CapRelo Blog

Executive Relocation Packages: Anticipate Problems Before they Arise

Posted by Amy Mergler on Thu, Aug 04, 2016

be-prepared.jpgThe key to a successful relocation may be seen as having a staff of skilled relocation specialists on hand to put out fires and handle circumstances as they arise. This is largely true. But if you want the real secret to pulling off a flawless relocation, the key is in anticipating problems before they occur.

Learn more about executive relocation packages in our free article.

The great news is you don’t have to be psychic to tune into what these things may be. You just have to be sympathetic to the fact that relocation, especially for executives with families, can be a daunting experience. Consider offering the following destination services in your relocation package:

Finding Good Schools

This requires a dedicated agent to perform in-depth research into the quality of schooling in the area where the employee and their family are to be relocated. Ultimately, school decisions are made by the parent – but all of the legwork can be done for them in advance and presented to them in a comprehensive report.

Spousal Support

Today, it's the rare family where one parent works and the other stays at home. When offering relocation to an employee with a working spouse, equal consideration should be given to that person's career choices in the new location. Research into the local job market should be performed and delivered to aid in the employee's decision to relocate.

Social Assistance

Uprooting a life can have significant consequences, including feeling cut off from friends and family. If that also extends to social and leisure interests, the relocated employees and their families may experience serious difficulty adjusting to their new environment. Providing information on personal or professional associations at the destination location can have a beneficial impact on that transition.

Places of Worship

People who attend churches, temples or mosques have a relationship with the leaders of these places of worship, was well as with the congregation. When offering relocation to any executive employee, it's imperative to remain sensitive to this fact by conducting thorough research on similar institutions in the destination city.

Don't Forget the Pets!

Most moving companies have rules against transporting live animals or plants, and still more aren't qualified to move expensive items like fine art. In these cases, alternative arrangements have to be available to accommodate relocating employees whose belongings include more than just boxes of clothing and furniture.

Executive Relocation Guide

Topics: Family Relocation, destination services, executive relocation package

Destination Services and Providers - Global Relocations

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, Dec 09, 2014

digital-world-map.jpgGlobal relocations often involve numerous moving parts for companies and major adjustments for professionals and their families. The best way to make the process more streamlined and comfortable is to rely on a destination services provider (DSP).

A DSP delivers professional services designed to help assignees and their family members experience smoother global transitions. DSPs can deliver a range of standard services as well as customized offerings based on a professional’s preferences and interests. The following are just a few of the highly useful services DSPs use to make your organization’s global relocations easier. 

Learn more about managing global assignments with our free guide.

Area Orientation

Adjusting to life in a new country is often the most overwhelming concern for professionals and their families. A DSP eases these concerns by providing in-depth area orientations that include neighborhood descriptions, housing market profiles, lists of medical facilities and even customized information that addresses an assignee’s specific interests. 

Home-Finding Assistance

The home buying and renting procedures can vary significantly in different countries. A good DSP makes this process easier by pulling together data on the local market, laying out buying and renting steps and explaining any legal requirements. If an assignee desires more hands-on help, relocation management providers can actually walk assignees through the entire home-buying or home-renting process, in addition to helping them rent or sell their old homes. 

School Searches

Relocation management services assist families in finding schools that offer the same or a higher level of education than their old schools provided. DSPs can also make sure children and parents are fully prepared for the start of school by gathering details on entrance exams and other enrollment considerations. 

Foreign Language Training

Strong language training is a crucial aspect of helping professionals and their families to feel comfortable in an unfamiliar location. While learning a new language can seem like a large undertaking, professional programs offer options to make the process easier – including at-home classes, classes at the office, and classes customized for each individual’s personal and professional needs. 

Cultural Instruction

It’s common to focus on language skills and forget about another essential part of moving to a new country – learning about that area’s cultural identity and nuances. While most languages have detailed rules and structures, a country’s cultural identity can be much harder to pin down. That’s where a DSP comes in to provide detailed knowledge on a country’s customs, etiquette, taboos and common business practices. 

