“Matchmaker is one of the oldest profession in history.”
Zola Yoana, the founder of Heart Inc, pioneer of contemporary & premium offline matchmaking in Indonesia, said to me during our interview. As a professional matchmaker, and the only certified one in Indonesia too, Zola’s business is about finding love. Her business quickly grows and changed people’s perspective about matchmaking. “People in Jakarta now no longer thinks that matchmaking is for people that are desperate.”
Quite the contrary, Zola explains, her clients are exclusively at the higher end of the spectrum; senior management level professionals, business owners, VPs, successful doctors. All financially secure and ready for long term relationship. And surprisingly, the average age of clients that come to her is getting younger too, as young as 27 years old. We sat down to dig deeper into this business of finding love!
Why did you become a professional matchmaker?
I’ve always been passionate about love, the world of dating, desire, self-development, but more in the love, and the personal side. I do believe that I have a strong intuition. I’ve worked in a matchmaking company before, but I started my business right after I graduated from Matchmaking Institute in New York, a 1-year school where I studied integrity, human relations, date coaching technique, matchmaking technology, and how to start the business in Love industry.
I decided to take the school because I have relationship spirit in my DNA and have that special spark for helping people find their perfect match. In Jakarta, everyone is always super busy. Especially the people around me, a lot of executives, entrepreneurs who hardly have time for themselves, and who are a lot of times clueless of where to find someone because their circle is getting smaller, tired and frustrated with weeding through the latest online dating apps. They go to me because they are looking for something more exclusive, serious relationship for long term more tailored with less stress and more support. They don’t want to waste time on trial and error, going to bars, and all this traditional ways.
My matchmaking way is incredibly personalized, exclusive and confidential. We do screening, background check and we also provide overseas dating for international searches through our strong alliance partnership with select high end matchmakers all over the world. My success rate is 80%.
It is a fun job, but it is also an incredibly tough job, and not a lot of people can do it. You have to deal with a lot of characters.
Tell us about the business and the service that you offer with Heart Inc. ?
We were established in 2013, right after I got my professional matchmaking certificate. Basically, we offer 5 main services: First, obviously, the core matchmaking service that starts from 2000 dollars, which will get you 5 profiles to choose from, from which you can pick 2 dates. There’s also the ‘Diamond’ package will get you unlimited dates for 1 whole year. We do all the hunting and screening of candidates for our clients and they are all fully kept confidential too.
Then we also have a Dating Coach service, this is a 101 guidance for all dating problems. Overseas Dating, for or those who are specific about their nationality preference, as we are networked with professional matchmakers from all over the world. We also have Make Over, a service to do you over: your look, your style, your personality, to make you a better ‘catch’. Lastly, we have also special events, where members and non-members can attend to expand their social circles. It is an opportunity to meet other singles, network and also have fun in a relaxing environment with old and new friends. Events like Speed Dating and Cocktail Night are organized periodically.
How long does it usually take for your client to find someone?
It usually takes less than a couple of months until i can give my clients ‘a date’. But it really depends whether who the client is looking for is already in our database. If there’s no one that suits him or her yet, then it’s my job to go out and ‘hunt’ for the right suitors all over. Through mutual friends, networking, friends of friends. But bottom-line, anyone that will be in our database, must go through me first. I will ‘interview’ and asses the candidate myself, and this is I think one of the key elements that make us different. After you do a date with the candidates, we will even re-asses and both your and your date’s feedback about each other.
What do you think it’s hard for people to find their match?
Sometimes people are just too picky. Picky is good, but it’s bad when you’re not realistic. Second, being judgmental before you even meet the person. You need to meet someone in person to see if you have the chemistry. Sometimes it even needs to 3 to 4 dates until the spark kicks in. You should give everyone a chance.
What does it take to be a professional matchmaker?
As I mentioned, passion and strong intuition, and it is a gift. But not only that, you also need to have a really good network. You need to have the skill to be able to connect and talk with different from all levels. You have to have the skill to see whether person A with person B. And that’s pure intuition.
How many database do you have right now?
I I have about thousands of database, 30% out of my database is my client that I personally assist right now. I want quality, and not quantity. I’m very selective, so not all of the people who register will be my client. I want to give every one of them equal attention. When you are my client, you have pretty much access to talk to me anytime.
What do you have in the future?
We are going to launch Heart Inc. in other cities as well as our brand new services. Not only dating, but also marriage and other relationship issues.
Awesome. Good luck with that and thank you for the great talk!
You’re welcome! Thank you.