Mr Fan Hao Rui jumped at a job assignment in Australia for a "more chill and quiet environment" for his family but first he had to overcome numerous challenges of the big move from Singapore.
"The amount of preparation, planning and paperwork ... It can get overwhelming and stressful," says the software developer.
Mr Fan wished he had engaged the help of a professional relocation company sooner, especially for the family's pet pooch.
"I did not expect a long waiting time before my pet could join me due to the long wait required for Australia's quarantine space," Mr Fan says.
He chose relocation company Moovaz as it was the most responsive, had the shortest turnaround time and the most competitive pricing for the move to Melbourne in September.
"I chose Moovaz because I found their services convenient to my needs, as well as having a customer service personnel to help me with my questions when I needed it," says the 35-year-old.
The customer service personnel are part of Moovaz's ReloBuddy team of frontliners who help clients like Mr Fan make their move overseas less stressful.
"Our ReloBuddies help to guide and advise on the cumbersome process using a needs-based approach," according to Moovaz's founder and chief executive Vishnu Vasudeven.
The team is trained to be customer-centric.
"There were times we would actually advise clients not to ship the items and find alternatives for them to save on costs, even if it means they are not taking up our services," Mr Vasudeven adds.
The latter was true in the case of Mr Fan's family dog as Moovaz itself does not provide services for pet relocation. The ReloBuddy team instead referred Mr Fan to another company.
"They even gave me information and spent a lot of time guiding me through what to expect for my pet's move when it wasn't their core service," Mr Fan says.
Easier, cheaper move to Australia
Professional relocation advice is valuable for people moving to Australia as the country has some of the world's strictest customs regulations to protect its ecosystem and biosecurity.
"Food, plants and animal materials, in particular, are highly-controlled," says Mr Vasudeven.
Other items you would not even anticipate are also restricted, such as novelty erasers that resemble food in scent or appearance, and all wooden, bamboo and related objects must be cleared, according to the relocation expert.
It is increasingly common for people to make their own arrangements for relocation to Australia but doing it DIY-style will pile on the stress and may even cost them more eventually as they face multiple touchpoints and not know what to look out for, says Mr Vasudeven.
"Custom paperwork needs to be done properly to avoid paying for taxes and duties, packing not done to international standard may also mean cargo insurance may not cover any damage sustained in transit," he explains.
Moovaz's ReloBuddy helped Mr Fan navigate all the restrictions, administration and heaps of paperwork.
"The ReloBuddy was very helpful and hands on, with her giving me information which I may not even be aware of, and even providing some friendly tips on settling in," says Mr Fan who relied on Moovaz to move his household goods including a sofa, kitchenware, clothes, and a bed frame.
Professional advice and moving service are needed more than ever now as the global relocation landscape has changed with the Covid-19 pandemic, adds Mr Vasudeven.
With the opening of borders, Moovaz has been receiving more enquiries about moving to Australia.
Best time to go Down Under
"The best time to move is during Australia's summer time," says Mr Vasudeven, referring to the months of December through February.
"Not only is it the best time to indulge in beautiful hikes and take a dive to explore the Great Barrier Reef, it is also when job market movements increase and present the opportunities for people to seek something new," he adds.
Even before the continent welcomes summer this year, its job market has already improved.
The number of employed people increased by 5.4 per cent in September compared to the same time last year, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The central bank in its economic outlook delivered on Nov 9 sees a strong demand for labour tempered by a modest increase in unemployment as the economy slows, but stresses the jobless figure will still be close to its "lowest level in decades".
With a job already in hand, Mr Fan and his family are settling into their new life in Melbourne, thanks to an easier-than-expected relocation a month ago.
Moovaz, he says, made the whole process easier.
"I especially appreciated their customer support to help me connect with the right service and help provide me with what I exactly needed," he says.
For the professional relocation company, the work continues, especially to incorporate modern technology with traditional industry practices.
"We are still at the early stages of our shift from our platform services, but we are in the works of making the whole journey easier and stress-free in the coming months and years, like having a system where our clients can easily track their shipment, our service scope and many more exciting things," Mr Vasudeven says.
Relocating to Australia? Let Moovaz help you with your move here.