Spousal Support

While most executives grasp the importance of providing training and service for relocating employees, many forget that it’s also essential to offer services for spouses undergoing the relocation process. Destination service providers can arrange for spouses to receive career counseling, information on recreational activities, opportunities for social interaction, and other services that may help them feel more at home.

 

It’s never too early to start incorporating these destination services into your company’s relocation process. In fact, the sooner professionals find the information and support they need, the more likely they are to enjoy a smooth adjustment and return to full productivity.

New Call-to-action

 

Topics: international relocation services, destination services, global mobility, global relocation

Common Concerns from Employees in a Corporate Relocation

Posted by Rick Bruce on Mon, Jun 10, 2013

question-mark-box-2.jpgEmployee relocation generates numerous concerns on the part of transferees. Employers who proactively address these concerns in their relocation policy minimize or eliminate most of them.

Find out more about developing relocation policies in our free guide.

Among the seemingly infinite list of questions and concerns are:

Common Concerns

This brief listing is in no particular order of importance, as different personalities and situations result in different priorities. 

  • Quality of life
  • Spouse employment opportunities
  • Availability of quality elder care
  • Proximity to quality schools and universities
  • The housing market
  • Availability of recreation facilities, youth and adult sports programs and community activities
  • The departure location housing market
  • The cost of moving to a distant, unfamiliar area, regardless of the quality of the relocation policy

This is not an all-encompassing listing. Important concerns of employee “A” may not even make the list of employee “B.” The noted concerns, however, tend to make most pre-relocation item lists of the majority of transferees. Relocation programs should address these issues and reaffirm the benefits of transferring with these concerns in mind.  Below are a few details associated with the concerns mentioned:

Spouse Employment Opportunities

If your transferee's spouse is a productive member of the workforce in their current location, employers should, if possible, share the job opportunities that should be available in the new location. If the employment prospects are dim, the employer can do more research or contact peers in the new area to procure some potential sources of jobs for transferees' spouses.

For example, if the transferee's spouse is a registered nurse, employers can get information regarding job prospects from hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other medical facilities in the new location. While the employer cannot guarantee employment for the spouse, addressing this concern within the policy parameters earns employee trust and gratitude.

Quality Care for Seniors

As the national workforce ages, their parents age too. Even aging parents who do not need nursing homes may want community services and activities tailored to their interests. The availability of quality care or senior activities can determine a “yes” or “no” answer to a company invitation to relocate.

Quality Education

Transferees with children of any school age are often troubled by the uncertainty of quality schools or colleges in the new area. Relocation programs that address these concerns and respond with useful inside information will put the transferee's mind at ease. All the information an employer provides a potential transferee serves to minimize these valid concerns.

Housing Market

This is a two-headed monster that must be defeated. Potential transferees may love their home, neighborhood, friends and area. Further, the uncertainty surrounding new locations, particularly during pre-relocation decisions, involves real estate prices, population diversity, mortgage availability and climate.

Offering to help with the sale of the current home and assistance with finding a new home can turn transferee frowns to smiles.

Budgeting

Even the best relocation programs involve some out-of-pocket cost for transferees. Giving examples of the reimbursement levels for prospective costs covered by the employer and potential costs to the relocating employee often calms the pre-relocation cost fears.

Employers must be aware of these concerns, designing appropriate answers to transferee questions and offering solutions to problem areas. Relocation policies that accomplish this goal result in more satisfied, productive transferees.

Free Article:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies

 

Topics: Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Corporate Relocation Costs, destination services, employee relocation concerns

Executive Relocation Services - Settling In and Personal Issues

Posted by George Herriage on Wed, May 08, 2013

Important features of destination services in executive relocation programs should include helping transferees “settle in” to their new homes, neighborhoods and jobs. Effective relocation policies also include offering assistance with personal concerns with the move.

