Moving is stressful, to say the least. A national move, let alone an international move, can be one of the most taxing times in a person’s life. Just ask Stephanie Ralainarivo, the General Director for Santa Fe Relocation Services Vietnam (based in HCMC).
Ralainarivo has made moving her business, and she’s gotten good at understanding exactly what makes the process such a pain.
Stephanie Ralainarivo, General Director of Santa Fe Relocation Services Vietnam
For starters? Schooling. When families move, this is always the most important, and often the hardest problem to solve. “Depending on what academic environment a family is coming from, it is not always easy to find a matching curriculum,” she told us.
And then there are the matter-of-fact problems. How about the tax laws that are vastly different from the ones you grew reluctantly to know, or the changes in weather and climate? Or even just the fact that your kitchen appliances won’t work in the outlets found on another continent?
These are factors that people often don’t consider amongst the myriad stresses that accompany relocation.
Lending a Helping Hand
With a world that’s becoming increasingly globalised, moving to another country is becoming more and more normal and, in some industries, almost expected.
Santa Fe Relocation Services has one singular mission: to handle, minimise and eliminate the stress of moving. Oftentimes, Ralainarivo told us, the biggest stress isn’t the adjustment to a new culture or even a new language barrier – it’s the emotional ties that are pulled when a family leaves a comfortable home.
“It’s the emotional part [of moving] that makes it more intense than just the physical part by itself,” she acknowledged. “A family knows they have to move, but they worry about everything. There are so many unknowns. So we just take care of it. We take care of the emotional part. That makes a big difference.”
Moving countries without the hassle of organising paperwork and with a team of professionals to mitigate the emotional pitfalls? Sounds almost too good to be true. But that’s where Santa Fe’s years of experience come into play.
First of all, there’s the actual moving. Don’t worry about the usual city-wide search for cardboard boxes: a team of Santa Fe movers will come and help pack, ship and track all of a family’s valuables.
But Santa Fe’s services don’t end when a family’s things arrive to port. A team will be at the dock to help and, ultimately, to unload each box in a resident’s new home.
And when the Santa Fe team sets up a home, they don’t just drop off the boxes and leave when the van is empty. As Christine Byrne, the Head of Admissions at ISHCMC and long-time customer of Santa Fe Relocation Services, recalled, “They did everything for me. I was literally sitting in the corner – I didn’t have anything to do! They even set up my electronics and hung the pictures on the walls.” This story isn’t singular: Santa Fe’s many in-house supervisors and vast moving crew are experienced, qualified and adept at giving every new resident peace of mind.
When friends came over later that night to celebrate the move with champagne, Byrne remembers looking around her new home. “Everything was done by six o’clock. I was completely moved in – I had never seen anything like it!”
As everybody knows, moving is much more than trading spaces. Moving is all about feeling comfortable in a new environment. So Santa Fe is always available for any question. This help might be as small as pointing out a store that sells Vegemite to as big as helping with the home search or work permits. But most important for Stephanie Ralainarivo? Making sure each family and individual feels happy, safe and healthy in their new home country.
Ralainarivo recalls one particular incident that drove home just how stressful international relocation can be. “A family who had just moved had young children and had only been in Vietnam for a month. One night they called one of our consultants at 11 p.m. saying that their child was sick and they couldn’t call a hospital – none of the hospital numbers we had given them were working! So the consultant drove to the house, calmed them down, and realised that they had been dialling the numbers wrong. Everything turned out fine. That’s the sort of commitment we have to our customers.”
With offices in 47 countries and counting, Santa Fe Relocation Services has made moving into an art.