Last time, we discussed when the idea first sprouted of moving to Spain. This time, we move forward a little to the research phase of your exciting journey…
Stage 2: Researching your potential move to Spain
Because you are extremely diligent and enthusiastic, you decide to do some research before you jump on the plane and become the next success story in Expatshire. That’s great – you really can’t research enough! But… slow down a minute there Mr & Mrs Happy – have a little think before you start emailing the world and his brother.
Use the search engines to get as much information as you can before dropping over your one hundred and twenty questions. We appreciate that you want help from the experts straight away… but you can do a little more that will help them to help you. Most of the websites you’ll find will have a “Frequently Asked Questions” section – use those first before sending the same questions over to these people. Start taking notes… keep a folder full of useful websites, friendly forums (yes, we know that’s an oxymoron too) and Facebook of course.
The kind of questions you should be asking
There aren’t many relocation specialists who can mindread too – so remember to keep those questions as specific as possible. Hey, not everyone can gaze into a crystal ball and try to work out what’s going on in that excited head of yours. It’s your dream… so we know that you are bouncing off the walls, but help us out a little here. Oh and really… please don’t phone / text at 3am after you’ve had a few glasses of ale – these people may live in that holiday resort you’ve just visited in Spain, but that doesn’t mean they party until dawn every night like you did.
Example questions to avoid, or to rephrase with much more detail.
- How do I move to Spain?
- Will I like it?
- How much does it cost to live in Spain?
- What’s it like to live in Spain?
- What work can I do?
Of course most of those questions sound pretty innocent. But remember – we don’t know you… we don’t know your circumstances… so we can’t answer those questions easily.
Oh Dear Lord… really?!
There are some occasions where we have received enquiries from people and we seriously worry about their state of mind. Moving house can be stressful as it is… let along going to another country where they speak a different language. We have lost count of the amount of enquiries we receive from people with no money, no prospects, and who think that they can just up sticks to a different country whilst the government pays for the privilege. Many of these have children – and whilst Spain is a terrific place to bring up kids… it is still a major upheaval for your young ones. So why consider it with no backup plan? We politely suggest that these people stay where they are… start saving their money… and learning the language before considering upping roots.
I’m a single mum with a toddler and one on the way – will I still be able to get my benefits?
The relocation experts are answering your questions, and are a Godsend to you as you research your move… they are in the perfect position to help you settle into your new home, and know all the right people in the areas that you are researching. So perhaps think before you type… and very wary of being blunt about them, or anyone else that may be able to support you. With this in mind… be polite! Don’t slate people, or point out their (usually wrongly perceived) failings.
I’m an entertainer. I was in Lanzarote last week and the ones you have are all ****. Got any Agency details?
So… yes you should absolutely do your research – but think before you hit that “Send” button. Remember that the people you are contacting have lives too – so if you can make things a little easier for them by providing more background information, and by showing some manners… you will find that they are much more willing to help you.