Interlink is organizing its relocation services under a new name.Carter Witt speaks with Japan Mobility’s Mario Long
If you’ve lived in Nagoya for any amount of time you are probably familiar with Interlink, the real estate and relocation company founded by Chris Zarodkiewicz – a well known American entrepreneur in Japan who runs Shooters, Ceazars Kitchen and several other enterprises.
As the number of foreign companies doing business in Japan, and especially Nagoya has expanded, so has the need for Interlink to grow and diversify to meet the needs of its increasing list of clients.
One such expansion is the Japanhomefinder.com website which Interlink is using to help customers find housing for their employees. The site has extensive property listings across Japan.
Meanwhile Interlink is continuing their established relocation business under the name Japan Mobility which provides services throughout Japan.
But what exactly are “relocation services”? Well Japan Mobility specializes in assisting people with their move to Japan from abroad. They help clients find a new place to live and familiarize them with their new country and city.
In fact Japan Mobility does a lot of things that help their clients adjust to life abroad. Everything from picking them up at the airport to finding a school, leasing furniture and dealing with visa and immigration issues.
But the work they do doesn’t end once their customers have relocated. They continue serving them with a 24 hour help line, a settling in program, cross cultural training and even help obtaining a Japanese driver’s license.
In fact, they even assist with your departure once it is time to leave Japan.
I recently sat down with Mario Long who runs Japan Mobility to ask about the company and their services.
What kinds of difficulties do newly relocated residents to Nagoya encounter?
Many of our customers have never lived in Japan before. These days, everyone around the world is familiar with sushi and ramen, and know to take their shoes off when entering a house in Japan. However newly-arrived expats don’t know how to carryout everyday tasks like the best place to get groceries for dinner or how to get their internet up and running so that they can Skype at home.
Additionally it can be difficult for newly-relocated foreigners to connect to local expat communities. This is especially true for people that don’t speak Japanese or English. If you can’t read Japanese, a letter in the mail from the water company looks like a coded message.
Also, families that relocate with children have a lot of unfamiliar responsibilities to take care of, with their kids adjusting to a place that is completely different from their previous home.
How does Japan Mobility assist with this?
We provide a comprehensive welcome pack to all of our incoming customers with everything from a customized map of the area around their new home to detailed directions on how to separate and dispose of trash.
What about the spouses of those who are relocated?
Many of the services that we provide and events that we sponsor are catered to spouses. We find that they often receive information about their expatriation and repatriation secondhand from their husband or wife. Sometimes this can cause miscommunication, frustration and anxiety. We try our best to mitigate this in our work.
We involve the spouse in the process from the very beginning and try to directly listen to their needs as well.
A significant number of these international assignments end abruptly because the spouse just isn’t enjoying his or her new life abroad. We try our best to support the entire family throughout their stay in Japan in order to prevent this kind of situation.
Mobility is a buzz word in the relocation industry. What does it mean in this context?
In this industry you hear this word a lot. “Workforce mobility”, “Global mobility”, etc. These terms are all used to describe the wide range of services that are related to transferring a person from one location to another, usually for work.
As more companies expand globally there is an increasing trend of workforce teams that are comprised of members from foreign countries or remote regions. Most often, these employees are needed to fill a skills gap or provide experienced leadership to a project team.
The hope is that they will complete the international assignment and return home to share new insights gained while here in Japan. For many it can mean a promotion when they return.
Some readers may be interested in a career working for a relocation company. What kinds of skills are required to achieve a position?
Relocation consultants need to have the following skills:
• They need to be service-oriented and driven to exceed customers’ expectations.
• It is very important that a consultant is an expert in his or her field and knows the city that our clients will be moving to.
• Anyone interested in this type of position needs to have a keen eye for detail, providing accurate and timely information to our clients.
• Ability to work as part of a team. We are looking for people who can work with a diverse team comprised of a wide range of ages and nationalities. Our Relocation Consultants need to understand and respect cultural differences. They need to be reliable and they can’t be afraid to ask others for help.
How can someone apply to work for Japan Mobility?
We occasionally runs ads on recruiting sites in like Gaijinpot. If you are interested in a job with us I recommend that you make a profile and apply that way.
We often review previous applicants when we a have an opening, so it’s easier to manage the applicant database through those recruiting sites than having people email us directly.