CapRelo Blog

Develop Policies to Mitigate Risk and Manage Business Travel

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Nov 09, 2017

Back view of businessman at airport with suitcase in hand.jpegIt’s in every company’s best interest to minimize the potential risk associated with business travel. This is best done by developing effective processes to manage business travel and involves the following steps:

  • €Create a dedicated business travel management function. This ensures that the available resources are invested solely in the research, development and management of business travelers.
  • €Create effective policies and processes. For each country, develop policies and processes that govern the various types of business travel and duration of visits. These should be based on up-to-date information about the various visa requirements, tax regulations, payroll issues and privacy policies.
  • €Leverage technology to track employees’ travel data and streamline processes. It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all relevant business travel data is accurately monitored and reported. The wide array of reporting responsibilities makes it challenging to ensure all employee activity is correctly tracked and reported. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent enterprise tools on the market that enable organizations or relocation management companies to automatically track employee travel, as well as evaluate immigration, tax and payroll compliance. Moreover, these tools are constantly updated, which eliminates the possibility of acting on outdated information. By utilizing these automated data tracking solutions and reporting processes, employers can minimize the odds of inaccuracies, omissions or non-compliance issues. It also unburdens employees, who are then free to concentrate on the business at hand.
  • €Integrate the business travel management function into the global mobility program. Develop a range of packages for business travel, each with their own processes, expense budgets and traveler support systems. Include travel eligibility and requirement checklists to minimize complications and make the process as smooth as possible.
  • €Inform managers and employees. Once all necessary policies and processes are in place, develop training sessions to inform managers and traveling employees about the new program and the various packages. Create a business travel information center where managers and employees can look up current information about destinations.

Download Our Guide to Managing Business Travelers

Topics: business travlers, policy development

Upcoming Relocation Shows and Events - November

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Nov 02, 2017

 



We will be attending and/or sponsoring the following upcoming events. If you’re attending, look for us and say hi, because it's a great opportunity for us to stay abreast of the latest relocation trends, as well as develop and strengthen trusted partnerships. 

 

Northeast Ohio Relocation Roundtable 2017 Q4 Event

Date: November 2

Location: Holiday Inn, Independence, OH

Attendees: Christopher Bloedel and Dan Keating

Click here to register.

 

Southern California Relocation Council Fall MEETING 

Date: November 9

Location: Green Dragon Tavern & Museum, Carlsbad, CA

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The fall SCRC meeting will mark the first in a three-part series of meetings on international assignment issues. This first phase will focus on pre-assignment planning and will feature speakers who manage the international programs at a variety of multinational organizations. Additionally, the SCRC will be hosting a raffle to raise money to support victims of the recent California wildfires.

Learn more and register for the meeting here.

  

Forum for Expatriate Management Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter Meeting 

Date: November 15

Location: Cigna, Plano, TX

Attendee: Scott Williamson

The topic for the FEM Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter meeting is "The Other Side of the Story: Candid Insights from Employees Abroad" and will discuss findings from from the National Foreign Trade Council and Cigna Global Health Benefits Global Mobility Trends Survey.

For more information and to register, click here.

    

Corporate Relocation Council of Chicago November 2017 Annual Meeting

Date: November 16

Location: Brookfield Zoo Conference Center, Brookfield, IL

Attendee: Christopher Bloedel

The CRC annual business meeting will include educational sessions and a networking reception. 

Find more information and register for the event here.

  

Forum for Expatriate Management New York Chapter Meeting

Date: November 29

Location: KPMG, New York, NY

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The FEM New York Chapter will combine a meeting with a holiday party. Details about the event and speaker are not yet available.

Click here to look for the upcoming details.

  

If you can’t attend, please be sure to follow CapRelo on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Topics: CapRelo Employees

October Relocation Survey

Posted by Amy Mergler on Wed, Nov 01, 2017

Thinking about changing your relocation program or just curious about what other organizations are doing? Each month, we'll feature a short survey and share our findings of the previous month's survey. 

Below are the results for last month's survey and this month's survey questions.

