A group move or other circumstance that requires many employee relocations take place at the same time stretches the resources of your HR staff even thinner. More and more companies are shifting to a tiered relocation package over a lump sum approach to minimize exceptions and ease the stress on your HR staff.
How do you establish a tiered relocation package?
When you establish a tiered relocation package to minimize relocation policy exceptions, the tiers most often have to do with home sales and how they are managed. After all, costs for aspects of relocating like movement of household goods, temporary housing and moving people are often fixed. But how much home assistance you offer can vary based on how badly you want to keep an employee on your team, as well as considerations such as how quickly you expect an employee’s home to sell.
The key is determining which relocating homeowners may need the most help selling their homes and structuring tiers so that those people will fall into categories where they receive the assistance they need. Because it’s most often harder to sell the higher-priced homes of executives, a tiered relocation package works well to ensure employees can sell their homes quickly without suffering a loss.
Here are three examples of benefits tied to home sale (assistance):
- Buyer Value Option: Part of the first tier in some tiered relocation packages, a Buyer Value Option helps keep the home out of your company inventory. Rather than relying on a home appraisal, a relocation company will provide complete home marketing assistance. After the employee receives an offer on the home, the relocation company buys it and then re-sells it to the intended buyer. A Buyer Value Option requires the expertise of relocation professionals to identify and qualify serious buyers. The key, however, is in the level of marketing assistance a professional relocation provider can offer to your relocating employees to sell their homes faster.
- Home Sale Bonus: Rather than buying the home from the employee, your company may offer a bonus to employees who sell their home within a specified time frame. To receive the bonus, the employee must use your relocation company’s recommended real estate agents and other services providers (mortgage, etc.). Again, your relocation provider acts as the primary point of contact, decreasing the burden on your HR staff.
- Loss-on-Sale Reimbursement: You can minimize the risk to top-level executives who are relocating with a loss-on-sale program managed by a relocation service provider to ensure that the payout won’t stretch your relocation budget beyond what’s comfortable. This program, usually part of the upper tier in a tiered relocation program, can help increase the odds that you’ll retain more of your key executives before, during and following a move.
A relocation management company can draw on their contacts within the real estate industry in your area to help create low-stress employee home sales and help you establish policies that work with minimal exceptions.
Check out Part 3, where we discuss negotiation exceptions, relocation providers and tax gross-up.