CapRelo Blog

What You May Not Know About Lump-Sum Employee Relocation Packages

Posted by Amy Mergler on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

productivity.jpgThere's a lot to think about if your company is considering changing to a lump-sum employee relocation package rather than reimbursing moving expenses for relocating employees. Here are a few factors you may not have considered.

Employee satisfaction may be lower when employees are left to manage their own funds, as with a lump-sum relocation package. Employees hoping to save money (and pocket the difference) when they receive a lump-sum relocation package to pay for their moving expenses may end up unhappy with the service they receive if they shop by price for relocation service providers. This could result in a slower return to productivity as well as a lower employee retention rate following the move.

Learn more about lump-sum relocation packages by downloading our free guide.

Employees who are busy organizing and managing their move will not be fully focused on their job. Moving can be a stressful time. When employees are left to fend for themselves when selling their home, lining up household goods movers, and even finding a new place to live, their minds are not on their job. This could result in lost productivity.

A lump-sum employee relocation package may not save your company money in the long run. Letting employees manage their own move can result in relocation delays if a house won't sell, and can lead to lost productivity. While lump-sum packages save your company money in administrative costs and time, they may not represent the significant cost savings you believe, especially if employee relocation packages that reimburse expenses lead to all-around greater employee satisfaction and low-stress relocations.

We're not specifically advocating one type of program over another, but it's a good idea to evaluate your situation – or call on a relocation management company to help – if you are thinking of changing your employee relocation policy.

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Topics: employee retention, Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Relocation Services, relocating employees, relocation management company, executive relocation package, lump sum package

Relocation Paperwork You Can Expect To See and What It Means

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Tue, Jul 03, 2012

Relocation services are there to simplify the process of transferring employees from one location to another. Ultimately, it’s the goal of the relocation management company to pave the quickest, least disruptive path between Point A to Point B so that the transferee can experience as seamless a move as possible, with minimal stress and worry.

Learn more about developing relocation policies in our free guide. 

Below are some examples of paperwork (required and informational) that employees in the process of transferring should expect to receive during a corporate relocation.

Relocation Benefits and Policy Acknowledgement Forms

A critical document for any relocated employee to keep, the relocation benefits form spells out all of the agreed-to benefits of the relocation package being exercised. Policy acknowledgement forms are to be signed by employees prior to their relocation, and are the legal agreements between employee and employer that explicitly spells out the rights of each.

Expenses Breakdown

The corporation that a person works for will likely have a relocation benefits package that covers necessary expenses associated with relocation. This coverage goes well beyond the simple cost of hiring a moving company and paying for airfare, and can also extend to paying for temporary housing while a transferee looks for something permanent, in addition to the hiring of real estate services to help market that person’s home and guide it to a quick sale.

Understanding the breakdown of expenses covered and what the tax ramifications are if reimbursed is key to helping a corporate employee determine whether or not their relocation will be an economic hardship or an opportunity they'd be foolish to pass up.

Destination Demographics

Relocation services companies not only handle all of the details of arranging a move for a corporate employee, but they even go so far as to eliminate the need for that individual to do any research. Typically, the relocation management company will pull together a comprehensive report on the destination city for the employee to review. This can include everything from detailed information on local schools to family friendly neighborhoods, to a synopsis of the area’s history and a list of nearby areas of interest. This not only helps the relocating employee and their family learn about the place they’ll soon be calling home, but it can also work as an effective tool for persuading reticent employees to take relocation opportunities they might otherwise turn down without a second thought.

Relocation management companies are in the business of eliminating the bumps in the road that could potentially derail a corporate relocation – and a major part of that is the elimination of paperwork through streamlined processes that handle the “heavy lifting” portion of moving. Without the services of a relocation management company, the prospect of employees having to pull off their own cross-country relocations would be so daunting that few would agree to it at all. The end result could cripple the growth for companies interested in expansion – not to mention making the recruitment of talent a near impossibility.

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Topics: relocation management services, Relocation Services, relocation management company

Effective Business Performance Measurements for Your Corporate Relocation

Posted by Mickey Williams on Tue, Jan 17, 2012

06012015_meeting_sq.jpgIf you're in the process of selecting a corporate relocation firm to manage your company's corporate relocation policy, you may have a lot of doubts:

  • How will I know the corporate relocation management company is acting in my best interests?
  • What can I expect from a corporate relocation firm?
  • How will I know if the company is fulfilling its agreements?
  • How can I get the best value for my money when I hire a corporate relocation management company?

It all starts with an effective SLA (Service Level Agreement) and the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to ensure you're paying for the relocation management services you need and getting the high-quality services you paid for.

