All Posts By

Louise Owens


Relocating talent to the UK in 2018?

By | Relocation Insights | No Comments

We relocate talent all over the UK, and in our opinion it is one of the greatest and most diverse places to live and work in the world, although this opinion might seem a bit bias as our head office is based here!

There is so much to see and explore and no relocation company knows it quite like we do, so who else would you choose to help relocate your most valuable assets?

CLR have been moving people from all over the world to the UK for years and we’re passionate about what we do. We work as an extension of your HR team supporting you and your assignee every step of the way.

But what about the children?

Relocating children can be difficult, so it’s important to get them settled in to a new school as soon as possible. Now, it’s likely that the schooling system in the UK is different to what you’re used to, and this can throw a bit of a spanner in the works, never fear, CLR are here to help! Our consultants know the UK schooling system like the backs of their hands, as well as the Heads of School in most of the schools, colleges and universities in the UK, so you’ll have insider knowledge of the most suitable place for your children, meaning everyone can get settled as soon as they arrive.

Let us move you…

Because CLR are exclusively a relocation consultancy we help look after the entire moving process.

Our destination services and move management team take care of all the property sourcing and moving needs, including real estate negotiations and the shipping of belongings.

It’s most likely that your employee will require a visa to live and work in the UK, and if they have a family, they’ll need one too. No problem, we’ll help and advise on all the required permits, and with our legal partner we can lease with the relevant authorities on the assignees behalf to make applying for visas is as stress free as it can be!

Supporting HR and beyond

As we said before, think of CLR as an extension of your HR team. We don’t churn people through on a conveyor belt, each client we work with has different needs, and we tailor our offerings to meet them. There’s no wedging of square pegs into round holes here, we are the relocation people that genuinely care and that’s why our clients use us year after year.

We love what we do, helping companies to grow and expand in new territories by moving talent across the globe is, for us, just the best thing! So why not contact us today and talk to the genuine relocation people.

How to find the right school

Finding the Right School

By | Education and Schooling | No Comments

The job is secured, and the wheels are in motion for you and your family’s relocation to London. The next major task at hand is getting them into a great school. The length and process of admission can shock many unsuspecting parents, relocating or not – but it doesn’t have to be the case.

Research is key

The biggest question before starting the process is will your children be public or state educated? The application length can vary greatly, for example, public schools will set their own admission dates, whereas state-run schools will normally have a January 15th deadline for a September start. Make sure you know the deadlines to avoid disappointment.

Once the type of education has been decided, it’s time to draw up a shortlist of the schools within the area. All registered state schools can be found using the Department of Education Website . In addition, you can whittle down your shortlist further by reading up the Ofsted reports for the schools you may be interested in, which can be found here.

Plan your visit

Most schools are open on most days of the week, so it’s easy to just drop in and make your enquiries, but to be on the safe side, calling to make an appointment for a full tour (before the September intake for state) is often a good idea.  This will give you an opportunity to chat with teachers and watch how the children learn, play and interact with each other. If by any chance you’re unable to visit, you can always request the contact details of fellow parents should you wish to pick their brains about their child’s own experience at the school.

The application process

Depending on whether you choose public or state school, the duration of the process can vary greatly. With a state primary, for example, you’ll need to apply for three schools during the autumn for a place the following September (deadline January 15). Most councils will ask you to submit your application online, but each individual school decides how they want applications submits, so it’s best to check with the local authority.

With public school applications, the process can be much longer, for example, public primary schools advise drawing up your shortlist and starting your application process up to two years before your child is of admission age. Remember, to speed up the process, have all important paperwork such as birth certificates and other documents of identification and residence prepared.


In both public run and state schools, places are always in high demand. Primary school classes can only accept a maximum of 30 pupils, so prepare yourself for the possibility of not getting accepted to the school you love. Other factors that come into play are usually catchment area, disability or special needs and faith. If you are applying to a faith school of the same religion as you are practising, then they will normally accept your child ahead of applicants who are not.

