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... arrange accomodation for zurich in advance of moving there ...
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I am facing a similar situation.
After realizing that the market for accommodation in Zurich is extremely tight and acceptable flats are on the market only for a few days at a time, I decided to not hunt for the "final" place to be, but shoot for temporary accommodation.
In my case, a colleague of mine and me decided to rent through http://www.glandon-apartments.ch/
which might be acceptable or not - we will find out, with our adventure only beginning on 1 October. The interaction was professional, although it will have helped that I speak (German) German natively and my employer probably has the best brand recognition in all of Switzerland.
Our plan is to stay in that appartment for two months and to have found individual, acceptable accommodation by 1 December.
Please do make sure that you compare prices and verify whether value-added tax (Mehrwertsteuer, MwSt.) is included or not. It seems as if some companies like to offer net of VAT, which for you would mean an increase in cost of 8% (or 3.8% - not sure whether that reduced rate applies here).
In looking around for accomodation, you might be able to make use of http://www.ums.ch/
(who are brokers for sublet; they will add quite a bit on the rent and also ask for various fees) or http://www.wimdu.ch/
Another option is shooting for long-term rent in a hotel. I suspect that the more upper-class you go, the better your chance for a *decent* long-term rent are. On the lower end, I know of a quote of CHF 3000 per month in the IBIS West.
Finally, and depending on your willingness to take risks, just book yourself into a hotel or pension for a few days and make flat hunting your primary occupation until you find something final.
Generally speaking, I am convinced that hunting locally is your only option.
Disclaimer: None of the above (companies, URLs) constitutes a recommendation