When a diplomat is relocated to London many times they don’t know how to approach choosing an area of this vast city in which to live. Of course, it’s a matter of personal choice and colleagues will give conflicting advice that only adds to their confusion. And on top of that, their life partner might not be all that crazy about moving to London.
Maybe it’s you’re job at the embassy to help them relocate – or maybe you yourself are the official that’s being moved to London.
In these situations, most of our client organizations provide a “look-see” trip – sometimes referred to as an area orientation. At Saunders 1865, we call it a “pre-home finding” program because selecting the right area for the family is an essential first step before starting on the search for the perfect rental home in London.
This type of initial support gives the family the opportunity to see different areas and choose the rental search area that they want to focus on.
And from the employer’s point of view, it gives them the chance to find out what issues they need to address to make the relocation work well for everybody. A happily settled diplomat is always going to be more able to focus on doing a great job in London for their country’s government. The same applies to relocating business leaders which is why the best employers provide this sort of VIP relocation support.
For such a VIP move to London, let’s think about some of the aspects that your local relocation expert will need to address when providing pre-home finding assistance
- What are their burning questions?
An initial conversation with the relocation expert responsible for managing the look-see trip will focus on their burning, top-of-mind questions. This conversation should ideally take place sufficiently in advance of the diplomat and their partner’s arrival in London to allow the relocation firm to prepare the best possible orientation.
The relocation expert will, beyond their burning questions, probe for other issues that they may not have even started to consider. They will be asked about their lifestyle needs their commute and so on.
- What type of area & rental home do they see themselves living in during their time in London?
London is a vast city. Before embarking on an effective rental search, it’s necessary to decide on a specific search area. Do they want to be in the centre of London near the embassy? Or would they rather live in a more affordable area, where they can get more space for their money? The escorted orientation tour will involve the couple being shown different types of sample rental home in different locations so they can decide where they want to live. Clearly, their rental budget will have a large bearing on this decision.
- What other lifestyle needs & interests to they have?
Although the rental home itself is a major factor, there’s more to be considered than just that. What do they enjoy doing? Where and when do they shop? What sports do they enjoy? What restaurants? Do they enjoy the theatre? The answers to these questions will determine what the local relocation consultant shows them (and tells them about) as part of their orientation.
And it’s important to accentuate the benefits of living in the new city. A major benefit of living in London is the rich history and culture that you can explore – not only on your doorstep either! Gorgeous cities like Rome, Venice, Paris and Berlin, to name but a fraction of them, are only a short flight away. They can hop over to the Austrian Tyrol for a weekend’s skiing or hire a self-drive boat on the French canals! The opportunities that will be open to them are endless but they may not think of them if they are not pointed out!
- What residual concerns do they have about living in the new city?
At the end of the trip, the relocation expert will probe for any remaining concerns the diplomat may have. This discussion will give important clues as to the likely success of this relocation. If this move isn’t going to work, it’s vital for both parties to face up to the fact at this early stage. A failure will be costly for both the embassy and the couple. But in most cases, any residual concerns can be addressed successfully.
For a free consultation with one of our relocation experts use this contact form or call +44 20 7590 2700 Let’s get the conversation started!