The next phase is a waiting game, and parents should prepare themselves not to hear back on an application for at least a few months. Should the decision not be in your favour there is then the option to appeal (state). Public run schools will normally have independent panels for appeal so it’s worth checking each one individually.

At Cornerstone we offer a specialist education and tuition service that provides advice on the right schools for your children. We take care of the research, school tours and even private tuition should they need additional help securing a place – we have you covered.

To find out more, take a look through our brochure or contact us today.

Guardians of the Estate Agent Galaxy

By | Property Advice | No Comments

Working with a relocation consultancy is a sure-fire way to take the hassle out of renting or buying a property in a new city.

It doesn’t matter if you’re intrigued by the expatriate lifestyle of Dubai, keen to explore the Parisian delights of the French capital, craving the more relaxed lifestyle of Brisbane, or desperate to experience London for yourself – wherever you’re moving to in the world, you need to find a property that will make you feel safe, stable and secure as you start to adjust to life in a new country.

One way of sourcing your new home is to ask for assistance from estate agents. For many, this works well, and they’re able to track down a property that meets their needs perfectly. For others, however, negotiating with agents seems to hinder their progress instead of propelling their project forwards.

At CLR, we consider ourselves as the Guardians of the Estate Agent Galaxy. We’re dedicated to improving service delivery across the sector, and we’re here to describe the different skillsets on offer from estate agents and relocation consultants to help you decide who you want to employ to manage your next move.

The limitations of using estate agents

Estate agents play a vital role in the relocation process. They deliver a valuable service and their property expertise is often second to none when it comes to sourcing property in a given area.

However, certain limitations can come into play when clients decide to use estate agents instead of enlisting the help of a professional relocation consultant, especially if they’re looking to move abroad.

Finding potential properties

For example, many estate agents will only work with their own stock. They won’t have access to the whole of the market, so your choice of properties will be limited. This is where companies such as CLR differ. We have the freedom and flexibility to suggest properties that have been assigned to a wide range of agents. In short, we don’t care which agent has your perfect house – our job is to find it and make it yours!

Communication between all parties

Liaising with estate agents can sometimes leave clients with the feeling that they’re not being kept completely in the loop. This could be for a number of reasons: perhaps the agents are struggling to find the time to update them, or, in very rare cases, perhaps they are not delivering the standard of service that is expected of them. When you instruct the relocation specialists at CLR, we can step in and communicate with estate agents on your behalf. We’ll handle all correspondence, we’ll do all the chasing, and we’ll update you as to our progress regularly so you feel confident that all parties are doing everything they can to secure your move.

This is a particularly valuable element of our service if we are negotiating with international agents, as you won’t need to worry about miscommunication or making mistakes that could cost you dearly further down the line.

The driving force behind your purchase

It’s worth mentioning, too, that commission is a huge driver for many estate agents. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous agents are guilty of presenting buyers and tenants with a property that will provide them with the best percentage, even though it may not necessarily be best suited to the client’s needs.

But when you choose to work with CLR, you can take this motivation out of the equation entirely. All of our costs are completely transparent and our staff are not driven by trying to make money from your sale or purchase. We only want what’s best for you.

You’ll receive a highly personalised service from our relocation consultants. It’s this that truly sets us apart from estate agents. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, and you’ll struggle to find this diligence and attentiveness elsewhere. Our team will really take the time to understand your situation, listen to your requirements and put together a relocation strategy that is going to result in the smoothest, most hassle-free move possible.

Estate Agents Signs

What will the London property market look like in 2018?

By | Relocation Insights | No Comments

The UK property market never fails to keep us all on tenterhooks. Market trends and behaviour can swing from one end of the spectrum to the other in the blink of an eye. 2017 saw the property sector standing strong in the face of the uncertainty that is Brexit, first-time buyers rejoiced as stamp duty was axed, and demand for housing took centre-stage in parliament.

So, as we enter 2018 we’ve put together a list of our top housing market predictions for the year.

