Published on March 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.
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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.