You've Got A Friend in New Zealand

What IS an Expat Adviser?

Expats and repat (my word) Kiwis have been finding me for a while. Inventing this role was a natural progression of my career. As my google rankings climbed, I was pleasantly surprised who found me from different countries, and I enjoyed chatting with folks wanting to get a New Zealand life.

Put simply: as your dedicated advocate, I will facilitate your move to New Zealand and save you an enormous amount of time + money by taking the “guess work” out. I can help you allocate resources more effectively from day one. During our work together, I will strive to make your life easier and take out the worry and uncertainty of your decision process. From referring you to a really good immigration specialist to finding the right solicitor in your target area. And many insights in between! What and who you need may not be obvious...but the list will grow as your goals are clarified. I will refer you to local business networks and make introductions for all kinds of people you'll want to know. The best schools and dentists - as much as you need! 

Schedule a free 20-minute chat by Zoom, WhatsAp or FaceTime by clicking the email or phone symbol above and you can ask me yourself!

What Makes a Great Expat Adviser?

Whether you are in Surrey, UK or Sandy Point, NZ, you want someone who will take your call and respond quickly. An expat adviser needs to be neutral, open minded, skilled, organized, curious, enjoy people and have the tenacity of a terrier. Ideally, they can coordinate services and establish a clear timeline for accomplishing your goals.

You want someone who understands your challenge and can take the load off your shoulders. A person who has been where you are right now. Trust and confidence are a given.

A broad understanding of our financial, economic and political world, our New Zealand culture, deep knowledge of how we do business, and being well connected are essential. Someone who can rein you in as well as cheer you on is ideal.

A thoughtful approach helps. After navigating two careers on three continents, I took that pause that I recommend to expats. I called my mentors and chatted with colleagues in the advisory world and spoke with my clients about their experiences. I researched expat advisory companies who offer a combination of executive relocations, visa services, booking hotels, and transferring your UK pensions to New Zealand. Their clients tend to be large corporations. Executive recruitment and funds management is often their forté. That's not me.

How Can I Add Value?

I'm that person you can kick ideas around with and keep you grounded. I am independent, unbiased, and accountable to you. Once I understand your goals, I like to bring solutions to the table.

I offer an initial goal-setting process through to your arrival or final goal. I enjoy collegial relationships with some people you'll want to know. This is very advantageous to you. For example, my Immigration Specialist has offered to waive his fee to my clients for a first conversation. I have tremendous confidence in my team of local experts (lawyers, valuers, agents, inspectors, accountants, lenders, etc.). If I don't know something - I soon will.

I'm in a unique position to help you find your feet and make business introductions. After all, who you know is everything. 

Change is Good!

If you are about to move halfway around the world you must appreciate the value of change. A lot of people ask why I decided to hang up my banker spurs. My answer is simple: "because life changes". In 2020 when a sudden exodus of overseas students began, just as overseas Kiwis started coming home to New Zealand, I was asked to help some British and American clients make their move.

As an expat myself, I remember how unsettling it felt, to be a knowledgeable person in my field and find myself in a strange country, without the right words. So I could identify with that feeling many people have when they just don't know where to start. Weirdly, I really enjoyed those late night and early Zoom calls with strangers. I felt like a one woman promoter and welcoming committee for my beautiful country. My expat adviser career was born. 

Expect a Little Culture Shock

The first thing you may notice when you meet a Kiwi is that they don't ask, "what do you do?" We take the weekends off! Our holidays go on forever!  The banks actually close, stores shut their doors for weeks, and everyone just chills over summer holidays. How can we run a country like this? Well, we do. Our time schedules can be somewhat fluid. We accept life as it comes. Often my first words of advice to new arrivals are, "remember to breathe." 

Getting Help Fast

Most people who found me on Google really needed help. Now. Some were struggling with the mixed messages they had gotten from Facebook groups. Others expressed disappointment with their banks or 'corporate handlers'. Most wanted a sense that what they wanted to do was possible. I offered hope and a friendly smile. I remembered their names and eventually we met if only for a quick cuppa at the airport. The relief on meeting a familiar face - even on Zoom - was, well, gratifying. 

As a former financial adviser, I am well versed in the regulatory world that new residents to New Zealand face. Empathy matters.

It's All About You!

Understandably, returning Kiwis often arrive with their memories of life as a child in simpler times. They may be surprised by our formal regulatory world. Our  government is fond of difficult to navigate websites. Just filling out a NZ Residency application for your spouse can be mind boggling. On the whole, many things are simpler in New Zealand.

So think of me as your source; your ally on the ground to assist in negotiations, and a sounding board - both before and after you arrive.

I am not a legal counsel, sales agent or representative of others. I am beholden only to you and bring my unbiased professional expertise as your dedicated advocate. I will proactively liaise with your solicitor and other parties to bring your voice to the table in those crucial moments. And I will keep my gumboots handy for your first ceremonial tree planting. You know how we love trees!

Other Areas of Advice

Homebuyer coaching is offered to clients seeking a big picture review of their financial and practical options. I'll introduce you to my mortgage and insurance team when the time comes for your home purchase. 

I can also refer you to some great rental property, contract specialists. 

Our auto finance brokers will get you on your way. With 91 octane petrol topping $3 a liter, many families have one car and use eBikes and public transport these days. Kids actually walk to school...imagine.