September Survey Results

1. Does your company have a core-flex talent mobility policy?

Yes: 42.9%
No: 57.1%
Don't Know: 0%

2. What motivated your company to use a core-flex policy? (Choose all that apply)

Cost Savings: 66.7% 
Customizable: 66.7%
Recruitment Tool: 33.3%
Exception Reduction: 0%
Unsure: 33.3%
Other (please specify): 0%

3. What challenges did your company face when developing your core-flex program? (Choose all that apply)

Determining precisely which benefits to offer: 66.7%
Balancing core and flexible benefits: 66.7%
Establishing reporting and metrics procedures: 0%
Ensuring consistency of policy application: 0%
Establishing streamlined processes to facilitate the implementation of the policy: 0%
Unsure: 66.7%
Other (please specify): 0%

 

This month's survey addresses employee engagement.  

 

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

Topics: relocation packages, employee engagement, employee relocation

Meet Scott Williamson, VP, Global Business Development

Posted by Amy Mergler on Tue, Oct 17, 2017

Scott Williamson

We recently sat down with Scott to find out more about him and what he enjoys doing in his spare time.

Who is Scott Williamson? – Where do you come from, what is your background? 

Relocation has been in my blood – my siblings and I were born into the industry. My father began his career as a dispatcher and accountant for Bekins Moving & Storage. Over the next 20 years, my family moved four times with stops in Las Vegas, San Antonio, Atlanta and Dallas as my dad moved up the corporate relocation ladder. 

My own career in the moving industry started when my dad hired me to drive a forklift in the warehouse in Atlanta. To earn our way through college during the summertime peak season, my brother, sister and I professionally packed and moved hundreds of families, and we were considered one of the top teams in the company each summer.

After graduating from the University of West Georgia with a marketing degree, I moved to Dallas to begin my professional relocation career in consumer sales with Atlantic North American Van lines. During my 30-year career, I have been on a lifetime mission to learn new areas of specialty to broaden my knowledge, expertise and skill set. I estimate that I have personally consulted and/or been involved in 2000+ U.S. domestic and international relocations.

I have a broad range of expertise, including residential household goods transportation consulting, corporate relocation management consulting, licensed Realtor, licensed loan officer, licensed appraiser, apartment locating, temporary housing, property management, tenant representation, area tour specialist and mortgage finance advisor. I attribute my success to creative thinking, a positive outlook on life, collaboration with teams and a never-ending passion for learning.

How long have you been with CapRelo, and what is your favorite part about your position?

Currently, I am Vice President of Global Business Development with CapRelo, consulting with companies based in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida and Alabama. This month marks my one-year anniversary with CapRelo.

I enjoy the fact that every day is a new set of challenges to expand the CapRelo brand in my marketplace. The immense talent we have here is fantastic, and I enjoy collaborating with my team members who are always open to creating new ways to solve today's relocation challenges. When attending various local ERC groups throughout my territory, it’s quite satisfying when our strategic supply chain partners walk up to me and say how much they  enjoy doing business with CapRelo. That’s proof that we are treating everyone with “care and respect.”

What do you do in your spare time, what are some of your interests?

When I'm not involved in relocations, I mostly enjoy spending quality time at home in Dallas with my wife, Lori; 13-year-old daughter, Sydney; and 11-year-old daughter, Simone. My leisure passions include playing guitar, live music and golf, and I am a big fan of the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers!

 

A Guide to Mobility Costs

Topics: CapRelo Employees

Controlling Global Mobility Costs

Posted by Jim Retzer on Fri, Oct 13, 2017

Aditi-Sharma-Jan-2015-relocation-destination-shutterstock.jpgCompanies that provide global relocation assistance for their employees can expect the usual concerns from their employees, including selecting a mover, providing help with selling a home, support in the new location, and so on. With a global relocation, however, there are additional concerns like visas, international taxes, housing allowances and replicating previous living standards as closely as possible.

Learn more about managing global assignments in our free eBook.

Typical Global Mobility Services

In addition to the few listed above, other typical services during a global relocation include:

  • Assistance with managing relocation expenses
  • Household goods moving
  • Destination and arrival support services
  • Spousal support and counseling
  • Cross-cultural training and language classes
  • Locating quality schools for accompanying children
  • Ongoing support while becoming oriented to day-to-day life in the new location
  • Security for employees and their families
  • Personal transportation, including car purchasing, leases or company drivers

Strategies to Control Global Mobility Expenses

All these services are important, but they also increase the complexity and cost of global relocations. Here are several strategies you can employ to help control your global mobility expenses.

