A Conversation With Suburban Settlers Chief Operating Officer, Susan Wachter
What led you to become part of the Suburban Settlers team?
After a long and happy career in the advertising/media industry, I had just begun exploring what part two of my professional career would be. At about the same time, a former colleague and friend, Darlene Agag, told me about the company she had founded a year earlier, called Suburban Settlers. Darlene was looking for someone to help the company expand into Westchester County and to help with strategy and operations. Although very different from the world of advertising and media, our same organizational and problem solving skills are being used to help clients become acclimated to their new communities faster.
How does your knowledge about Westchester County and New York City help your clients?
Moving to a new community can be a very stressful time. Add to that, the anxiety of starting a new job, settling children into new schools, finding local doctors, and getting your household up and running. Having an insider, with local knowledge and personal referrals, can make all the difference in the world. As a long-time resident of Westchester County, I know firsthand what it’s like to commute daily into NYC; find an excellent nanny; trustworthy people such as plumbers, contractors and electricians to work on your home; a highly recommended orthopedic doctor for a child’s broken wrist; or a fun and challenging spinning class. We help clients make this transition as smooth and worry-free as possible, so they feel comfortable in their new communities quickly.
How does your experience having worked for a large corporation for many years help you to understand your clients’ needs?
Having worked at a large media company, in a department that focused on client service as well internal sales operations and systems, I’m prepared to understand the importance of providing trustworthy, customized, client solutions. Listening to customers and understanding what their individual needs are, is essential at any size company.
Wherever you work, it’s important to show up each day at work and focus on your job, without a lot of extraneous distractions competing for your attention. Sharing our intel on all of the necessary trades and services, allows our clients to focus on more on what’s important in their lives.
Do you have any advice for individuals and families who are planning a move to the NY Metropolitan area?
Depending on what kind of lifestyle you are looking for, I think they’ll find the New York Metropolitan area has something for everyone. They’d be surprised that many suburbs that are within one hour of NYC, offer many cultural and sporting events, beautiful hiking trails, botanical gardens, and many multicultural offerings. NYC and the surrounding counties have diverse neighborhoods. It’s important to understand what is important for the individual or family to have in their town. They should make a list of priorities; things that they must have and things that they would like to have but could live without. Once that list is complete, they should take time to find the right neighborhood. I recommend spending some time getting a feel for different neighborhoods before they decide where to settle.
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