We have some fantastic recruiters on call. Need a housekeeper? No problem. And by the way, blanks on your CV (curriculum vitae or resume) here are perfectly acceptable. Employers respect time off. 

How I Get Paid

Thanks for asking! After our initial conversation, I'll come back with a package quote which we can negotiate up front. You get to pick what services and how much help you want from me. Need a detailed property review and assessment of the bank security value? Check. How about recommendations for dentists or local business? Ditto.

Watch for Escape Budget on my POSTS page offering a run-down of what services cost here so you can compare. For example, most solicitors charge $400 per hour. Barristers are likely double that (barristers do litigation). Picking the right person is crucial to your budget as well as your success.

What Matters Most?

Fortunately, New Zealand has retained its values. And what we value most are our lifestyle and the mana ('spiritual power') of our tangatanga whenua ('people of the land' in te Reo). If you choose to work with me, I promise to really listen and bring together the right people and information to you need to make your own decisions with confidence - so you can get a New Zealand life. Your way.

After all, isn't that why you came here?

My promise: 

I will:

  • Quote my service for your specific requirements up front.
  • Look out for you and respect your goals.
  • Support your decisions and instincts with knowledge. 
  • Walk you through every step to establishing your new life in New Zealand.
  • Help you navigate the process to achieve your goals.
  • Ensure that my team and I coordinate in a seamless way.
  • Continue to assist you until your goals are achieved.
  • Invest a percentage of my profits back into our local community and causes
  • Take your vision and sense of confidence in your choices personally. 


Susan Templeton 

personal expat adviser and homebuyer coach

Love Niche

Our clients say it best: 

Having been declined a mortgage through a broker at the start of the year, I felt very grateful for being connected with Susan. Immediately, she was much more positive about my chances of getting a mortgage despite the fact I had recently separated from my partner and had started my own business. This positivity continued throughout the process of getting a mortgage. In our communications, Susan was always quick to respond and clear about the information I was to supply to her. I am so grateful for her determination and tenacity. Thank you, Susan! Emma Boyd

Susan is great to work with. She is very helpful and responsive. She was extremely supportive, especially during these COVID times. We look forward to working with her again in the future. Michelle Mathias & Denzil Borges 

We are not sure what we would have done without Susan. As this was our first home, we had very little idea around what the process was for acquiring a mortgage and Susan made sure we understood what was going on the whole way. Moreover, by keeping us informed, she made us feel like we had agency in the process. Susan was also quick to pull herself up on an error, which was reassuring. She provided great advice, got us the best rates on the day, and even secured a discount on our rates. Furthermore, she was happy to refer us onto a great insurance broker and building inspector. A comprehensive service! We would recommend Susan to anyone seeking out a mortgage broker. And Pasley & Elba Ramirez 

When I started out looking to purchase my first property, I wanted to work with a mortgage broker that actually listened to what I was saying, and not pushing me to fill out a form and put me in a box. I definitely found that when I met with Susan. Not only did she help with bank side but also gave advice throughout my whole journey. I cannot recommend her services enough. Samuel Wood

Susan provided a very slick and professional service to us. Having arrived from the UK and been let down by our Banking provider, we were recommended Susan’s services to assist in buying a home, and she did not disappoint. We had additional hurdles to overcome being new arrivals in NZ, however she worked with our solicitors to ensure these were met in a very timely manner. The end result is that she brokered an excellent package deal for us. I highly recommend Susan’s services; she is a professional who works hard to the benefit of her clients and does not disappoint. Richard and Deborah McGinily 

When it came time to bridge equity for our big move, our bank of many years came up short. We are very grateful for Susan’s excellent advice and assistance. Once more, a big thank you. Jim Speck

Susan was super helpful, pleasant to deal with and took all the admin load off our shoulders, which was great! I would recommend her without any reservations. Andrea Struik

This was my first experience of using a mortgage broker and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy Susan Templeton made getting a mortgage for me, especially as she came to my own home. My situation required some out of the box thinking and not only did Susan save me money and time, but she also made the whole process easy and understandable. I recommend her with confidence. Libby Boyd 

Susan is gregarious, super smart, high people skills, great negotiator, knows what is happening in the marketplace of money and she can make it happen for you in an effortless way. She walks the walk to your next house. Kathy White/Sykes 

Susan Templeton is one of those rare examples where her years of experience in lending is woven intricately with her excellent organizational and communication skills. This combination of skills make the complicated task of funding a real estate transaction appear and feel seamless and easy. Susan's ability to simplify the lending process for the consumer culminates in more closed deals and very happy clients. Mimi Bays-Eggers

Susan is the only Loan officer I have ever meet that has always been totally honest with me. Like most of the world our loan did not fit in a perfect little box. She was able to walk us through the process several times over the past 7 years, from Construction, to New Home to Refinancing. I recommend Susan to everyone who has any loan needs. Valerie Kovacs

Susan has a strangle hold of reality. If there is a way to make it work she will get it done. That's important especially in the current lending environment. I usually go to her first. Phil Dyer

Susan was fantastic throughout the entire process. We had some unique things going on with the sale of another house, etc. that were curve balls but Susan was unfazed. It's hard to imagine a mortgage professional who would be more helpful. This is my 9th mortgage closing and Susan is at the top of the heap! She has my highest recommendation. Dave Chase