  1. Establish a fair ceiling for housing and related costs for employees, making sure to account for the area’s monetary and real estate market fluctuations.
  2. Consider the length of the assignment. The longer the employee will stay in the new location, the more the compensation rates should be in line with those of the host country. However, it is important to keep in mind that compensation should not fall significantly below what was previously earned; no employee wants to lose money as a result of a transfer.
  3. Get quotes from several relocation management companies, if you decide to use one. Determine what services are available and check customer ratings to assist your decision making.
  4. Carefully estimate the cash and other out-of-pocket expenses and resources needed for a transfer. Underestimating is one of the most common mistakes made – be sure to prepare a list of actual and anticipated expenses in advance.

A comprehensive global mobility policy will keep many factors within your control, but other factors affecting cost – the value of overseas real estate or global monetary fluctuations, for example – are not. If you allow for surprises when planning your budget, you will be better prepared to get your employees off to a good start in their new locations.

Global Assignment Guide

 

Topics: Corporate Relocation Costs, global mobility, global relocation

October Relocation Shows and Events

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Sep 28, 2017

 



We will be attending and/or sponsoring the following upcoming events. If you’re attending, look for us and say hi, because it's a great opportunity for us to stay abreast of the latest relocation trends, as well as develop and strengthen trusted partnerships. 

 

The HR Southwest Conference

Date: October 1-4

Location: Forth Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX

Attendee: Scott Williamson

The HR Southwest Conference will include world-class speakers, including keynote addresses by John 0'Leary and Laura Bush, as well as educational sessions and networking opportunities.

Come see us at Booth #1244! Click here if you'd like to schedule a meeting with CapRelo during the event.

For more information about the event and to register, click here.

    

San Antonio Regional Relocation council Member Event

Date: October 11

Location: TBA

Attendee: Scott Williamson

Details for the SARRC event are not yet available.

Click here for more information about SARRC and look for upcoming event details.

  

Austin Relocation Council

Date: October 12

Location: Top Golf, Austin, TX

Attendee: Scott Williamson

The ARC event will start with a meeting, then golf and networking.

Click here to register.

  

Rocky MOuntain Relocation Council Fall Conference

Date: October 17

Location: Embassy Suites & Top Golf, Centennial, CO

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The RMRC will present their Global Mobility Series: "Scaling Mobility - Aligning Talent with Program Growth and Transformation" and a social event at Top Golf.

For more information about the event and to register, click here.

  

Delaware Valley Relocation Council 2017 Fall Summit

Date: October 17

Location: Ballroom at the Ben, Philadelphia, PA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The focus of the DVRC Fall Summit is "The Value of Influence." There will be a keynote address on influencing outcomes in your organization through innovation and roundtable sessions on a variety of industry topics, followed by a networking event.

Click here to learn more about the event and to register.

  

North Texas Relocation Professionals Luncheon & Education Meeting

Date: October 18

Location: Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West, Dallas, TX

Attendees: Scott Williamson 

The NTRP Luncheon will feature a presentation on Global Mobility Trends by Worldwide ERC® President and CEO, Peggy Smith.

Click here for more information and to register for the luncheon.

 

New England Relocation Association Membership Mingle & MEETING

Dates: October 25 - Mingle; October 26 - Meeting

Location for Both Events: Four Points Sheraton, Norwood, MA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

NERA's Mingle event on the 25th will take place at Splitsville at Patriot's Place, with shuttle service to and from the hotel. The mingle event is limited to 35 attendees. The meeting will include roundtable discussions and presentations on tax topics, talent management and core-flex policy.

To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

  

Pacific Northwest Relocation Council Fall Meeting

Date: October 27

Location: Mercer Island Community Center, Mercer Island, WA

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

Details for the PNwRC Fall Meeting are not yet available.

Click here to register for the event, and look for the upcoming details.

  

If you can’t attend, please be sure to follow CapRelo on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Topics: CapRelo Employees

September Relocation Survey

Posted by Amy Mergler on Tue, Sep 26, 2017

Thinking about changing your relocation program or just curious about what other organizations are doing? Each month, we'll feature a short survey and share our findings of the previous month's survey. 

Below are the results for last month's survey and this month's survey questions.

August Survey Results

1. Does your company address employee retention after relocation in your mobility program?

Yes: 40%
No: 40%
Don't Know: 20%

2. Which relocation concerns affect employee retention in your company? (Choose all that apply)

How relocation impacts employees' families: 80% 
Tax/financial impact of relocation: 0%
Real estate concerns: 40%
Anxiety and acclimatization concerns associated with moving: 40%
Unsure: 20%
Other (please specify): 0%

3. Which of the following does your company's mobility program address to improve employee retention? (Choose all that apply)

Tracking retention rates following employee transfers: 20%
Fully interviewing, evaluating and screening employees prior to a potential transfer: 20%
Providing relocation assistance with real estate considerations: 60%
Providing tax assistance: 40%
Offering adequate spousal/partner support: 20%
Following up with employees regarding their relocation experience: 40%
Unsure: 20%
Other (please specify): 0%

 

This month's survey addresses Core-Flex Policies.  

