SERENDIPITY


“the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”;
“the fact of finding interesting or valuable things by chance”;
“a fortunate happenstance or pleasant surprise”.


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Why SERENDIPITY?

My business used to be my hobby and came about through a series of “lucky” events - BUT I firmly believe we make our own luck! I do something that I really enjoy - I get to help people I like with the most important things in their lives – now how lucky is that??!!

However you found me, if we work together I am 100% certain one day you will look back and think you too have been touched by SERENDIPITY – I truly believe will look back and think: “we got lucky”!!

As a mum I know the most important things in people’s lives are generally:

  1. their children; and
  2. their home and happiness

I get enormous pleasure from seeing people achieve what they want – and in living their dreams – for themselves and their families – SERENDIPITY somehow brings luck and like-minded people together.


My story

I am the mother of 2 beautiful girls and set up my business in 2014 after a series of lucky coincidences, helping my overseas friends find schools for their children, and accommodation (short and long term) in the UK. I discovered that as well as enjoying it, I had lots of useful insight, information and contacts from my own experience – put simply: “been there and done that”.

After spending 13 years living and working overseas I returned to London in 2013 so my daughters could continue their schooling in London. I understand the challenges of moving children from country to country, choosing the most suitable school for them, and getting them (and the family) settled into their new environment – we first moved our girls from their Moscow schools to school in Sofia when they were 5 and 6 years of age. I also understand how daunting it is to understand and navigate the UK school system from overseas, having moved them again to their current London school aged 10 and 11. I appreciate how overwhelming and difficult this can seem for non-UK nationals (and also for returning UK expats) – and I know first-hand how to ease this process.

I am an experienced professional comfortable dealing with senior executives. I moved to Moscow in 2000 with my husband who is a Tax and Country Managing Partner with a “Big 4” Accounting Firm. I spent 3 years as the PA of a senior PwC UK Partner who was based full time in Moscow. Before this I was based in London and for 5 years was the PA to the Chief Financial Officer and latterly the Chairman of Uniq PLC (formerly Unigate PLC).

I have extensive experience in the London property market having rented out residential properties to London based professionals as a landlord for more than 15 years, and having built a very successful “buy-to-let” property portfolio in London in recent years.

I know how to get deals done – I managed to complete the purchase of our new family home in London in November 2014 within 3 weeks (from first viewing to moving in!) with a 10% discount against the asking price, in a very fast moving market – I will not pretend it wasn’t stressful – it was! Very!! But it does show what can be achieved.

I now enjoy life in London doing something I love – helping my clients find the best schools for their children and helping them navigate the London property market – finding the best solutions for them and their families – whether for their own short or long term residential needs, or for their longer term investment needs.

I have a simple philosophy – I want the best for my clients and I want them to be happy - if we work together somehow it will be because of a chance event – maybe a chance conversation with a friend or maybe some luck with your Google search  - BUT I am convinced that eventually you will look back on how lucky we have been to connect with each other – another example of SERENDIPITY.

How do I work?


(i) School search

  • Initial (no fee) consultation to understand your objectives and help you develop your thinking
  • When we are all agreed, I will provide you with a written “scope of work” to clearly document the objectives of the assignment – it is critical that we are clear on what outcome we are seeking
  • Typically I would then provide an initial report/presentation outlining the options available to you and my recommendations based on my understanding of your needs, including advice on pre-entrance exam study needs
  • A video/tele conference to discuss the report/presentation, get your feedback and discuss next steps
  • Assistance with defining shortlist & making applications
  • Help with logistics for interview and practical assistance with “settling in” issues

(ii) Property Search (rental or purchase)

  • Initial (no fee) consultation to understand your objectives and help you develop your thinking
  • When we are all agreed, I will provide you with a written “scope of work” to clearly document the objectives of the assignment – it is critical that we are clear on what outcome we are seeking
  • I will research the market making use of my existing contacts, visit properties that I believe may be suitable and present you with a report on properties I believe you may want to consider – the report will include a “pluses and minuses” commentary from me based on my understanding of your specific needs, and my extensive experience of the London property market. Example
  • A video/tele conference to discuss the report/presentation, get your feedback and discuss next steps
  • Depending on your circumstances and needs we will continue with this process until such time as you are able and willing to visit suitable properties in person
  • Once a suitable property (or properties) is chosen I will negotiate with the sales agent/vendor to secure you the best possible deal at the best possible price.
  • For purchases I will oversee the process through to exchange and completion, liaising with your legal advisors and the vendor throughout the process as needed.
  • If needed I am happy to provide support after you have secured your desired property – this could be in connection with major renovations or with simple but very important things like engaging energy and electricity suppliers, internet and TV providers etc.
  • My overall aim is to assist you through the process from start to finish, to save you time and to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Why use me?

