CapRelo Blog

Executive Relocation Packages - Household Goods Moving Services

Posted by Jim Retzer on Tue, Jul 01, 2014

The Challenge

C  Users selamawy Documents Photosthop Images globe boxesYou invest significant resources in recruiting and retaining top-level executives to guide your company toward growth and greater profitability. For those executives who accept a relocation assignment, transporting their household goods must be handled with the utmost care and much more detailed planning than would be required for a more typical relocation.

Learn more about how to develop an attractive executive relocation policy in our free article.

Providing top quality services that address their special needs can smooth the relocation process and bring your executive back to full productivity far more quickly than if he or she had to micro-manage the process; creating worry, stress and distractions from day to day business issues. Those unwanted outcomes lead to temporary losses of productivity and perhaps to job dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, most employers and their HR departments do not have significant experience in the special relocation needs of top executives. However, there are several key ingredients you should consider if you choose to take on the executive relocation yourself.

What to Do

Simply arranging for a moving company to transport your executive's household goods isn't sufficient. You need to understand how the company handles executive relocations, and then thoroughly vet the company to assure it's up to the job. For example:

  • Determine if the moving company has written policies and procedures for relocating top executives. Obtain a copy and review it to determine what services are included for executive moves that differ from more routine relocations.
  • Does the mover have a dedicated team of highly-rated employees specially trained to handle executive relocations? How did those top-rated people obtain their ratings? What measures were used to determine which employees are best suited to providing quality service for executive moves?
  • How does the moving company handle quality control issues? Do they have a 24x7 single point of contact for customer service?
  • Does the moving company offer a Service Level Agreement (SLA)? What components are included in the SLA? For example, do they have sufficient resources (trucks, people and scheduling systems) to assure the loading of household goods will be completed on the date and time promised, without compromise?
  • Is an On Site Manager (OSM) designated for the move? If so, does he or she oversee the entire household goods shipment? Is the OSM on-site at the destination to provide continuous supervision of the unloading process?

A Better Solution

Household goods shipment is one of the most important facets of an executive relocation. If your HR department doesn't have deep experience in such relocations, it is possible – perhaps likely – that you'll hit “speed bumps” along the way that can lead to loss of productivity, dissatisfaction with the entire relocation process and negative impact on your company. Instead, you may wish to consider outsourcing the household goods transportation process to a firm that specializes in working with top executive relocations. 

Executive Relocation Guide

 

Topics: Low-Stress Relocation, Household Goods, corporate relocation company, executive relocation package

What is Included with House Hunting Reimbursements?

Posted by Brian D'Orazio on Tue, Apr 08, 2014

threeway_campaign_photo-240x160.jpgSome corporate relocation packages offer the red carpet treatment, taking care of every aspect of a transferee’s move from travel arrangements and expenses to the actual packing and delivery of household goods. Other relocation packages aren’t quite as comprehensive and require relocating employees to do some of the heavy lifting – like traveling to their point of destination to seek out housing in advance of their move. The good news is many relocation packages offer reimbursement for house hunting.

Here is a list of some of the costs of house hunting that are frequently reimbursed by employers.

  • Travel costs. Because airfare can often be the most cost prohibitive aspect of scoping out new living arrangements in another state or country, most companies will offer to pay their employees back in full for the cost of travel – be that by train, plane, or automobile. This doesn’t mean that house hunting employees should assume they’ll be reimbursed for buying first class tickets, however. Unless it’s absolutely impossible, the most economic means of travel should be booked by the employee.

  • Cost of rentals or other associated transportation fees. If an employee decides to drive themselves across state lines on an extended house hunting expedition, they can expect to receive reimbursement for mileage and any required tolls. Regardless of whether the employee flies or drives, all additional transportation fees should be covered – including rental cars, buses, and taxis.

  • Lodging. House hunting ventures rarely get finalized in a single day. When searching for housing far from home, employees should expect to be reimbursed for hotel stays. As with airfare, lodging arrangements should be realistic – an employee may have a hard time receiving full reimbursement if they opt to rent out the penthouse suite of a high priced hotel.

  • Meals. Depending on the company’s policy, an employee may be given a per diem to cover meal expenses. Other times, meal expenses will be reimbursed for their actual amount and the employee will be required to provide receipts. The majority of the time, alcohol and entertainment won’t be considered a “necessary” house hunting expense and will therefore not be considered reimbursable.

  • Pet kenneling. Employees with pets at home may be reticent to leave their adopted family members behind, especially if they don’t have access to someone who can take care of them until their return. In these cases, the cost of pet kenneling or pet sitting services may be included in a house hunting reimbursement package.

Before packing a suitcase and heading out to scout housing, the first thing any relocating employee should do is check with their employer to determine what kinds of expenses will be covered, in addition to how and when they will be paid back. Always keep track of exact dollar amounts and never overestimate – since the IRS doesn’t consider house hunting expenses a deductible moving expense, any monies paid back to a relocating employee will be reported by their employer as taxable income.