Create your survey with SurveyMonkey

Topics: relocation packages, employee relocation, core-flex policies

12 Key Points in an Employee Transfer Letter

Posted by CapRelo on Fri, Sep 15, 2017

Employee Transfer Paperwork

Employee transfer letters are given to employees who are being transferred to a different branch, department or location of their employer. The reasons for the letters is more than just common professional courtesy. Transfer letters provide employee and employer the "ground rules" of the transfer.

Learn more about how to write an employee transfer letter with our free article.

Foundation for Transfer Letters

The purpose and reasons for issuing transfer letters is central to successful employee relocations. Among the motivation and goals of these documents are the following: 

  • Create a written record of the employee's transfer for the personnel file.
  • Provide evidence that the employee's compensation account follows the employee accurately.
  • Track the personnel in each department to ensure a correct head count for staffing purposes.

Whether the transfer is employer-generated or a mutual agreement between employer and employee, the transfer letter offers visible, physical evidence of the move from one department or location to another

Transfer Letter Checklist

Consider the following items as a template from which to create appropriate transfer letters.

  1. The employee's full name and current address, with accurate contact information.
  2. Identify the reason for the transfer
  3. Name of the department or location from which the employee is transferring.
  4. Name of the department or location to which the individual is moving.
  5. The exact effective date the transfer will take place
  6. State the official start date in the new location, if the date is different from the effective date of the transfer
  7. The name of the supervisor in the new department to whom the transferee will report.
  8. The creation or issue date of the transfer letter.
  9. Note the details of the position in the new location, including any bonuses the employee is to receive as a result of the transfer.
  10. Use a standard letter or memo format, whichever is consistent with previous transfer letters issued by the employer.
  11. Closely proofread the letter to ensure accuracy.
  12. Ensure the letter or memo has the original signature of the appropriate person authorizing the transfer.

If there is a change in title or responsibilities, details about those changes may be described. Additionally, changes in titles and duties should be documented for inclusion in the employee's personnel file. The letter should refer to the the company's relocation policy and summary the portions of the policy applicable to the employee. 

The most vital feature of transfer letters is their clarity. They should be straightforward and direct. This will avoid misunderstandings or confusion regarding the transfer.

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Topics: employee transfer, writing relocation offer letter, employee relocation

Real Estate Tiers in Your Global Mobility Program

Posted by Amy Mergler on Fri, Sep 08, 2017

New HomeYour relocation tiers can be as detailed and nuanced as you need them to be. Some companies find it useful to establish specific real estate tiers as part of their packages. Real estate tiers feature different options that may incentivize employees to sell their homes more quickly or give them a guarantee that they won't be stuck paying an old mortgage long after they've moved to their new location

Guaranteed Buyout Program

Sample real estate tiers may include executive level home sale assistance and a Guaranteed Buyout (GBO) program. Executive level home sale assistance is typically reserved for high-level executives. It involves providing a buyout offer after a home has been on the market for a certain length of time. This gives your high-level executives the assurance that they can confidently purchase a new home without the constant worry of whether their old home will ever sell.

To offer a buyout option, your company needs to be prepared to be responsible for the costs associated with carrying a home in inventory until resold. This isn't the optimal situation, but it could be well worth it if it helps increase the productivity of a strategic employee.

Buyer Value Option Program

For mid-level employees, you may consider offering a Buyer Value Option (BVO) program, which offers similar advantages to a GBO once an outside buyer has been identified. This option often focuses on providing employees with sufficient marketing support they need to sell their homes. A BVO minimizes the risk of inventory costs and provides a high level of employee satisfaction.

Home Sale Bonus Incentive

A final aspect of real estate tiers for homeowners is the home sale bonus incentive, which can also be added to relocation packages at any level. This involves providing an additional bonus for employees when they sell their homes within a certain period of time. These bonuses – also known as quick sale bonuses – provide employees with motivation to sell their homes more quickly and make it more cost-effective to invest in repairs and improvements and services like home staging.

