In 2017, former Fox Networks sales executive Darlene Agag had an idea. She wanted to start a specialized service that helps employees relocating to Bergen County, New Jersey, get settled sooner! Her idea was to create customized plans and area tours that give newcomers the very specific information they need about their neighborhood and what is in the area including schools, places of worship, pet care, restaurants, shopping and local activities. She even thought of making personal introductions to help newbies feel like they are part of the community.
Now into the first year of providing services to employees and transplants who are relocating to New Jersey, Darlene talks about what inspired her to create Suburban Settlers and how she hopes to change the experience of relocation for individuals, families and their children.
Q: How did you get the idea for Suburban Settlers?
A: My mom actually had the idea about 30 years ago. She and a friend started working on the company and when her friend moved away they never moved forward with it. Not long ago, I moved back to Bergen County after living and working in New York City for 20 years. Even though I spent summers and weekends in Bergen County, had a large network of friends and I knew my way around, it was still difficult to get myself and my children adjusted. I resurrected my mother’s idea with the goal of helping others get acclimated quickly so that they don’t have to go through the challenges that I faced.
Q: Why is it so important to have this service for people who are unfamiliar with the New York Metro Area?
A: New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have so much to offer to its residents. It can take up to a year to get comfortable and familiar with the area. Our services are designed to help our clients get settled into the area quickly and to educate them what is available before they move or right as they move in so that they can focus on starting a new job, getting their children settled and enjoying their life.
Q: Your program is designed to reduce relocation stress? Can you explain how it helps?
A: Relocating is among the most stressful events in a person’s life. They have to leave their friends, home, comforts behind and start all over. Our goal is to get to know the individual or family, learn about their lifestyle and help them “feel at home sooner.” We are here to help our clients and support them throughout their move and for the months following so that they don’t feel alone and they know that they have someone to lean on.
Q: How can corporations benefit from the services provided by Suburban Setters?
A: Corporations make a large investment to relocate employees. Their goal is to have them feel comfortable and happy so that they can perform in their new role. Usually, a husband or wife gets transferred and the rest of the family comes along. There isn’t much time for the employee or their family to get acclimated and settled before they need to start their new job. The spouse/partner might also have to work and if they stay home, they have to learn the ins and outs of a new area on their own. It can be an overwhelming process. That’s where Suburban Settlers can help. We take care of the details so that the employee can focus on his or her job and that their family feels at home in their new surroundings.
Q: There are many relocation companies out there. How are you different?
A: Most relocation companies help families with the basic moving needs (finding a realtor, assisting with selling/buying a new home, packing and unpacking and moving the physical belongings). But once the family moves into the area, the relocation companies’ job is usually over. That’s where we come in. We are experts on what is available in Bergen County. Our clients fill out a comprehensive survey and we put together a detailed plan which is their guide to everything they need to know about their new surroundings. We spend time with them getting them familiar with the area and making personal introductions so they get acclimated as quickly as possible. We are here to assist them before, during and after they move.
Q: Any final thoughts you want to share on relocation and what your company offers?
I think the personal touch is important. We get to know all of our client’s and tailor our services to each one. No two individuals are the same and therefore every families experience will be unique. Our goal is to ease our clients transitions and to make what can be a very challenging situation much easier.
About Darlene Agag, President, Suburban Settlers
Darlene Agag is a 20-year veteran of corporate America who understands the challenges of balancing meaningful work and a busy home life. As both an employee and a senior-level manager with Fox Networks, Darlene has witnessed the disruption and stress caused by changes in job responsibilities and office locations.
Today Darlene combines her entrepreneurial spirit, affinity for delivering client-focused solutions, and insiders knowledge of Bergen County and surrounding areas to help her clients reduce the transition time and upheaval when relocating. Whether it’s sharing intel on the best shops, eateries, doctors and day care centers; navigating New Jersey’s maze of highways and public transit systems; arranging service installations; or recommending local handymen, her highly customized services help newcomers get settled in their neighborhoods with ease.