Moving Box

Settling In Services

Even the most seasoned travelers face challenges and uncertainties when moving to a new location. Settling into a hotel room or resort is easy compared to feeling comfortable in a new home, condo or apartment that is now your residence. Your executive relocation program should include features that help smooth this process.

Executive relocating employees are expected to show up ready to make strategic decisions, with a full plate of objectives and responsibilities. Even seemingly mundane tasks covered by your relocation program destination services are highly appreciated by transferred executive families.  Does your program assist with these described below? 

  • Unpacking moving boxes.
    Even clearly marked moving boxes can pose mysterious location challenges to relocating families. Should the mystery be minor, these boxes still need unpacking and the items therein must be put away or placed in their proper destination. Executive families facing this tedious moving process necessity strongly appreciate relocation programs that include unpacking services.

  • House cleaning and brightening.
    Whether brand new or previously-owned, even high valued real estate can use a cleaning that also includes a brightening service to help the executive and family settle in to their new residence quickly and comfortably.

  • Organizing cabinets and closets.
    Kitchen cabinet and closet organizing help is a required job. If your program includes help with this daunting project, your executive will be most appreciative and your valued executive’s family may be even more grateful.

  • Washing dishes, pots, pans and utensils.
    Even if the new home is all that your executive desires, most families want to wash their dishes, utensils, pots and pans after these vital items have been encased in packing boxes. Offering this service is low-cost and appropriate for helping your executive and family to settle into their new home.

  • Interior decorator advice and assistance.
    Whether your transferred executive comes from an “Architectural Digest” home or more modest accommodations, offering interior decorator advice will help address important settling in concerns. Often, suggestions such as where to place furniture or how to solve traffic patterns are all that is needed.

Personal Relocation Issues

Personal assistance with direct and more indirect relocation issues is vital to competitive executive relocation policies. Does your program provide for these?

  • Safely transporting family, pets and personal goods.

  • Organizing and packing household items before the move.

  • Learning about the new location features and attractions.

  • Safeguarding expensive or irreplaceable items, such as art, antiques or special-meaning personal items that cannot be replaced at any price.

  • Introduction to reliable mortgage lenders, banks and credit unions.

Personal concerns of transferring executives can take a wide variety of incarnations. By definition, that which may seem insignificant to some may be of supreme importance to the transferee. Your relocating executives deserve respect and compassion from you as their employer while they engage in the stressful activity of relocating themselves and their family.

For example, an otherwise simple house hunting trip may require the executive to arrange pet or child care at the current or new location. Should your relocation program provide for pet or child care, at the old or new location, your executive feels more secure and comfortable knowing that the family’s pet and children have professional care, giving the transferee freedom from concern on the home finding trip.

Relocation program destination services that include this assistance often remove the stress and challenges involved in executive moves. Consider including these destination services in your relocation policy, as they are cost-effective and -controlled. The value, as compared to the cost, of this personal issue and settling in assistance is a winner for both the transferee and the company.

If your relocation program includes these executive level services, keep them. Should your executive relocation policy lack these benefits, consider adding them to your program. The cost will quickly become negligible as compared to the ramped-up performance of your valued transferred executives.
New Call-to-action

Topics: destination services, executive relocation package

Real Estate Support in Relocation Policies

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Mar 12, 2013

Whether transferees face a booming or stagnant housing market, real estate support is an important feature in corporate relocation programs. It matters not whether the transferee is a new hire or current employee. The uncertainty of selling his/her home for an acceptable price in a timely fashion is often paramount. Even renters with leases can be traumatized when facing relocation. Include basic real estate support, at an absolute minimum, in your relocation program offering.