  1. House building will be a priority

From 2016-2017 housebuilding increased by around 20%, bringing it back to pre-financial crisis numbers. Net migration fell during 2017, with many EU nationals choosing to return to their native countries in the wake of Brexit. This, alongside an uplift in construction of new build homes means 2018 should be the year where supply and demand begin to make serious strides towards balance.

  1. Inflated rents grind to a halt

As well as a ban on agency letting fees (due to take effect later this year), Landlords have found it difficult to justify an increase in rental prices. In London, the average rent fell in 2017, and as Londoners continue to battle against stagnant wages and rising inflation, many foresee no serious price increases in the London or national rental market this coming year.

  1. Stamp duty cut stems property price increase

Last year’s budget saw stamp duty axed for first-time buyers looking to purchase properties of up to £300,000. Although this will save first-time buyers a considerable portion of these upfront fees, it does however mean that overall property prices should increase in 2018. On the flip side the help-to-buy scheme will see a considerable boost from this activity, securing funding for the programme up until 2021.

  1. The only way is up, for the wealthy

Exclusive multi-story apartments will continue to be a favourite amongst London’s wealthiest property clientele in 2018. Properties such as One Nice Elms (56 storeys), in SW8, will be at the top of the list of luxurious London residences, making it the tallest and most exclusive offering for private developments in the city.

  1. Buy-to-let will be in decline

The tougher lending criteria that came into effect last year looks set to continue in 2018. Landlords looking at buy-to-let mortgages will face restrictions imposed by lenders, levelling the playing field with first-time buyers. The Council of Mortgage Lenders predicts buy-to-let property purchases will fall to just under 80,000 in 2018. Down from highs of 120,000 during 2015-2017.

  1. Interest rates will stay low

The current Bank of England base rate sits at 0.5%, a rise last year from 0.25%. Another rise of 0.25% is expected later this year, which could add around £22 to a typical tracker mortgage of £175,000. However, experts predict that even if it does rise, it will hold at that level for quite some time. Those on tracker mortgages will see the effect immediately, but as most homeowners are on fixed repayments, this increase will most likely go unnoticed.

As always, the market can be unpredictable and linked strongly to our current economic and political standing on a day to day basis.

At CLR, we have our fingers firmly on the pulse of the city’s property Newswire. Meaning we can provide our clients the most recent and relevant property statistics to help them make the best decisions about their relocation.

Talk to our consultants today to find out how we can help move your talent.


Why Confidentiality is King in the Relocation Industry

By | Relocation Insights | No Comments

Confidentiality is absolutely vital when it comes to co-ordinating a move. It doesn’t matter if we’re re-homing a family abroad or relocating an entire team of employees – the relocation experts here at CLR need to make sure that the details of the transfer are not disclosed to anyone else at any point in the process.

We’ve mentioned before that we’re not just in the relocation business, we’re in the people business. As our clients explore global mobility and expand their reach, they expect us to keep up with their demands without getting complacent (and rightly so). They don’t just want us to ‘get the job done’ – they want a comprehensive, fully tailored relocation solution that meets all of their objectives.

A big part of this is ensuring that our assignees are able to relocate quickly, efficiently and discreetly to keep their motives and decisions out of reach of those who could use this knowledge to their advantage.

The steps we take to ensure total confidentiality

When arranging any relocation, we make sure all sensitive data and classified documents are kept away from prying eyes before, during and after your move. We could be dealing with personal information (such as your new address), company files or even precious belongings, but the principle remains the same – everything remains for your eyes only.

This is partly because global laws are placing a stricter hold on the sharing and distribution of data, and we need to ensure due diligence; but on a more personal level, it’s also because we know that you don’t want your rivals or even your peers knowing your business.

Confidentiality contributes towards a stress-free move – and that’s ultimately what our clients want us to achieve for them.

We adopt a diligent approach towards each and every project to minimise risk and deliver complete peace of mind to our assignees. Even if we’re handling a complex international relocation that requires a complete end-to-end solution, we will never disclose the details of your relocation to any third party; everything will remain in our organisation.

Why you should choose CLR for a confidential move

You’ll see from our ethos that we want to go the extra mile for our clients, and this extends to ensuring your complete discretion.