Learn more about developing relocation policies with our free guide.

Defining KPI and SLA

If these terms are unfamiliar to you—or you've heard of them but aren't sure what they mean, let's first define them. Many experienced businesspeople get these common business performance measurement terms confused.

Service Level Agreement

An SLA is a formal, negotiated agreement, typically part of the contract, that defines the exact services a supplier will offer to a client. More detailed than a Scope of Work, an SLA sets clear expectations for the client, which the service provider must fulfill.

KPI

KPI metrics are used to determine whether or not the supplier or service provider is fulfilling the SLA. KPIs take many forms, but the client and supplier must agree on how performance will be measured. This is accomplished by the client establishing clear, quantifiable goals and expectations (outlined in the SLA.) If a service provider is having any difficulties fulfilling the SLA for any reason, he should bring it to the attention of the client immediately. To preserve the relationship, the two parties should work together to find the deficiencies and see what should be done so the supplier can meet the SLA.

Let's look at an SLA for a very specific type of relocation: a group move. Many of the aspects of an SLA will be the same for individual relocations as with a group move, but because a group move takes place on a large scale, an SLA becomes even more important.

Some factors that may be measured based on an SLA with a corporate relocation firm for a group move are:

  • Number of key employees retained
  • Number of non-essential personnel successfully and fairly terminated
  • Remaining within budget for the move
  • Completing employee moves and corporate moves within the time frame specified
  • Relocated employees satisfaction of the moving process, based on surveys and other metrics, following the move

If your corporate relocation firm does not have KPI metrics established or a relocation process that is clearly measurable through solid facts, budget figures, retention statistics and employee surveys, you may want to consider another firm.

The best relocation firms will not only have KPI metrics in place, but will review the relocation process after every move to make refinements. 

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Topics: KPI, Service Level Agreement, relocation management services, relocation management company

How to Pick the Right Executive Relocation Management Company

Posted by Mickey Williams on Mon, Dec 19, 2011

Not all executive relocation management companies were created equal. Depending on where you look, who you ask, and what your criteria is, you might find incredibly affordable executive relocation services that deliver the kind of service most people wouldn’t take for free. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible to find executive relocation management that makes life so easy, you’d have to be willing to pay double the cost if they asked.

But choosing a business relocation company doesn’t have to be a crapshoot. There are some critical things to look for that’ll greatly decrease your chances of getting stuck with an executive relocation management firm that falls into the “wouldn't take it for free” category.

• Interview several companies. This includes meeting in person with a representative of the relocation company to establish expectations and get accurate estimates on services. Having a face-to-face meeting also gives you the opportunity to gauge professionalism and determine experience before picking a relocation management company.

• Request references. An executive relocation management company worth the money will anticipate this and should be able to provide you with a list of references fairly quickly, if not immediately. Never enter blindly into a contract with a company that doesn't offer or can't provide references.

• Go with choice. Select an executive relocation management company that offers a broad range of services, from real estate to budgeting and planning.

 

At the end of the day, deciding on what executive relocation services to use should be a decision based on a combination of all of the criteria above, and never one based solely on cost. Remember, you get what you pay for. But if you do your homework, you may just get a great deal at a reasonable cost.

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Topics: corporate relocation program, relocation management company, Buyer Value Option

Finding Corporate Relocation Companies with the Resources You Need

Posted by George Herriage on Wed, Nov 09, 2011

Corporate relocation companies come in all sizes, shapes and forms. Some rely heavily on technology to get the job done. Others focus on superior customer service, going above and beyond to satisfy high-level executive clients who are relocating. Others have strengths in the financial management aspects of relocation, pulling out all stops to get clients the most bang for their buck in tight economic times.
right relocation firm with personalized customer serviceIdeally, you'll find a company with strengths in all of these areas, and more, including:

• A non-exclusive supply chain to connect you with top real estate agents, home staging services, HHG moving services, mortgage companies and more
• A process to manage each employee or group move, measure its success, and refine the procedure for next time, while permitting room for flexibility and customization within each move.
• Personalized customer service for every client
• The resources necessary to manage your company, regardless of its size and regardless of how many employees you are moving at one time or over the course of your contract
• A corporate culture that adapts itself to fit your company culture, speaking the language of your relocating employees, ascertaining their needs and meeting those needs efficiently and within your relocation budget

Sounds like a tall order, doesn't it? The fact is, these are all key elements that go into a successful relocation. If your relocation management company isn't providing it all, they may not be giving you the service you deserve.

