Concierge Service Q&A

Several of our clients split their time between the UK and overseas, which can offer a great lifestyle, but does come with logistical challenges.

I recently met with Clare from Victoria James Concierge who supports her clients with any or all of their requirements. Not only was it wonderful to find a company who can undoubtedly support some of my clients with their property needs and beyond, it was an absolute pleasure to meet someone so positive, capable and such a pleasure to spend time with.

Clare gives us an insight into what she does:

The majority of our clients are private families. They are busy people, so they value having a trusted contact who can take care of their family’s property, social and logistical needs. Quite a few of our clients spend a lot of time overseas so they need help organising activities for their stay in the UK. And of course, attention to detail is critical to all of our clients.

We cover lifestyle management, private PA services, property management and event planning. We work closely with clients to build a trusted relationship so they know they can rely on us to manage aspects of their lives that take up valuable time. We’re always there when needed, not in the forefront but in the background, supporting every detail.  

Some of our clients live abroad with children at school in the UK, so we support the children with shopping and travel.

We offer a very personal service and become part of the household staff, working with housekeepers, gardeners, drivers etc. Continuity and consistency of service is important. We know our clients’ likes and dislikes and we’re always on hand. We go above and beyond every time because we make a difference and know it’s appreciated.

Clients of ours were about to move home. However, lockdown was looming so they jumped on a plane to the US and asked us to manage their house move, which was the following week. They were living in an 8 bedroom house and hadn’t yet packed, so we arranged for their belongings and furniture to be packed and moved into storage, then for the house to be cleaned. It was an interesting challenge but the suppliers we worked with were carefully chosen and did a fantastic job.

We’ve also managed simultaneous moves for a family who were living across 2 properties and moving into 2 new properties, on the same day. On the Monday morning they packed a bag and we sent them off to a hotel for a week, which we’d booked for them. We then emptied both properties, moved everything into the new properties, took delivery of new furniture and liaised with interior designers to prepare the new homes. Our clients moved into their new homes 4 days later on the Friday. Their belongings were unpacked, the fridges full, fresh flowers displayed and utilities turned on. They were able to walk in and continue with their lives without worrying about logistics.

During the summer we organise a lot of activities around Henley Regatta and Ascot week. We arrange stylists to coordinate outfits, drivers for the return journey. We’ve even helped care for a client’s mother while she was in hospital.

We’re already working on Cheltenham 2024 for clients. Every day is different for us!

In a previous role, I relocated a family from Ireland and then became their ‘go-to’ person for all sorts of things while they were settling in, because I had the right connections. That family suggested I did this for a living which sparked the idea to set up a concierge service.

In the past I’ve worked in Property Management for Hamptons, organised Horse of the Year show in Wembley and then moved the show to Birmingham and I’ve worked in events at several hotels and venues, so I have a strong background in organising and resourcing. I’ve always loved what I do, as have my clients so it made sense to focus on providing what is a much-needed service.

We predominantly work in London and the Home Counties, however we also have clients in the US and Hong Kong. We can work with clients who live anywhere, the common theme is a link to the UK where we can help them with our knowledge of local events and our supplier network.

We do both. All our packages are designed to meet our clients’ needs which is why we offer both. Some of our clients aren’t here all year so they don’t need us for months at a time, while they do need a lot of support while they are here. Other clients use us on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis.

I think it’s important to note that we don’t mark up invoices that we receive from suppliers, we work on the basis of honest, clear pricing. Trust is critical with our clients and we value the trust we’ve earned greatly. Likewise, we work with suppliers who will charge fairly, not based on the value of the property they’re going to.

We’re always on hand for our clients, literally 24/7. It’s a critical part of the service we offer given the time zones we work across, the variety of services we offer and the urgency that sometimes comes into play.

I love my clients. That sounds a bit cheesy, but I genuinely love working with my clients. Every day is different and we make people’s lives easier. We also make them happy, year after year as their families grow, move, travel, marry… and it’s wonderful to be a support them through the milestone events and even just everyday activities.

By phone or email, naturally we’re very responsive!

+44 (0)1344 317612

enquiries@victoriajamesconcierge.co.uk

www.victoriajamesconcierge.co.uk

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