Relocating – How Your Relocations Consultant Will Make Your Move Easier
Relocating your family and belongings from the United Kingdom to a new home in Australia is a big decision to make. It will definitely come with an element of stress, but at the same time excitement and anticipation of living in a new country.
In addition to engaging international removalists to pack, transfer and unpack your furniture and other belongings there are many other areas that you need to plan before you leave the UK.
When undertaking personal or corporate relocations a relocating family generally has three major areas of concern:
• Where will we live?
• Where will our children go to school?
• Where are all the facilities needed to carry on our new lifestyle?
The following is an example of a young couple with 3 children aged between 9 and 13 and how they successfully moved to Sydney. In choosing removalists they looked at a complete package of services that included the physical move of their belongings and expert assistance from a relocations consultant with over 12 years experience in helping families settle in to their new life.
Having been assigned a dedicated consultant the first step for the consultant was to understand the family’s needs. By completing a formal Relocation Questionnaire, a number of details emerged particularly in relation to the home and school search. The questionnaire is an extremely important initial communication as not only does it help answer some of the family’s questions; it also poses others that may not have been considered. Whilst the questionnaire is a practical guide, the consultant needed to understand all the emotive issues that may have been troubling the family. Developing a good relationship between the consultant and the family is a key factor for success.
In assessing the family’s knowledge of Sydney the first question asked was “have you been to Sydney before?” – “of course, on holidays” was the response. The consultant then made certain that the couple understood that being a tourist is one thing, but living as a resident is very much different. The goal was to set expectations of what life will be like in Sydney, make positive suggestions and offer alternatives to some preconceived thoughts. There was a desire to live in the Eastern Suburbs.
The first area that the consultant looked into was schools and education. This work was all completed prior to the family leaving the UK.
Both Public and Private schooling was discussed especially in relation to the possibility of Public schooling in the children’s Primary years and the need to fit into the correct school zoning. The family wanted to have their children educated at the International Baccalaureate. The consultant researched this specialist area of education thoroughly and found that in Sydney, this is offered on 3 different levels:
• Primary Years Programme – Ages 3-12
• Middle Years Programme – Ages 11-16
• Diploma Years Programme – Ages 16-19
The options for this are not widespread as each programme is offered by different schools and often times there is no continuity linking the programmes. For example:
• There are only 3 schools that offer the Primary Programme - St Pauls Grammar Cranebrook (Christian – Co-Educational), Cranbrook – Bellevue Hill – Boys (no higher level offered), The Kings School – Parramatta – Boys (no higher level offered)
• There are 2 schools that offer Middle Years Programme - Monte Sant Angelo, North Sydney Girls school, St Paul’s Grammar Cranebrook – (Christian Co-Ed)
• There are 13 schools offering Diploma Programme –
Cranbrook (Boys), Rose Bay, Kambala (Girls) Vaucluse.
Inner West Suburbs
MLC Sydney (Girls) Burwood, Newington (Boys) Stanmore, Trinity Grammar (Boys) Summer Hill.
St Pauls Grammar (Christian Co-Ed) Cranebrook, City – St Andrews Cathedral School – Co Ed Yrs 10-12.
Lower North Shore
Queenwood (Girls) Mosman, SCEGGS Redlands (Co-Ed) Cremorne, Monte Sant Angelo (Girls) Nth Sydney.
Upper North Shore
Ravenswood (Girls) Gordon, Barker (Co-Ed) Hornsby.
The consultant passed through the website links so that the family could evaluate each of the schools and options available to them, including enrolment details and fees payable. All this is prior to their relocation from the UK.
Once this discussion had taken place the consultant then called the relevant schools enquiring as to places available and set up appointment times for when the family arrived in Sydney.
Home Search Program
Choosing the right suburb in a new city takes considerable thought and planning. For this family, they wanted to live in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The consultant took an objective view to this to determine why this particular area. Do they have friends who live there? Is it an area they are familiar with? Has someone else recommended this as a perfect location?
The reality is that where you decide to live is a combination of a number of important factors. For example, how easy is it for the children to get to school? How close to work is it? What are the transport links like to get to work? What sporting facilities are available? Do they intend to rent or buy in the area?
The consultant encouraged them to understand all the factors before they left the UK to make an informed decision. At the same time the family received links to various real estate sites so they began to get an understanding of rental and purchase values of properties. The result was that any properties of particular interest were setup for a drive by or inspection before their arrival. This initial research time not only saved time initially, but also got things moving upon arrival to hasten the settling in process.
At the same time, the consultant had developed a portfolio of utility services including website addresses and telephone numbers ready for when they moved into their new home. Also in the profile was a list of social activities, clubs, parks and beaches that the family had expressed an interest in. Along with shopping centres, these facilities were placed on the “visit” list in the first few days of arrival to help them quickly familiarise themselves with their new home location.