Metro - 07 February 2014
Relocating to London
By Jo Eccles
London is such a multicultural city, and as a result, attracts residents from all over the world who come here to work and live. So much so, that I caught the tube one morning and for seven stops I didn’t hear a single word of English spoken, only foreign languages.
We relocate many individuals and families to London every year, and it’s one part of the job we love; dealing with different nationalities and educating them about the London housing stock and way of living. Our South African clients, for example, find the concept of town houses, i.e. accommodation over more than two storeys, completely unappealing. Middle East and Far East clients, on the other hand, tend to find stairs of any kind a complete turn off. The majority won’t even consider a first floor property which doesn’t have a lift – even though they’ll get excited if a building has its own gym! Many of our Australian clients are appalled when we show them properties which are run down and messy as most properties in Australia will be freshly made up and decorated to be put onto the market. In the USA, some will even hire in actors during an open house, to pose as a perfect family!
If you are moving to London and can afford a relocation agent, or your company is paying for one, it will be money well spent. Not only will you ensure you’re focusing on the right properties and areas, but they should give you settling in assistance too.
With our own clients, we advise them on absolutely everything from transport, the UK healthcare system, etiquette with neighbours, how to adjust their young children to living in the UK, to how to have a monthly contact lense delivery arranged for when they arrive here – all before they’ve even arrived here. Moving to a foreign country, whether you already speak the language or not, is a big step, and I take my hat off to every international resident here. You’re one of our favourite type of clients!