Every assignment is personal for me – whether it’s for a school or for a property I treat it as if I am doing it for my own children or my own home/investment. I will only accept the best for my girls and my family, and I take that approach into serving my clients.

I take time to understand your needs – the key to providing an excellent service and to delivering you the maximum value is being very clear on what you need. I recognise that your time is valuable but I will invest as much time upfront in helping you define your needs as you can give me. I believe this up-front investment will pay back many times over in the long run – for both of us.

I am definitely NOT a “classical” or “standard” Education Search Agent or Property Sourcing Agent – because of my background spent overseas and in London, I provide a bespoke and holistic approach based on my clients’ needs. I do not run a mass market, volume business – my support is tailored to your needs and I work with a limited number of clients at any given time.

I typically start with a free of charge consultation to define your needs. If you are a little confused and still have questions about the UK education system or property market don’t worry – you are not alone! If you think you know exactly what you need I may (gently ) challenge your thinking. My aim is to ask you the right questions to get you to the best solution for you and your family.

I am selective - I will not work for clients unless I believe I can give them what they need. My core values are Honesty and Integrity. I look for similar values in my clients and if do not believe I can help a client I will turn down the assignment. If we agree to work together you can be certain that I will bring real value to you. I aim to establish long term relationships and am happiest working on the basis of referrals – I do not want unhappy clients so I simply do not take on clients unless I am sure I can deliver what they need.

My approach to client service is to perform any task to the same standard as I would for my best friend – in fact this is how I started my business – and this is why I will only work with a limited number of clients at any one time.

Typical ways in which I help my clients:


  • Advice on educational options for UK schooling (up to age 18)
  • Advice on pre-study and preparation for entrance examinations for UK schools (up to age 18)
  • Assistance with application process for entrance to UK schools (up to age 18)
  • Assistance with travel arrangements and logistics whilst in the UK for school or property searches and interviews
  • Advice on lifestyle options for maximising contact with the children if continuing to be based overseas
  • Assistance with accommodation and travel arrangements for school holiday visits to the UK
  • Advice on options for renting property in the UK
  • Property search for short to medium term property rental in the UK
  • Advice on options for purchasing property in the UK, including advice on the purchasing process
  • Property search for purchasing residential property in the UK
  • Property search for purchasing residential property in the UK for investment purposes
  • Advice on the “buy-to let” residential property market in the UK for investment purposes
  • Advice on the use of (and referrals to where needed) trusted professionals – surveyors, architects, builders etc
  • Advice on and assistance with setting up banking arrangements in the UK
  • Advice on and assistance with obtaining financing (mortgages) in the UK to purchase UK property
  • Advice and assistance in identifying suitable legal and/or UK tax advisors for any of the above
  • Practical assistance with dealing with utility (electricity, gas etc) and other service providers (telecoms, satellite tv, internet etc)
  • Project management services where purchased or leased properties are to be renovated/upgraded

My typical clients


  • Overseas professionals and business owners wishing to educate their children in the UK
  • Overseas professionals and business owners seeking short or long term residential property rentals or purchases in the UK
  • Overseas investors wishing to invest into UK residential property for investment purposes
  • UK based professionals and business owners wishing to purchase property in London for residential or investment purposes
  • Returning UK expats requiring assistance with UK education and residential property issues (letting or buying)

Fees

I do not have a fixed fee structure – every one of my clients has different needs and I structure my fees to accommodate those needs.

I like to meet potential clients either in person or via video/tele-conference to understand your objectives. I will invest as much time as you will give me at this stage to help you define your needs, and for me to understand how I might help you. This initial consultation is free of charge.

If we believe we can work together I will give you an initial indication of my fees during that meeting and will confirm in writing within 48 hours, clearly setting out what I can offer and what would be my fee structure.

I believe my fees are not easily comparable with other service providers, as the approach I take and the bespoke service I offer is somewhat unique. However, I believe for the value I bring to my clients my fees are highly competitive when compared to other providers in the market, including, for instance, for simple Property Search for UK residential property.

Case Study

Successful business owners in Sofia wanting to educate 13 year old child in UK

Initial advice on overview of UK education system – options available: co-education v single sex, boarding v day schools, curriculum followed (UK v IB etc), facilities offered, location and ease of logistics.

Advice on study areas for entrance examination

Assistance with logistics for visits

Advice on options for short term rental in London for regular visits

Property Search and successful negotiation of short term (1 year) apartment rental in London

Introduction to major UK bank and assistance at initial meeting and with application process to establish UK banking arrangements as a Premier Customer

Advice on and Property Search for purchase of residential property in London

Advice on and Property Search for Buy-to Let residential property investments in UK



CONTACTS



You can contact us by using the contact form or our phone number.





  Sofia, Bulgaria

  +359 2 123 456

  email@mail.com

 

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