Quick sale bonuses benefit employees because they deliver greater incentives to sell their homes faster and relocate without having their attention, focus and efforts pulled away by their old pieces of property. They're also more likely to bring in good prices on homes that are still occupied and that have spent less time on the market.

There are benefits for employers who encourage relocating employees to sell their homes quickly, too. The sooner your employee sells, the shorter the overall relocation process will be, which can save your company major costs on the relocation package. You'll also benefit from having your employees return to full productivity as soon as possible.

Renters

Not all relocating employees will be homeowners and may opt to rent in the new location as well. Additionally, current homeowners may not want to purchase a home in the new location, so it's important to include provisions in your real estate tiers for renters, as well as homeowners. These could include:

  • Lease cancellation penalty reimbursement
  • Connecting the employee with a rental specialist in the destination location
  • Rental finding trip, including transportation costs, lodging, meals and rental car
  • Temporary living assistance
  • Area touring fees or finder's fees, if required.

Save Time & Money Using Tiered Relocation Packages

Topics: relocation packages, Tiered relocation packages, Real Estate

Upcoming Relocation Shows and Events - September

Posted by Amy Mergler on Tue, Aug 29, 2017

 



We will be attending and/or sponsoring the following upcoming events. If you’re attending, look for us and say hi, because it's a great opportunity for us to stay abreast of the latest relocation trends, as well as develop and strengthen trusted partnerships. 

 

New York Council of Relocation Professionals Fall Event

Date: September 12th-13th

Location: TBA

Attendee: Pete Larkin

Click here to register.

  

Greater Washington Employee Relocation Council Membership Mingle & Meeting 

Dates: September 12th - Mingle; September 13th - Meeting

Locations:
TBD - Mingle
TEGNA at Valo Park, McLean, VA - Meeting

Attendee: Jean Marotta

Register for both events here.

    

Portland Relocation council Member appreciation & Networking Event

Date: September 13th

Location: Top Golf, Hillsboro, OR

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The PRC event will include a brief industry update, then food, fun and conversation. 

Find more information and register for the event here.

  

Southeastern Regional Relocation Council

Date: September 13th-14th

Location: Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

Attendee: Scott Williamson and Chris Owens

Complete details about the event and the agenda are not yet available. CapRelo's Chris Owens will be a panelist discussing topics related to requests for proposal, key performance indicators and supply chain management.

Click here to register for the event, and look for the upcoming details.

  

New Jersey Forum for Expatriate Management Chapter Meeting

Date: September 14th

Location: KPMG, Short Hills, NJ

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The New Jersey FEM chapter meeting will address the growing concern about the financial and tax liability risk associated with mobile employees.

For more information about the event and to register, click here.

  

GSA EMPLOYEE RELOCATION RESOURCE CENTER (ERRC) CONFERENCE

Date: September 14th

GSA Employee Relocation Resource Center, 1800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC

Attendees: Jean Marotta

The GSA ERRC is a government-wide center for employee relocation products and services that offers Federal agencies assistance in addressing their transportation and relocation needs. 

Find out more about the GSA ERRC here.

 

Bay Area Mobility Management Fall MEETING

Date: September 15th

Location: Symantec HQ, Mountain View, CA

Attendee: Patrick Cacho

The BAMM fall meeting will feature a presentation from Mike Berland, CEO of Berland Strategy & Analytics.

Click here to learn more about the event and to register.

  

New Jersey Relocation Council Member Event

Date: September 19th

Location: Top Golf, Edison, NJ

Attendee: Pete Larkin

The NJRC event will include a discussion of the latest challenges in global mobility and then a game of Top Golf.

To register for the event, click here.

  

2017 Great Lakes Relocation Conference

Date: September 21st-22nd

Location: Hotel Monaco, Downtown Pittsburgh, PA

Attendees: Pete Larkin and Christopher Bloedel

The Great Lakes Relocation Conference will include sessions related to lump sum relocation, corporate temporary housing, moving technology, the impact of millennials on relocation, short-term assignments and commuters and immigration.

Click here for more information about and to register for the conference.

  

Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium

Date: September 27th-29th

Location: Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago, IL

Attendees: Patrick Cacho, Christopher Bloedel and Dan Keating

The WERC Global Workforce Symposium will include world-class speakers and education and development sessions, with plenty of networking opportunities.

Come see us at Booth #635! Click here if you'd like to schedule a meeting with CapRelo during the event.

For more information about the event and to register, click here.

  

If you can’t attend, please be sure to follow CapRelo on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Topics: CapRelo Employees

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