If you’re keen to keep your move under wraps, we’re best placed to handle the finer details. CLR takes client confidentiality extremely seriously and ensuring complete discretion is one of our core values. Anything disclosed to us will be used solely to provide the service you need. Nothing more, nothing less!

small but mighty

Working with Smaller Relocation Agencies

By | CLR News | No Comments

When browsing for corporate relocation for your assignees, it’s easy to be drawn into viewing the larger organisations that fill up the first few results pages on Google. Recognisable names in the market are always going to promote with a ‘bigger is better’ mantra, but, as the one size fits all model begins to fade away, it that always so?

Bigger is not always better

The property market has changed quite considerably over the past few years, especially within corporate relocation. Larger organisations have begun to “bolt-on” relocation services within their existing estate agencies. This means that the relocation department is an extension of the main business, often with property professionals spread over various roles. This can often lead to several disadvantages when compared with a smaller, solely relocation focused agency.

Whole market access

When it comes to having access to a large variety of properties within the market, smaller agencies will often have a better crop on offer. For example, at CLR, we have access to the whole market and by doing so, are free from being pressured into promoting the properties of only one estate agency – we can pick and choose the best from the entire market.

Tailored services and personal touches

The difficulty with larger agencies if often around the time spent per client. Understandably, they’ll want to serve every single client and their needs – realistically this is not always possible. Again, the one size fits all model is often adopted, meaning clients will be funnelled into choices that may not necessarily be the best for their situation.

Smaller, independent agencies are built from the ground up through relationships and best in class services. At CLR, we have over 60+ years of experience within relocation services, with a strong client-focused approach.

Our ethos is that we “go the extra mile” for our clients, working hard to make sure that everything in our power can be done to make their relocation as smooth as possible.

At CLR, we are with our clients every step of the way, supporting you with:

  • Relocation Services

Providing our clients with relocation management to support their needs, managed in-house so you can speak to the actual team member who is relocating your assignees.

  • HR Support

Our HR packages have been tailored to complement client policy including concise reporting whilst providing comprehensive personal assistance to the individual relocating assignee.

  • Visa & Immigration

CLR will liaise with the assignee’s HR department to ensure that all visa and immigration permits are compliant with local requirements.

  • Move Management

This specially designed service takes the stress out of moving. We take care of all the necessary details to ensure that the assignee’s treasured possessions are transported safely to their destination.

You can be sure that each of our team is handpicked for their experience, professionalism, and passion for relocation. With CLR, you will always have our full attention.

Say hello to our team in London to start chatting about your assignee’s next relocation today.

Camden Lock

The Four Most Up and Coming Areas in London

By | London | No Comments

Pick up a newspaper or look on the internet and you will pick up on plenty of doom and gloom surrounding the economy, both in the UK and further afield. This is particularly the case since the historic Brexit vote; for the past 12 months, we have been reliably informed that investment will plummet and major companies will be leaving the UK as a deserted wasteland.

Well, it seems that nobody in London received that memo. Wherever you look, you see construction – cranes dominate the skyline and many of the traditionally run down areas are being transformed into vibrant and desirable neighbourhoods. In other words, the city is receiving as much investment as ever – perhaps more so.

Here, we have selected four of the most up and coming districts in London for work, rest and play.


Unless you have spent the past five years living on the moon, you will be well aware that Shoreditch is one of the coolest places to set up home in the city. What you might not realise is that a beard and sandals are not prerequisites to fitting in. Sure, it is the birthplace of the hipster phenomenon, but there is far, far more to this vibrant neighbourhood.

There are plenty of trendy clubs, pop up bars and coffee shops frequented by art types if that’s your thing, but the beauty of the area is that there really is something to cater to every taste, from traditional back street pubs for a well-earned pint of ale and a game of darts, to exclusive fine dining establishments.

Finsbury Park

20 years ago, Finsbury Park was a place to avoid, with a strong reputation for unemployment and poverty. Yet over the past decade or so, it has transformed into one of the most desirable districts in North London. Property is predominantly of the traditional Victorian terraced style, but the local landscape is interspersed with new developments, too.