Basic Real Estate Services

Use of the term "basic" is open to interpretation when it comes to real estate services for relocation programs. However, regardless of their extent, some real estate services are important components of competitive relocation policies. Real estate, and the disposition or management of it, tends to be the most important consideration for new hires and current employees facing relocation.  A list of typical benefits in the area of real estate services follows:

  • Home sale assistance. Timely home sale for a reasonable price is a concern for transferees in both hot and cold housing markets. Selling a home is a source of concern. Employer assistance in the area of real estate is a critical component of a relocation program. The extent of employer home sale assistance varies widely. You need not match specific details of extravagant relocation program offerings. Concentrate on offering competitive features that match those employers competing for the same talent you are.
  • Residence lease help. Those employees who do not own real estate still face financial considerations that, if the lease is broken, can be cost prohibitive to the relocation effort. . Corporate relocation programs that help transferees avoid lease penalties or reimburse them are common and welcome components of these policies.
  • Home purchase assistance. Buying a new home and getting a mortgage is stressful even when moving locally. Without knowledge of new neighborhoods or lending options in the new location, transferees can endure greater stress and uncertainty. Providing assistance from real estate agents with relocation experience and referrals to nationally recognized lending institutions are invaluable features.
  • Temporary living expense reimbursement. Finding temporary living quarters is a common need for transferees, whether they choose to buy or rent new residences. Reimbursing transferring employees who must use temporary living quarters is a common and expected relocation program component. Whether your transferee is searching for the right home or awaiting a new home closing, temporary quarters are often necessary.
  • Destination services. Reimbursed house hunting trips help transferees search for new housing without financial stress. Helping with new location real estate issues is a critical component of relocation programs, as it's financially challenging and, more importantly, emotionally unsettling. For new hires and current employees, destination assistance is an important component of the entire relocation package.
What You Need to Know For  an Executive Relocation [Slides]
Some employers may expand on these typical benefits to include loss on sale money benefits or new purchase down payment help. But, depending on what your competition offers, these are the basic and typical components of many competitive relocation programs.

Topics: Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, destination services

Typical Features of Destination Services in Relocation Policies

Posted by George Herriage on Thu, Mar 07, 2013

sold_home-resized-600.jpgDestination services are components of successful relocation programs and include a myriad of features. Whether you internally administer your relocation program or make life easier for your HR department by using a relocation firm, there is one overall objective that supersedes all others:

Helping your transferee and his/her family become settled in the new location and home as quickly and as stress-free as possible. The goal never changes.

 

Relocation Realities

Destination services successfully address some relocation realities that exist regardless of the size, complexity or market standing of your company. Accepting these realities helps you design and minimize potentially negative effects of these realities on your transferees and your company.

  • Relocation programs include direct and indirect expenses, and sometimes hidden costs.
  • Relocating offers opportunities for your employee and stress on their family
  • Fear of the unknown—such as moving to an unfamiliar location—is a natural human emotion.

The faster employees become “comfortable” in their new location, the faster they return to high performing, productive employees.

The Two “Cs”

If your relocation policy addresses at least these two concerns, it will be efficient. The two considerations:

  • Cost control. Just as senior management strives to control costs in all areas of company operations, relocation programs can achieve this goal in various ways. You can design policies that offer valuable features, but cap or control direct and indirect expenses.
  • Competitiveness. Finding and keeping talented employees involves more than attractive salaries and bonus opportunities. Survey after survey indicates that employers offering pleasant workplaces, opportunities for employees to “shine,” expressions of staff appreciation, work-life balance considerations and valuing employee opinions and ideas, are more successful in attracting and retaining employees. Your relocation program must be similar to the policies offered by your competition for staff talent to maintain a “level playing field.”

Competitive Destination Service Menu

Destination services are one of the most important features of competitive relocation programs. The downside is minimal; the benefits are numerous. Your program need not be extravagant, but should address your transferees’ primary concerns. Consider including the following typical features in the destination service section of your relocation program.

