Adventure and opportunity – this is what a relocation to a new country often means to many expats. They are eager to discover what kind of cookie this experience will be. The biggest adventure for the majority is housing – some of them picture their new house on the water side with a daily running session in the Vondelpark; others just want to leave their established housing set up and try out something completely different.
Besides the actual housing type and location, another adventure is how to find their dream accommodation. At PIRGROUP, we understand this and through the years we have been innovating classic relocation services by offering all kinds of flavours, so that there is always something suitable for everyone.
Understanding and foreseeing changes in the needs of an international professional anno 2021, we have created tailor made solutions not only for classic, regular face-to-face home searches, but have developed a high-quality virtual home search program, pioneering as of 2016, when the online home finding experience was still in diapers. The current COVID-19 developments combined with our fundamental knowledge about the online approach, gave us opportunity to fully master the virtual home searches!
A virtual home search, in its essence, is based on some fundamental stones. To kick off the search, our team usually assesses needs and requirements, explains the local housing market and delivers a market scan (a list of available properties within the budget, matching the criteria of the international professional as much as possible).
After the market scan and when the favourites are chosen, we arrange viewings. This is always in cooperation with a reliable realtor and our own consultants. To ensure that someone is not tricked by the brightening and enlarging filters, fish-eye lenses and to avoid disappointment after move-in only to discover that a bunch of constructor workers are playing the radio all day long next to their accommodation, the goal of the virtual tour is to make the process as objective, transparent and pleasant as possible. Therefore, not only a recording of the property is made by our consultants but if there is a wish for a live-session, the consultant just connects through a live call through Teams or WhatsApp – thank you, digital era!
This type of home search, with a strong focus on online experience, can be a solution when there is urgency for permanent housing right upon arrival. For instance, when there is no opportunity to stay in a temporary accommodation. Or when parents want to achieve less hassle and less stress for the children to have only one move instead of two, it is preferred to move directly into a permanent accommodation. In this case, the virtual home search is the right fit. The benefits for the international professional here are time and cost saving. Now that we deal with the pandemic, other major benefits are less health risks and that the self-isolation period does not impact the timeline as there are no viewings face-to-face.
To conclude, same dish (the home finding), different recipe (virtual versus offline). With the ingredients of complete information, transparency, and individual approach, we have reached a holistic service. In this way, the international professional is prepared for maybe one of the biggest steps in their life.
By Renata Abdullaeva, Team Lead and Senior Relocation & Immigration Consultant at PIRGROUP The Netherlands.