Kristin Wilson has been relocating poker players ever since “black Friday,” on April 15th 2011 the US government closed down and brought criminal charges against the three leading poker sites in that country, effectively cancelling the livelihood of thousands of professional poker players in the United States.
Wilson founded the company PokerRefugees.com to help relocate professional poker players who had to move out of the country to continue playing. PokerRefugees.com has since relocated over 250 individuals to locations as diverse as Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Malta.
Wilson found herself ideally suited to help a growing community of professional poker players, suddenly bereft of their livelihood, relocate to countries where they could continue to play. An MBA, having majored in International Business, and having worked in relocation since 2005, Wilson had herself experienced the possible pitfalls of moving to a new country.
I started this business because I have lived in about four different countries and I know that it is inevitable that things are going to go wrong when you move to a new country, there’s going to be unexpected problems.
After building a thriving company helping poker professionals move to continue supporting their families and themselves, she really knows her stuff when it comes to international relocation.
We had a chance to interview Kristin Wilson this week about what she looks for when finding housing for poker players around the world.
CorporateStays.com – What is the most common issue you face when relocating poker players and what is your ideal solution?
Kristin Wilson – This is one of the reasons why really I like working with CorporateStays.com, it can be really hard to remotely source properties for poker players in another country. If I’m not there physically, it is hard to get reliable information about the apartment, the neighborhood, what’s nearby, what’s included in the price, all those details. Some owners even require meeting the client in person previous to the rental so we have to set that up via Skype.
So I really like working with CorporateStays.com, you guys are so fast to get back to me and that just saves me so much time. Sometimes I call and we could book a property on the same day. Other people can make me wait for up to five days just to get back to me on their availabilities.
With CorporateStays.com I get pictures of the apartment and detailed instructions on what is included as well as pricing. It’s just much easier.
When you compare to working with Property Managers who don’t get back to us, realtors, or people on Facebook or Craigslist who are just not professional, you really feel the difference.
CS – How are your services different from those of other relocation specialists?
KW – Our services are for everyday people, we’re a really affordable a relocation company focused on self-employed entrepreneurs. Typically, relocation specialists are dealing with larger companies and are working with a larger budget. We are focused on the individual.
Our clients are self-employed poker players so we are laser- focused on their needs and on making it really affordable for them.
CS – What is the most important feature you look for when choosing a furnished apartment?
KW – We’re looking for places that are really conveniently located. Our clients are usually not bringing their cars with them they need to be close to a grocery store. We’re looking for housing that is really close to everything so they can just walk out the door and get what they need
CS – Do you usually go with furnished apartment providers or do you sometimes lease or rent unfurnished apartments?
KW – We do both but because we are looking for a solution that is all inclusive for the players, 99% of the time we are getting furnished housing.
The goal for the client is to start working on the first day after they arrive. Not spending a couple of days shopping at Ikea looking for furniture. Also for immigration reasons, if you are only staying for three months or six months you don’t want to invest a whole lot on furniture so furnished housing is in most cases the better option.
CS – Are there any other special features you’re looking for in a furnished apartment, unique to poker players?
KW – It’s actually pretty simple, we’re looking for three things in a furnished apartment: safety, convenience, and Internet, after that it depends on the individual and their preferences.
CS – What advice would you give someone considering relocation?
KW – If your time is worth more than the hassle it is going to take to do it yourself, it is always worth outsourcing to a professional, you’ll end up saving just immense amount of time and money and hassle.
You can find out more about Kristin’s services at PokerRefugees.com.
CorporateStays.com is proud to work with PokerRefugees.com relocating poker professionals. Special services are available specifically for poker players such as ergonomic workspaces, blackout curtains, reliable Internet connections and more. Contact us today and find out more.