To explain what the bookings team is all about, I have to explain why I joined Uniplaces in the first place. Rome was too small a city for me, so I decided to move. A lot. I lived all over Italy trying to discover the best place to settle down. From Parma to Siracusa, passing through Grosseto and other smaller cities in between.
Well, I discovered that even Italy was small for my dreams. I moved to Paris, then Porto and finally Lisbon.
I am not a short-term traveller, I always lived in a place for at least 6 months to get to know the city I live in, breathe its air, know its rhythm, try to find the soul hidden in it, absorb its colours and lifestyles. I found in Lisbon a perfect combination of what I was looking for, and I am happy to be hosted by Uniplaces and its wonderful community!
By my experience, moving is exciting, but challenging and scary. It’s never easy to leave your friends or your home, but the worst part is the logistic and moving itself. Even when you do research, you never feel prepared enough. You find obstacles to your experience: language, money and other thousand things get in your way. You feel scared to commit a false step and finding accommodation is a very important part that isn’t always easy.
When I went to work for Uniplaces I had the possibility to help people that were in that same situation. I feel their problems because they were mine, I feel their concern, the excitement, and the wish to find the best place to get the best experience. I try to be the person I needed every time I moved to a new city.
Bookings Team does this: we are looking out NOT ONLY for your accommodation, but to help you out with the all sort of advice you are looking for. We are THAT facebook group, forum post or blog you are looking for.
In Uniplaces’, the bookings team has to balance opposite attitudes and personalities: fun but serious, professional but weird. We are chosen to communicate with two different and completely opposite mythological creatures: the students (and the young workers) and the Landlords. It’s a beautiful and fulfilling job that challenges every single day: we want you to have the best experience ever, so we try to match your profile with nicest landlord for you and the accommodation that most fits you, dealing with both parts in order to get the perfect combination (and I am glad to say that we do a pretty good job).
We speak between 3 and 5 languages per person, but our work is split by markets: each of us is a specialist in a particular city and we rarely switch. Each of us knows their city and most of its landlords so we know what kind of experience you are going to get, before you even make a step in the airport.
As I was saying we work in different markets but we also have very different personalities: Joana is going to find you the perfect accommodation in Lisbon with the kindest smile, Adriana is clearly going to advise you about every best spot/beach/restaurant in Spain, having travelled all over during the thousand holidays she passed there (and trust me, if there is a person that knows surf spots it’s her) and after that there is me, Marco (Please insert Italian plumber joke here): UK, Netherlands, Portugal and Italy (as well as France) are places I know well and I will try to find you a place that you will call home as well.
Special Mention goes to Elisabete, our Manager, that gives us the freedom and the tools we need to help you out, providing a good environment and patience (she is tolerant about the memes I send to her, as well as the youtube videos of cats singing the Game of Thrones Jingle).
Let me salute you with a quote from Calvino that gave me the wish, in the first place, to travel.
“Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone.
‘But which is the stone that supports the bridge?’ Kublai Khan asks.
‘The bridge is not supported by one stone or another,’ Marco answers, ‘but by the line of the arch that they form.’
Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting. Then he adds: ‘Why do you speak to me of the stones? It is only the arch that matters to me.’
Polo answers: ‘Without stones there is no arch.”
Remember that every experience is one stone of your personal bridge, so travel much and live it!
Anyway, our office is always open so if you want to meet us just come for lunch in our cool terrace.
What did you think about Marco’s blogpost? Just drop us a line in the comment section below!
And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.com.