Haruka brings with her solid experience of the international property market where she started outin 2011 working as an Administrator in a Japanese asset management company. Moving on to the investment division of a leading realtor in 2015, she became involved in the acquisition and management of high-value properties, concentrating on increasing their value before resale. Haruka also worked as a brokerage project manager before joining Benham and Reeves where she joins the Japan Desk team. A keen cook who loves the outdoor life, Haruka keeps fit by playing tennis.
Anna previously worked in the sales department of a Japanese advertising company where she learned about building strong customer relations through effective communication skills. Well organised and motivated, Anna enjoys the challenges of working in a cross-cultural environment which includes liaison with landlords based in the UK, Japan and various overseas countries. Anna greatly values the strong team ethic of the Japan Desk and looks forward to maintaining the high level of customer service that Japanese corporate tenants routinely expect. Passionate about food and travel, Anna also likes to read and practise yoga.
Enquiry levels from Japanese professionals are increasing now as growing numbers plan their move to the UK in 2022. This will continue as we move towards April – traditionally our busiest time of year. We are seeing greater confidence compared to last year which got off to a slow start because of the lockdown.
Many professionals are planning to move to London in the next couple of months so we are working very closely with them to establish their requirements so we can find them the right property in the right location. We need to plan ahead before they reach the UK as the rental market in London is competitive and demand is high, so applicants must move quickly. With the current shortages of rental stock, support in finding and securing the right property is more important than ever.
Some know London already but for many, this is their first visit so accurate advice is essential. Applicants may need to be near their children’s school while others can be more flexible but perhaps wish to be near areas where there are other Japanese expats or facilities such as Japanese supermarkets. Of course, budget, the size and type of property, parking and proximity to the nearest tube or overground station are important too.
As we mentioned earlier, ideally, we will have prepared a short-list of properties before our clients arrive in London but this is increasingly difficult as properties tend to be snapped up quickly and may not still be available when they get here, so we often have to refresh our listings with new instructions. Most (99%) applicants prefer to view a property in person rather than via a video tour. We do advise this as it helps avoid any misunderstandings about the property or the location and ensures the property is right.
Property shortages are making it difficult for Japanese professionals moving to London but this makes our role even more important, advising applicants throughout the search for a home and giving them the benefit of our local knowledge.
Unlike many other companies, our Japan desk has many unique advantages:
We provide a dedicated account manager throughout the whole process to act as the main contact, handling any issues or questions that arise.
Before the employee arrives, we will discuss both the company and the employee’s needs to establish priorities in terms of
so that you can be confident your new rental home meets all your requirements.
We will research all suitable properties within the specified budget, offering advice on areas which we believe will meet your needs and be conveniently located for your job, with good transport links. Once you have approved the properties you wish to view, we will take you take you around to view all the properties including pointing out where the local amenities, such as shops, gyms and of course where the local transport is.
Once a property has been selected we will negotiate the best terms complying with any specific requirements made by the company.
And once the offer is agreed, we will draw up the tenancy agreement (using the company’s agreement where one has been previously approved), register the deposit with an approved scheme (where tenancy is in employee’s name) and complete other essential documentation to ensure that both company and employee are fully protected under UK law.
When you move into your new home, we provide assistance from attending the inventory check-in (if required) to supplying relevant information about the property such as instructions for appliances and support setting up accounts with council tax, gas, electricity and other service providers.
Most companies insist employees rent a professionally managed property as this means repairs or maintenance issues are handled quickly. Over 65% of the properties we let are managed by us so employee and company can rest assured that the property will be well-maintained and hassle-free.
Your dedicated account manager will be on hand during the tenancy to assist with any issues or questions that arise.
Many of our corporate tenants are so happy in their rental home that they choose to renew their tenancy at the end of their tenancy agreement. If so, we will handle any negotiation with the landlord and the completion of a new tenancy agreement on the company’s or employee’s behalf. If a new property is required, then we will research suitable properties in the chosen location and ensure that they meet the employee’s criteria to avoid time wasting or the need for additional searches.
At the end of the tenancy, we will assist both employee and company with the end of tenancy procedure, including recommending reliable and reasonably priced cleaners and attending the inventory check-out (if required).
Once the tenancy has ended and the inventory check-out has been completed, we will liase with the landlord to ensure deductions are reasonable and push for a speedy return of the deposit.
We offer a number of additional services for HR departments including
And of course we are always available to offer professional advice and assistance - we view our relationships with companies as long term and as such are always available to help where required.
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