Growing popularity has led to a burgeoning club scene, and there is no shortage of nightlife on offer. The park itself holds events that attract some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Bob Dylan and Van Morrison in the past twelve months alone.

London Bridge

This is another area that has changed beyond recognition over recent years. Its most famous recent addition is The Shard, but for those who live there, the regeneration around Borough Market is the move that has made all the difference.

The trend here is towards beautifully renovated loft style apartments, with views overlooking the Thames, and they are being snapped up quicker than you can look at them.

There is no shortage of high end restaurants, and if you’re looking for a little culture, the Tate Modern is a short walk away, too.


Camden is deservedly known as one of the most fashionable districts in London. Famed for its cultural diversity, unforgettable street food and fantastic live music venues, the only thing that used to go against it was a reputation for being a little rough around the edges.

Not anymore. The jewel in North London’s crown is another area that has attracted the investors and now adds cutting-edge living spaces to the mix, providing residents with their your own luxurious oasis of calm just moments away from the hustle and bustle of Camden’s famous market.


London’s Changing Landscape

By | London | No Comments

You don’t need a degree in architecture to notice how London’s physical landscape has changed over the past decade or so. Striking, modern designs such as The Shard and The Walkie Talkie have juxtaposed with The Lloyd’s Building, The Gherkin and the traditional landmarks of Tower Bridge, St Paul’s and The Houses of Parliament to create a skyline that is as instantly recognisable as any other major cityscape in the world.

Yet it is not just the physical landscape that has evolved. When the country voted to leave the EU in last year’s referendum, there were fears that the UK’s fragile recovery from the global recession would be set back and that those companies who had invested in London would vote with their feet. The Guardian newspaper ran an article on this very subject the day after the referendum.

However, business is booming, investment is flowing and there has never been a better time to live and work in London.

Silicon Roundabout

The daring glass constructions that we mentioned earlier are well and good, but these are only the more flamboyant aspects of the capital’s growth and development. Old Street is a perfect example of the less showy but equally important investment that has been placed in a number of formerly run down areas, thanks to the arrival of numerous tech firms, ranging from global names to the smallest startups.

In the 20th century, Hoxton was just another area on the outskirts of the city, home to small traders, high rise accommodation, poverty and crime. Today, you would find that difficult to believe. Yet the transformation has been a rapid one, and was prompted by the government’s East London Tech initiative of 2010.

A year later, there were 500 tech firms based around the Old Street Roundabout, and by 2012, this number had grown to an astonishing 5,000. Silicon Roundabout, as it is affectionately known, is not only a great place to work, though – it has also ensured that this part of London is now one of the most desirable places to live in the whole of the capital.

It’s not just the Hipsters

The development that has taken place in Hoxton, Shoreditch and Haggerston in terms of residential properties is as remarkable as the commercial development. The beauty of it is that all the ingredients were there for the taking – the tranquillity of the Regent’s Canal, the existing nightlife of nearby Islington and Bethnal Green, and a whole host of former industrial properties that were ripe for redevelopment.

As the new tech businesses ploughed their investment dollars into Silicon Roundabout, so the property developers moved in and created some truly breathtaking living spaces in locations that were once only home to derelict warehouses, office buildings and even some old schools.

For sure, we all know that Shoreditch is synonymous with beards, bicycles and pop up shops, but to say it is all about the hipsters is to miss the point. The Silicon Roundabout phenomenon is just one example of how technological investment has reinvigorated an area of London and made it a fantastic place to live and work for people in all stages of life, from young professionals seeking diversity to mature families seeking stability.

Silicon Roundabout

How Tech Companies are Changing the London Rental Market

By | London, Rental Market | No Comments

According to many commentators, technological developments over the past 20 years have launched us into the throes of the fourth industrial revolution. The implications for the way we go about our daily lives, from chatting with friends to ordering a pizza to getting the day to day work done in the office, go without saying. But the consequences of the technological revolution run even deeper.