  • Home search assistance. Typically the most important transferee concern, this component can take multiple forms. At a minimum, match your transferee with relocation experienced real estate agents these professionals understand the time and monetary constraints on transferees and their employers. Reimbursing the transferee and spouse for one or two house hunting trips of specified duration relieves relocation stress and is budget-friendly.
  • Help in finding an appropriate neighborhood. Finding acceptable neighborhoods is another stress-inducing transferee concern. Providing information, demographics and insider evaluations of neighborhood options is a stress-reducing and valuable destination service.
  • School information for transferees with children. Provide reliable resources regarding public and private schools in the new location. Your selected real estate agent(s) can also provide the transferee with neighborhood and school information to quell transferee concerns or fears.
  • Compensation and reimbursement amounts.   To remain competitive, consider compensation and reimbursement adjustments when you relocate employees to a higher cost-of-living environment. This will strengthen your employer-employee bond and staff engagement level.
  • Quality of life features. Cost-of-living is only one component of a person’s quality of life. A clean, professional workplace and the opportunity to maintain or improve the transferee’s previous quality of life deliver benefits to both employer (higher staff retention) and employee (personal and family satisfaction.)

These destination service features should form the foundation of your relocation policy. Depending on your transferee's situation, company goals, you can fine tune or add to these typical valuable features.

You’ll find that both new hires and current employees will relocate with less stress and a faster return to productivity and the as the employer, you will thoroughly reap the benefits of providing them with destination services that meet their needs.

 

New Call-to-action  

Topics: relocation benefits, Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Corporate Relocation Costs, destination services, House Hunting Trips

5 Tips for Helping Your Employees Settle into Their New Homes

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Tue, Nov 20, 2012

My Move logoToday's post is courtesy of MyMove.com, the resource for stress-free moving, which offers free checklists, reminders, tools, inside tips and deals to the 40 million people who move each year in the U.S. Visit MyMove.com today for help with your move.


As challenging as a corporate relocation may be for company owners and the HR staff, it's just as tough for employees. Focusing on doing a job in a new location while managing moving stress and settling into a new home is a lot to put on anyone’s plate.

Your relocation firm should have done a good job during scouting trips of showing relocating employees around the city or town and spotlighting the best aspects, from local shopping to the best restaurants. But employees may still be overwhelmed prior to a move, and scouting trips give employees a lot to take in during just a few days.

One key to a low-stress relocation is helping employees get comfortable in their new neighborhood.  Short of helping your employees unpack, here are five ways you can help:

1. Introduce them to other professionals.

Chances are, as a leader in your company, you've already scoped out the networking organizations and professional events. Invite your top talent to a fun event and introduce them to people you think they'd like.

2. Be flexible about time-off requests.

In dual-income families, someone has to stay home and wait for the cable guy. Offer flex-time, a few extra days off, or work-at-home days to recently relocated employees to make the post-move period less stressful. They'll return to full productivity faster and be happier during the transition. 

3. Organize an office lunch at a local restaurant.

Rather than telling your employees about the best places in town to eat, take them there. Or have the best pizza or Chinese food place deliver a mid-day feast...along with a stack of menus to hand out.

4. Treat employees and their spouses to a night out.

Relocating employees are often busy with unpacking and home decorating, but few would say “no” to box seats at a sporting event or an evening at one of the city's most exciting tourist attractions. A gesture like this costs just a small fraction of the total relocation budget and will foster good morale companywide.

5. Be there to answer questions.

The most important thing you can do as an employer following a corporate relocation is to let employees know you understand their situation and are here to help. A corporate relocation firm can work with your employees following their move to help them settle in, but there's nothing like a boss with an open-door policy to help create a stress-free work environment.

Even if your relocation company is conducting post-move interviews, check in with employees personally to see if they have any questions or concerns—about the moving process, the new office, their new neighborhood or even where to find the best Thai food in town. You might find that your employees can provide a wealth of information to help you settle in, too.

Topics: employee retention, relocation process, corporate relocation program, destination services, talent management

Employer and Employee Benefits of House Hunting Trips

Posted by Barbara Miller on Tue, Oct 09, 2012

family-house-for-sale.jpgWhether you are a homeowner or renter, when relocating to a new, unfamiliar area, you certainly would appreciate assistance from your employer. Whether you're a senior executive or a new lower-level hire, all relocating employees can use employer help in finding a new residence.