 

A Guide to  Relocation Costs

 

Topics: Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Household Goods, House Hunting Trips

A House Hunter's Checklist for Keeping Track of Expenses

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Apr 01, 2014

prancheta-1508904-640x480If the corporate relocation package being offered to you requires that you perform a house hunting expedition on your own, it’s likely your employer will reimburse you for many associated expenses – including travel, lodging, and meals to name the most common. Naturally, you’ll want to check with your employer to determine what expenses are covered and what exclusions there are.

Here's a checklist to help you keep track of your expenses.

  • Get yourself a notebook and keep it with you at all times. This will come in handy as you keep track of all your receipts. You don’t want to have to hunt them down after your move.
  • Buy yourself a sturdy file folder. You will need this to keep all of your printed receipts and invoices in one safe place. Even if you decide to track everything electronically in Excel, your employer may require you to turn in physical receipts to prove your expenses.
  • If you’re hitting the road and driving your own car, track all mileage, and any additional fares and tolls you’ll be required to pay. Make sure you obtain receipts for all road travel expenses.
  • If you’re traveling by plane, train or bus, save all itineraries that include cost.
  • Track all meals and refreshments you buy and keep receipts, even if it’s just a simple soda purchase. Alcohol purchases may not be covered by your employer’s reimbursement plan.
  • Track all car rental costs and keep receipts.
  • Make note of all money spent on cab fare, shuttle and public transportation fees and ensure you obtain receipts for these.
  • Obtain documentation for all lodging costs. You will likely not be able to submit for reimbursement of entertainment expenses like in-hotel movie rentals, so be sure to make note of those costs so you can subtract them later.
  • Track all business related phone calls you make. Depending on your cell phone’s mobile plan, being out of network may result in you incurring additional roaming charges and long distance fees. Make note of the dates and times of all calls made or received, as well as their duration. This will make it easier for you to go through your phone bill later on and include any additional charges with your expense report.
  • Pet owners may have to make arrangements for their pets to be boarded during their time away from home. Add this to your list of expenses but many companies may not reimburse this type of expense.

Remember that the IRS doesn’t consider a house hunting trip to be a deductible expense. What this means is that any money you spend while house hunting for which your employer reimburses you will be reported to the IRS as taxable income – and you won’t be able to deduct those expenses when you file your personal taxes. For this reason, you may want to consider keeping costs as minimal as possible to prevent from inadvertently boosting yourself into a higher earnings bracket come tax season.

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Topics: Household Goods, Home Buyers, House Hunting Trips

What Are Typical Services Offered with Household Goods Transportation?

Posted by George Herriage on Wed, Apr 10, 2013

Moving a transferees' household goods is an absolute necessary component of all corporate relocation programs. Along with designing a relocation policy incorporating the basic transportation of all typical personal property items of the transferee, aligning with a top household goods moving partner is essential.

Minimizing Household Goods Stress

One of the prime "stress components" of a relocation, transporting household goods safely from the employee's former home to the new location is always a concern of the transferee and his/her family. One of an employer's top goals should be minimizing this stress.

Partnering with an outstanding household goods moving firm also lowers stress on transferees. Moving companies that have established a proven record of getting personal property from location A to location B safely make your transferee more comfortable with the move.

Typical Services Offered

  • Estimating number of pounds and value of household goods to be moved.

    Accurately estimating the weight and assigning appropriate current values to the transferee's personal property is critical to controlling employer costs and easing the stress on transferees.
  • Safely packing goods for transport.

    Packing services greatly minimize family stress. Safely packing the transferee's household goods save money and eliminate unnecessary breakage or damage.
  • Properly packing personal property in the transportation vehicle.

    Proper handling and packing the transferee's goods in the moving vehicle further minimizes any accidental damage, creating happier transferred employees.
  • GPS or other computer tracking ability while the goods are in transit.

    Particularly valuable with longer moves, tracking technology using GPS or other methods allows the employer and transferee to follow the progress of the moving vehicle, making both parties more comfortable and keeping them informed.
  • Reimbursement for storage charges if household goods cannot be delivered to transferee's new residence.

    Often, the transferee's new residence is unavailable for immediate occupancy. When this occurs, the transferee needs temporary quarters and safe storage for household goods for a short period. All appropriate relocation programs reimburse this expense for transferees.
  • Final delivery and unpacking of personal property at transferee's new home, if household goods were stored.

    When the transferee's new residence is ready, your relocation policy should provide for the final delivery and set up of the employee's household goods.

These are typical household goods moving features appearing in all good relocation programs. These components are basic, cost containable and always appreciated by transferees. Most risks of cost escalation or employee unhappiness are mitigated by partnering with a proven, professional moving firm.

 

Once again, for cost control and minimal problems, many employers choose to partner with a proven successful third party relocation firm, to ensure a successful, stress-free move. A common ancillary benefit is the lowered stress on the employer's HR department, which then can relax and monitor the move without needing detailed checklists or dedicating valuable personnel time to handle the various necessities of moving household goods.

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Topics: Corporate Relocation Costs, Household Goods, corporate relocation program

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