Log In

Reset Password

Concierge service takes stress out of moving to Bermuda

First Prev 1 2 Next Last
Sylvia Jones founder of Corporate Concierge
The Corporate Concierge team: from left, Tara Burgess, Emily Sheere, Karen Plianthos and Sylvia Jones (Photograph supplied)

When Sylvia Jones first moved from London to Bermuda in 2005, she greatly underestimated the hassle of relocation.

Headed here to work as a temp for a year, she thought she would soon figure out all the challenges of moving to a new country, setting up communications, opening a bank account, finding a place to stay.

“After a couple of weeks I realised that it is actually massively confusing,” Ms Jones said. “The various different service providers do not communicate with each other. It is very hard to understand what paperwork you need and in what sequence you do it, until you actually show up at the premises, whether it is TCD or the bank, or an internet service provider.”

Once she figured it all out, she loved her new country, so much so that she is still here decades later, married with children.

In 2007 she formed Corporate Concierge, a company that helps people to relocate to and from Bermuda with less stress.

A large part of her business is answering questions big and small. One of the most common concerns is, will the newcomer be able to order from Amazon.com in Bermuda.

“I have to reassure them that we have all been living here for years, and we have everything we need,” she said. “There is a local retail presence.”

Sometimes when her clients arrive, she takes them on a walking tour of Hamilton to show them where they can get the things they need.

She also finds that families worry about how to get involved and integrated into the community. They want to know what activities are available for children.

But Ms Jones said people were always impressed by how beautiful and well taken care of Bermuda is.

“Bermuda is very well manicured,” she said. “That helps them to feel safer and more secure.”

But the lack of pavements and the ability to cycle on the roads is a big challenge for some people new to the island.

“We have to talk to them about the Railway Trail and the fact that they can go jogging on the beach,” she said.

Ms Jones set up Corporate Concierge 15 years ago intending it to be more of a traditional concierge service.

“In the early days I envisioned it as a concierge in the traditional sense — in support of companies in a corporate environment,” she said.

But the economic crash two years later forced her to reconfigure.

“I had a conversation with Sir John Swan around that time,” Ms Jones said. “I said, ‘I have just launched a company and now my client base has effectively evaporated. What do I do?’ He said the smart people in Bermuda plan whilst there is a downturn for when the market rebounds. It always will. I really took that on board and reassessed what I had to offer and who I wanted to work with.”

She noticed that despite the economic downturn, companies were still bringing in executives and moving them out, so she started offering relocation services.

Sir John was correct. The market did rebound, allowing Corporate Concierge to grow.

In 2014 Ms Jones opened Elevate, an executive search and recruitment company dedicated to finding the best talent available, both locally and internationally. The company founded by James Fitzsimons has offices around the world.

“We have grown since then, where there are some clients who are both Corporate Concierge and Elevate clients,” Ms Jones said. “And there are clients that are mutually exclusive to either one. It depends on the need. It is James’s team that runs the executive search.”

Sir John Swan’s words came back to her again when the pandemic hit last year.

“Again we were in a situation where, in a more extreme case, travel to and from the island physically could not happen,” she said. “Companies and clients were completely placing any movement on hold, but I kept the faith.”

And 2021 has more than made up for all the quiet periods last year. She has had to increase staffing levels at Corporate Concierge on Victoria Street, to deal with the increased number of people moving to Bermuda, mostly in the insurance realm.

Last year they created a web portal to share some of the information they have about moving to Bermuda.

“It can be used as a resource in and of itself for someone who is independent who wants to do their own relocation, like a digital nomad,” she said. “We also use it to complement our one-to-one relocation support.”


You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published December 08, 2021 at 7:45 am (Updated December 08, 2021 at 7:44 am)

Concierge service takes stress out of moving to Bermuda

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon