So, you’ve planned your big career move to a new country and are excited about it. But, how are you going to manage to move to a foreign land, rent accommodation, make new friends, and be successful at your job?
Well.. I aim that through this article you will have your accommodation worries covered, and the rest you will figure out when you arrive in this awesome, vibrant cosmopolitan city.
Security should be a top priority – especially for foreigners visiting a new country
The key to finding a safe and convenient place to stay is to follow a simple step by step approach and ensure you check off the essentials security must haves, and book your accommodation only after the B & B, Guest House or Service Apartment meets those requirements. In order to do this, I have formulated a simple security-check-list which will help you with your choice.
Check-list before booking your apartment
• First and foremost – Check the Organic search rankings, especially local search terms:
When searching for accommodation, look at searching on a few matching keywords and look out for the properties that have good presence on the first few pages for the keywords that you are interested in (good organic search rankings show that the company is a trusted one), make sure you know the difference between paid ads and organic listings (paid ads usually start at the top of a search page and are bunched together and are a different colour from the organic results)
• Quality and relevance of the Hotel’s Website:
A well structured good website is a positive sign, as it shows that there is an active effort from the company, whereas a shabby or outdated one shows that the company is not very professional and this is likely to reflect in their Hotel or Service Apartments as well. Look for the freshness of content, up to date and relevant content is usually reflective of the establishment.
• Play close attention to traveller reviews:
After short listing a few properties, search for them on various travel portals and you should be able to locate reviews for each property. Trusted sites such as Booking.com and Tripadvisor etc are very careful about review veracity and can provide candid information through their user’s experiences.
Tip – Look at the management responses to their reviews, especially the negative ones. A respectful and objective response is a good sign of a professional management and one that pays attention to the needs of their guests
• Ensure the legitimacy of the establishment
Awards and Certifications from Travel/local tourism bodies are also very important, due to the vast number of new Service Apartments and Guest Houses coming up,it becomes very important to identify the legitimate ones.
• Must have Physical and Electronic safety features in your Apartment:
– The property must have 24/7 CCTV cameras connected to a central network -this feature ensures that the management/ owner has an eye on the proceedings and also acts as a deterrent against any wrong doing
– Round the clock Security guards should be present on the property- preferably English speaking and from a certified security agency
– The property must have an electronic safe where you can store your valuables
– The hotel must have a concierge to assist you with your requirements, further the phone number of the owner or manager should be available as well
– If you are using a taxi ensure that it is GPS enabled and the driver is registered with the hotel
Even if you are using a real estate agent to help you in your search, ensure that he follows the above guidelines as well. I am sure that these tips should enable you to find a safe, hospitable place to stay at, the next time you visit a foreign country.