The best employee relocation policies contain this important feature. They can take various forms, all of which are helpful to transferees. In addition to the obvious monetary benefits, home finding assistance greatly reduces the employee's stress level.

Learn more about developing relocation policies with our free guide.

Employer Benefits

This result is particularly beneficial to employer expectations of transferred employee productivity in the new location. Happy, stress-free employees are productive employees.

Setting reasonable parameters offers cost containment and management benefits for employers. Expense management and control must be matched with valuable benefits for your employees. Home finding assistance and one or more reimbursed house hunting trips achieve this goal.

Common Components in Relocation Programs

Finding a new home is stressful for employees in good or bad real estate markets. Reducing this stress level by offering home-finding help is always important. The best executive relocation policies usually feature some consistent benefits, like:

  • Hasten and smooth the procedure of locating, buying and occupying the employee's new home
  • Provide for one or two home-finding excursions, for seven to 10 days total, for both the transferee and his/her spouse or domestic partner
  • Help selecting a trained and experienced real estate professional.
  • Reimbursement for normal and customary house hunting expenses on an "as-submitted" or lump sum basis.
Often, the most vital component is selecting the "right" real estate agent. The most respected, experienced professionals deliver more than just knowledge of the area and the best homes for sale or rent. These agents have a strong network to find preferred homes, condos or apartments for the transferee. They also assist in narrowing their search criteria, hastening the process of selecting the most appropriate properties.

While neither employee nor employer wants transferees to "rush to judgment" in selecting their new home, speed and efficiency are essential. The move must be completed as quickly as possible to have your employee become productive at the new location. Employers need this result. Transferees also need to minimize moving stress and get their families settled into new homes as smoothly as possible.

Most Common Home-Finding Expense Reimbursements

Transportation costs. Including airfare, auto rentals, mileage costs and appropriate miscellaneous expenses (tolls, parking, auto service, etc.)

Temporary lodging. Including hotels, motels or other short-stay options for the house hunters.

Food and meals. Most solid relocation policies offer per diem allowances of around $40 per day, per adult house hunter, without requiring receipt submission. When no per diem allowance is offered, transferees submit receipts for family meal reimbursement.

Daily child care costs. Common allowances are around $50 per day per child, up to a maximum $100 per day for all minor children.

These covered expenses, along with other miscellaneous reimbursements, apply directly to the home finding activities of the transferee. Home sale and/or purchase assistance is covered in additional policy areas. House hunting assistance reimbursement parameters and maximum amounts, if any, are specified or negotiated as needed, per policy language.

Free Article:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies

 

Topics: relocation benefits, Home Buyers, destination services, House Hunting Trips

Destination Services for International Relocation

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Tue, Oct 25, 2011

We know there’s a logistical side of relocation, but we’re also aware of the more intrinsic aspects of a big move – the potential stress, reorientation and adjustment that an employee and their family will be facing. This can be a very complex part of relocation, especially for an employee transfer to another country.

International RelocationInternational relocation can heighten all of those less tangible, often emotional aspects because there are so many more unknowns than with a cross-county relocation. That’s where CapRelo’s professional expertise and level of service can be a great assist in an international transfer.

Getting Settled and Acclimating

Destination Services is just one of many in our array of full-service relocation components. By contracting with local international service providers, CapRelo guarantees that your employee gets the hands-on support required to adapt to a new country, culture, language and work location.

A “trailing spouse” is one of the biggest concerns for a relocation company. An employee is most productive after an international relocation knowing their partner and family are comfortable and acclimating. When a partner, especially one with a career relocates with the employee, their overall attitude is critical. CapRelo addresses that with Destination Services and more wrap-around levels of service.

 

New Call-to-action

If the accompanying partner is game to try a new career after an international relocation, this article in Expatinfodesk.com’s blog can be helpful. Several jobs are suggested, including teaching a language, becoming an expat real estate agent or even starting an import/export company.

With CapRelo’s service and support, think of your international relocation as the start of a new adventure!

Topics: international relocation services, destination services

New Call-to-action

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all