The right relocation firm should offer all the resources you need with personalized customer service to back it up. When you speak with your relocation professional, you should feel as if you are their only client and their main concern. You are Number One to them.

Download The Low-Stress  Relocation Guide
You can find out a lot about a corporate relocation company by visiting their website and even reading their blog. But there's no substitute for speaking with satisfied clients as well as the company's relocation specialists.

Topics: move management services, relocation management services, relocation management company

Relocation Package “Oversight”

Posted by George Herriage on Fri, Oct 21, 2011

Relocation ManagementIf you’ve chosen the best relocation package for your company, in addition to covering all the different facets of relocation, you’re also gaining the services of a skilled “oversight committee.” You might think of the key overseer as a project manager – and relocation of your employees is their top project.

Orchestrating the Relocation Package

One of the many reasons it makes sense to hire a professional relocation company like CapRelo is they’ve considered every factor and detail that can arise during your relocation. Even if you have designated relocation personnel in your company’s HR department, an effective, expedient relocation takes a talented, focused team of pros. And because relocation is our only business, we have the knowledge and ability to make yours a priority.

CapRelo’s patented Low-Stress Relocation Process™ is designed to do just that – lower the stress and anxiety of an often-disruptive process. By handing the reins over to the pros, everyone in your company, especially the relocating employee, can focus on the key areas of adjustment and gearing up to full productivity.

Oversight and Expense Management

Relocation is a sizable dollar allocation for companies and CapRelo stays on top of keeping the relocation costs manageable. By accounting for every conceivable financial component, there are no nasty surprises or run-away costs.

That cost containment is also realized when the relocation company utilizes other key people like realtors, tax accountants, and travel and moving experts. Because they are pros, they can give accurate estimates for the costs in their area of expertise.

So, it makes sense to take an “all-inclusive” approach to your company’s relocation process by hiring a professional relocation company to oversee all aspects of relocation.

Topics: oversight management, Corporate Relocation Costs, relocation management company

Make it Smooth Sailing with Relocation Services

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Thu, Oct 20, 2011

Your company is opening a new sales division in Portugal. Several members of the sales team are being relocated to the new office. As an HR director, this falls on to your “to-do” list. Actually, it becomes THE to-do list. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Probably, and it’s just getting started!

Smooth Sailing Corporate RelocationThis is where savvy company owners and HR departments learn the value of contacting a full-service relocation services company. They are the pros, so they know the relocation process for transferring employees is more than getting all the legal and HR ducks in a row.

Why Use a Corporate Relocation Company?

Maybe you’ve contracted with some good people in the past. Why not locate your own service providers and keep costs down? Well, if you value efficiency and utilizing professional services with a high cost-benefit ratio, it just makes good sense to hire a “total package.” Think about the time alone that you would invest in finding, hiring and managing the number of providers and suppliers required for a relocation project of this size!

What Services are Included?

As you know, an international relocation is more complex than a domestic transfer. Because of that complexity, you’ll have more details to check off your list. And many of them may not even have occurred to you. So when you choose a comprehensive corporate relocation company, you’ll get the following services:

• Assignment Services – Remember when it was a hassle to get a passport? Well, imagine the research involved in helping an employee acquire a Visa, work permit or even citizenship. The relocation service company can make this so much more manageable with technology tools that check things like the country’s immigration programs.
• Language and Cross-Cultural Training – When you travel for pleasure, it takes a while to acclimate to a new country’s language, culture and customs. But it’s a leisure trip, so you’re not reporting to a new job on Monday morning. Factor in an employee adjusting to a new worksite in a foreign country, and you begin to see the intricacies. A company that utilizes reliable contacts around the world makes this easier for all involved.
• Destination Services – Don’t forget the employee’s partner and family. This is a tough transition on them, too. Quality-of-life questions are a real concern for that relocating family. Will the neighborhood be nice? How about the cost of living in the new country? Using local service providers helps keep a handle on these aspects of the move.
• Home Sale/Purchase – We all know the stress that goes with selling a home in this uncertain economy. If the employee is in another country, worrying about the home sale situation can be a major distraction from work. You want to do everything you can to help with a smooth transition to get your employee back in productivity mode. If the employee opts to rent out their home, property management services are also a good option.
• Moving a Household – Talk about stress! Moving is up there as one of the most stressful life events – even when it’s a positive, exciting opportunity. A full-service relocation company can handle that aspect of the relocation process and work with trusted suppliers to get the household goods moved and the employee settled in.

These are just some of the array of services that a professional relocation company can provide. As a fellow professional, you can appreciate how an efficient, reliable and experienced company can make this a much easier process. So hand off your relocation check list to the pros. Not just to assist your transferring employee; you’ll sleep better, too.

