06 Jun Mimoun relocation agency, tailor-made services and social networks
Penelope Olij-Perez, Co-founder of Mimoun relocation agency, believes what truly differentiates an excellent relocation expert from simply a good one, is the ability to take care of the client after the moving process itself is finished. Thanks to her extended social network, she helps clients to feel at home by connecting family members to local organisations, community centres and support groups. Whether you’d like to join a group of Hatha yoga souls, evening city runners or dog walkers she will introduce you to the right people.
When and why did you decide to set up a relocation business?
I set up my business in 2015. My natural call has always been to help and guide people. This, in combination with the fact that naturally people have always been approaching me to help them (because of my international network) and asking me for advice pushed me to set up Mimoun.
I have moved with my family many times, we have lived in different parts of Spain, different parts of Barcelona and many countries. My kids have been through many school systems (private, “concertada”, public, international). During our changes I have always been longing for someone who I could trust, ask for advice and information, someone that could hold my hand during the challenging process of moving and adapting. I became (and am) that person for others.
What did you do before coming to Spain?
We have lived in Amsterdam, Cape Town and Geneva, where I have always been at the helm of relocations, surrounded by family with offices in real estate. I have also represented a couple of fashion models world wide.
What differentiates Mimoun from other relocation companies?
We speak from experience and from our heart. We are sincerely interested in peoples needs and we are careful listeners. We think in solutions and tackling problems. “We have been there, we have done it”, we KNOW what you are going through when things are completely new for you. We hold you hand during and after the process of moving.
You offer your clients a tailor-made service. What does that mean exactly?
The client is King. We are flexible in adapting to any “relocation need”. No standard packs; we adjust to the clients needs. Each client is treated individually. Older couples may seek a calm place on a beach to spend their retirement while families with little children want to find a suitable school and integrate with the local community. Exchange students may want to take advantage of the cultural life of the city and will have different priorities than high class professionals who plan to make investments. For me there’s no standard package of relocation services; I adjust my guidance and support to each individual client.
You collaborate with other companies. How does that work?
We work with other companies who share our philosophy of offering an excellent service. We collaborate with other real estate agencies when we need a certain product for a client, that we do not have ourselves. And visa versa, they recommend us to their clients in need of more services then just finding a home. We also collaborate with schools and child care services and we can connect our clients with the best professionals in their fields, according to their needs: doctors, lawyers, insurance agents, interior designers and language teachers.
What are the most common concerns for families when relocating to Barcelona?
Which school to chose for their children and which neighbourhood to live in.
Which parts of Barcelona would you recommend for families relocating with children?
That really depends on each client and how old their children are but the most popular areas within Barcelona are Sarria, Barceloneta and Eixample. Outside of the city, Castelldefels Playa, Gava Mar, Sitges (Garraf), Sant Pere de Ribes and Puigmolto are all popular.
What do towns outside of the city have to offer families?
These towns have so much to offer, including community life and support, outdoor life for all which means healthy living, beach, waters ports and a proximity to nature. They are also located near the airport which is a consideration for many clients.
You have chosen to make Sitges, a coastal town south-west of Barcelona, your home. Why did you choose that part of Catalonia?
We love living in Sitges being close to nature and have found The Olive Tree School to be perfectly suited to our family.
What are your 3 favourite things about living in Sitges?
It’s a small town with a soul.
My connections with the people/locals.
Variety of the availability of good products (I love healthy, organic cooking…)