleagues – and even us here at Homewise.
Online consultations with Homewise
Video calls are the go-to way to keep connected these days, not only with loved ones but also work, education and even TV interviews are turning to technology now!
Homewise are no different. We’ve moved our consultations online to remain connected with our customers; ensuring our customers continue to receive the first-class service we pride ourselves on, whilst continuing to feel safe and comfortable at home.
Video consultations aren’t new to us. In the past, we’ve regularly used technology to speak with our customers across the country, as well as those living abroad and wanting to return to the UK, and to include family members unable to make initial appointments.
2020 has seen many changes for the way we interact with one another, and so all consultations are now online based. This means we’re able to continue the conversation from any location, and help our customers find happiness and security for the future.
Interested in a Homewise consultation, or already have one booked?
It is a great way for you to get to know Homewise, your consultant and of course see exactly how the Home for Life Plan could work for you.
You’ll get to meet your consultant ‘face-to-face’ and have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Plus, they’ll go through the plan in detail and build your bespoke Home for Life Plan then and there! Getting to know one another over a cup of tea, makes the process easier to understand and helps you prepare for a stress-free move.
We use Zoom for our video calls
Zoom is simple to use and you don’t need to install anything! Just click and link and join your meeting.
If you’re not familiar with Zoom, no need to worry. See our instructions for joining your Zoom appointment or give us a call if you have any concerns at any time.
Joining your Homewise appointment on the day is quick and easy, you’ll just need:
- Your meeting ID or email link
- A device with a camera or plug-in webcam, such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone
- Internet connection on your device
- A quiet space where you feel comfortable to talk to Homewise
We have your best interests in mind and want you to get the most out of your consultation, making sure you have all the details you, and your loved ones, need to make a fully informed decision.
Remember you don’t have to be visible; you can turn your camera off during the consultation if you wish. You will still be able to see your consultant throughout the call, and they’ll be sharing their screen at times so you can see more information, and even search for properties together there and then!
Have you misplaced your booking letter or deleted the email? No problem just get in touch with our team and we can resend the details right away.
If you’ve yet to book your consultation, call us today on 0800 043 4488 and book your free, no-commitment appointment today!