The industrial revolution of the late 18th and early 19th century brought enormous changes to housing, introducing the concept of mass urbanisation as people moved from the countryside into London and other industrial areas. It might sound strange, but this latest revolution is having a similarly significant impact on the capital’s housing.

Shoreditch, Hoxton and Silicon Roundabout

One of the most famous examples centres around the formerly run down industrial districts to the north of the city. When the Old Street Roundabout area WAS redeveloped as part of the government’s East London Tech Initiative, it prompted an influx of startup firms.

This in turn led developers to ramp up investment in the burgeoning Shoreditch area, promoting it from a well-kept secret among artists and hipsters to the thriving and vibrant community that we see today.

The phenomenon has now spread to nearby Hoxton and out towards the formerly impoverished neighbourhoods of Dalston and Hackney. Throughout the area, former industrial buildings are being converted into desirable living spaces for the young professionals whom the tech firms attract.

Kings Cross, Camden and the Google Landscraper

Shift your attention a couple of miles west, and you arrive at North London’s most famous district – Camden. With its world famous market and vibrant night life, it seems like the perfect place for young professionals to let their hair down on a Friday night, but you might suppose that they would think twice about living there.

However, all that is set to change with the arrival of Google and Facebook’s new London headquarters. Construction will start later in 2018, and already, the rental landscape is starting to change. Facebook is based just up the road close to Kings Cross station and they are key players in shaping the tech landscape in that area, and the nearby districts of Kentish Town and Tufnell Park are becoming increasingly popular with those seeking attractive rental property.

Islington and “Supper Street”

Nestled between these two rental hotspots lies London’s most famous village. Islington is the ideal spot for a night out – its main thoroughfare, Upper Street, has acquired the nickname “Supper Street” with good reason, and the range of pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants has to be seen to be believed.

For many, Islington is the perfect place to live, and many of the traditional Georgian town houses have been transformed into high end apartments. And tucked away in the space between Essex Road and Upper Street, former retail and business units are quietly mutating into exclusive residential properties, topped off by spacious penthouses.

The impact of the fourth industrial revolution on London’s housing might not be as dramatically obvious as that of previous years, but most agree that the effect is a far more positive one, bringing new life and sustainable prosperity to North London.

What Does ‘Access to The Whole Market’ Mean?

By | Property Advice | No Comments

Picture this…

The position has been accepted, future relocation and happiness lie in getting you and your loved ones across to Blighty as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You’re in the market for a house with four bedrooms, close to great schools, a park for the pooches, and hopefully a hop, skip and a jump to the office.

Who do you put your trust in? Who has the access to the best properties on the market? More importantly, who is going to meet your needs and help you and your family’s transition be as stress free as possible?

What you need is the core of our goals at Cornerstone. If you need to be in West London near your employer’s HQ, we can make that happen. If you need access to the best schools in the area, our search consultants can make this their priority. To do this, we choose to “access the whole market”.

In the property sector, there are two ways for relocation agents to pull properties into a portfolio. The first, a single portfolio that agents will push to relocation agencies, binding them to that offering alone. The second, an array of properties that can be accessed via a range of agents, meaning you have a variety to select from – “access to the whole market”.

Location, location, location

At CLR working within the “whole market” allows us to cast a wider net across the UK and access the best possible properties to showcase. We will not be pressured by agents wanting to promote only their stock. We are free to pick and choose the best of the crop for you.

Negotiating for the best

Access to the whole market doesn’t just mean better quality, but a better price point too. More stock means less pressure when it comes to availability. We can negotiate better deals on your behalf to make sure you get the absolute best for your money.


You talk, we listen. One of the first questions we normally get asked is “Where are the kids going to go to school”. So, whilst we are factoring in your place of work, we also be drawing up a shortlist of suitable schools within the area. Having access to a wider catchment means picking from some of the best establishments on offer.

Whole market access and variety in our property portfolio means we can tick the boxes when it comes to your relocation needs.

If you interested in talking to CLR about your relocation requirements, then contact us at