Topics: corporate relocation program, international relocation services, relocation management company

Relocation Management Companies – Telling the Good from the Mediocre

Posted by Tamara Bianchi on Mon, Sep 26, 2011

Relocation management companies are known for making the business of transferring company employees to new locations easy. That’s what they do, and they do it well – some better than others. They accomplish this by deploying their considerable resources to tackle the logistical nightmare that picking up residence and putting it down elsewhere entails, giving corporate employees in the process of being transferred freedom from having to make their own arrangements.

smooth transition of workplace duties with minimal disruption of work productivity so that an employee can literally pick up work where they left off, in new surroundings, with all of the tools necessary to ensure continuity of businessThey also ensure the smooth transition of workplace duties with minimal disruption of work productivity so that an employee can literally pick up work where they left off, in new surroundings, with all of the tools necessary to ensure continuity of business. But if all relocation management companies do virtually the same thing, how can you tell if you’re connecting with an exemplary organization or a run-of-the-mill, average one?

One of the things that you don’t see offered by every relocation management companies is complete transparency in their procedures. There’s a difference between being told what’s going to happen and being able to check in on the progress at any time. With high caliber relocation management companies, you’ll have access to reports throughout the process of arranging and executing relocation that tell you the following:

  • Where funding of relocation resources has been allocated
  • How much funding has been spent and on what resources
  • The current status of documentation critical to relocation
  • The names and identities of all service suppliers involved in the relocation

Free eBook:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies
When making the important decision of which relocation management company to use to facilitate job transfers for your employees, transparency can and should be expected. A company that offers you any less should only be considered long enough to strike them from your list of potential partners.

Topics: relocation process, relocation management services, relocation management company

Exploring the Miscellaneous Expense Allowance in Business Relocation

Posted by Joseph Torres on Mon, Sep 19, 2011

The Miscellaneous Expense Allowance (MEA) is put in place as an acknowledgement that no amount of planning, exceptional vision, or keen business foresight on the part of any business relocation management company can ever accurately predict how much money an employee in the midst of relocation may have to spend for unanticipated incidentals.

Expenses resized 600

With that in mind, the Miscellaneous Expense Allowance isn’t simply a buffer suggested by a business relocation service to help corporations allocate monetary resources for employee relocation. It’s also a very useful tool, critical for the overall emotional well-being of an employee in the midst of a difficult relocation. Without having the nagging worry that some expenses will end up being paid out of pocket, newly relocated employees will arrive at their new location less stressed and ready to work.

Tracking and Reducing  Relocation Costs

In order to foster a productive, anxiety-free relocation for all parties involved, it’s critical for a business to encourage employees in the midst of relocation to use this allowance as they see fit, just as long as the expenses being paid for with the MEA fall under the category of “required” expenses. A business relocation services company can help a corporation establish these criteria so there’s no ambiguity or confusion.

Topics: Relocation Services, relocating employees, relocation management company, Buyer Value Option, executive relocation package

Buyer Value Options can Simplify Business Relocation Expense

Posted by Nicole Overholt on Thu, Sep 15, 2011

sold home2 resized 600Incentives for fast sales of employees' homes represent a significant portion of today's business relocation costs. Some solutions involve loss-on-sale programs, sales incentives and bonuses if certain criteria are met, and Buyer Value Option programs. A Buyer Value Option (BVO) program can simplify business relocation expense reporting by taking tax gross-up out of the equation. 

Find out more about real estate considerations for your relocation policy in our free article.

The Sale of the Home is in the Employee's Hands

Your relocation management company will connect your relocating employee with qualified, approved real estate agents, home marketers and a staging company that will help expedite the sale of the home.

Once the employee, working with the approved agent, finds a verified buyer, the company purchases the property from the employee at the approved price. The homeowner receives a check for the equity in the home, and the company then re-lists the home, selling it to the approved buyer.

BVOs have several advantages:

  • They can fit in well with tiered relocation programs.
  • They avoid tax gross-up costs if the company normally directly reimburses home sale costs to relocating employees.
  • They create incentive for your relocating employee to work toward a quick home sale at a fair price.
  • Unlike a guaranteed buy-out program, a BVO keeps the home out of the company's inventory.

Need help with meeting the challenges of helping relocating employees sell their homes? Call CapRelo to find out how we make every aspect of relocation -- including home sales -- low stress for you and your relocating executives.
 

Free All-Inclusive Guide  Relocation and U.S Taxes

 

Topics: Tiered relocation packages, Corporate Relocation Costs, relocating employees, relocation management company

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