CapRelo Blog

What Should be Included in a Relocation Package?

Posted by Rick Bruce on Fri, Nov 11, 2016

You offer a relocation package that HR and senior management believes to be outstanding. But, is it really attractive to current employees or new hires? Are you sure your relocation package is comparable to your primary competitors' programs?

Sometimes, a relocation program appears to be attractive, but doesn't resonate with the affected employees. They may be reluctant to offer their real opinions about your relocation policy for fear of offending HR or senior management. These employees may refuse transfer opportunities or clandestinely seek employment elsewhere.

Learn more examples of relocation package features in our free guide.

Here are some popular relocation benefit components you should consider to keep your relocation package competitive.

Popular Relocation Package Features

  • Auto transportation. Unless your transferee is driving to the new location, getting family vehicles to new homes is vital.

  • Childcare reimbursement. House-hunting trips and the moving process are more efficient and less stressful on the employee if young children are safely protected and occupied.

  • Packing and unpacking assistance. Packing and unpacking employees' personal property is often a physically-taxing additional responsibility for transferee families. Full packing and unpacking services are important features of competitive corporate relocation programs.

  • Home-related services:

    • Multiple house-hunting trips. When moving to an unfamiliar area, one house-hunting trip may not be enough. A second cost-controlled trip is a welcome feature.
    • Lease-breaking penalty reimbursement. Early lease terminations typically trigger penalties, which employer-mandated transfers create. Reimbursing transferees for these penalties is welcome and cost-effective.
    • Final destination home-buying and mortgage help. Another popular feature that may or may not result in an employer expense.
  • Temporary housing and personal property storage assistance. Even after transferees find acceptable new homes, properties may not be ready in time for their scheduled start date. Providing temporary housing and covering the expense of storing personal property is a valuable feature.

  • Spousal employment assistance. Connecting transferee spouses with hiring companies or search firms helps maintain employee family financial stability.

These are but some of the popular features of competitive relocation programs. If your package is missing one or more of these components, consider introducing them to increase the attractiveness of your program.

Even those features that appear to be corporate "budget busters," such as multiple house hunting trips or home sale assistance, can include monetary caps. These are valuable features you can add to your relocation package to make it more competitive and attractive, while still controlling employer costs.

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Topics: Temporary Housing, Spousal assistance, House Hunting Trips, relocation packages, relocation benefits

Furnished Housing: The Mysteries and the Facts

Posted by Brian D'Orazio on Fri, Mar 14, 2014

Finding quality furnished housing can be critical to the success of your relocation program, but it can also be a big headache. Where is the property located? Will the transferring employee be comfortable and able to quickly return to productivity? And perhaps the biggest mystery of all: How is the price of a property determined?

Please join us on April 1, 2014 for our Learning Zone Webinar: Furnished Housing: The Mysteries and the Facts

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How to easily find furnished housing anywhere
  • The factors that determine the price of a property
  • Ways to save money on furnished housing
  • Risk vs. No Risk buying
  • The benefits of a Corporate Apartment Management program

CapRelo’s Andy Acocella presents this free, exclusive WERC Learning Zone webinar. Sign up today so you can learn the steps needed to ensure your transferees’ temporary housing solutions are handled with the care needed so they can be up and running as soon as they move.

Please join our exclusive webinar on April 1, 2014 at 2 pm ET by signing up here. We look forward to seeing you there.

Topics: Temporary Housing, WorldwideERC

Real Estate Relocation Features for the Medical Industry

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Jul 30, 2013

Medical employees, whether new hires or current staff, are often most concerned with having to sell their homes quickly at less than market value when faced with relocation. While most prospective transferees in all industries have these concerns, key medical personnel with these fears can impact entire communities, should they object to relocation.

Offering real estate-related assistance features in your relocation policy will appeal to medical professionals of all levels making recruiting and retaining needed talent a success.

Real Estate Features in a Strong Relocation Plan

Helping smooth out the transfer of key medical personnel is a major benefit of properly designed relocation programs. Real estate assistance may be the most important features of winning relocation policies focused on recruiting medical professionals. Among the wide spectrum of real estate features, the following are very popular with employers and employees alike.

  • Assistance selling the employee’s current home.

    Engaging an experienced real estate firm to sell the employee’s current home and reimbursing the transferee for the expenses to sell is a valuable feature for medical professionals.
  • Financial assistance for the loss on sale of a home.

    Including loss on sale reimbursements at first can appear daunting. However, you have the ability to control your cost by setting a maximum reimbursement level that is clearly stated in your written policy, which will be most competitive.
  • Retaining property management professionals to rent or facilitate the sale of an employee’s home.

    Qualified property management firms can perform two important tasks for your transferees and the company. Second, if the market makes it difficult to sell homes, property management firms can rent homes to qualifying prospective tenants to collecting rents.
  • Offering company-paid home finding trips, typically two, for the transferee and his or her spouse and/or family.

    House hunting in a new, unfamiliar location is challenging, sometimes frustrating. Relocation policies that include one or two home finding trips are highly attractive to medical professionals.
  • Partnering with an experienced, relocation savvy real estate agent, in the new area to help the transferee find suitable housing.

    The unfamiliarity with a new location causes transferee concerns. Experienced real estate agents working for transferees eliminate the mysteries and fears of finding the right home in the right neighborhood.
  • Arranging temporary living quarters while the transferee searches for or awaits the closing on a new home.

    Often, medical professionals are needed in new locations quickly. Even after multiple house hunting trips, transferees may not find acceptable homes or experience delayed closings. Medical employers offering furnished apartments, condos and single family homes as temporary housing for transferees will attract the best talent.
Free eBook:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies
These real estate relocation features form the foundation of competitive relocation policies for medical employers. Key transferees appreciate these benefits, making employers that offer them more attractive to relocating medical professionals.

Topics: Rental Issues, Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, House Hunting Trips, Temporary Housing, Tiered relocation packages

Short Term Housing: The Benefits and When to Offer

Posted by George Herriage on Tue, Jun 25, 2013

Short-term, temporary housing provisions should be a component in your employee relocation program. In some cases, your transferees may not need to activate this feature. However, when it is needed, short-term housing becomes a treasured feature for which your transferees will appreciate.

From an employer perspective, temporary housing benefits often result into high performing transferees at their new location. As a creative solution to a troubling problem, short-term housing is also cost effective for you and your transferees.

Transferee Benefits

  • Bridges the gap for employees unable to sell their current home before relocating.
  • Accelerates employee comfortability at the new workplace.
  • Removes a major concern--uncertainty--from stress levels.

Employer Benefits

  • Improves employee acceptance of company-requested relocation.
  • Increases competitive advantages when attracting new and/or retaining talented employees.
  • Offers effective cost control in two ways:
    • Activated only if needed, not required for every situation
    • Easy benefit to cap maximum reimbursement and time limit, e.g., up to six months of temporary housing.
  • "Temporary" and "Short-term." No long-term costly housing financial obligation.

When to Offer the Benefit

 Employers can stipulate the conditions under which short-term housing features are provided. In designing your corporate relocation policy, you can balance the cost versus the liberality of offering this feature to all transferees. Restricting this benefit solely to executives above a certain level can become counterproductive to retaining talented non-executive employees.

Short-term housing features leap to the forefront of importance when transferees face the following conditions:

  • Employee has a home on the market with by the transfer date.
  • Employee has an offer on current residence, but closing is not complete by the transfer date.
  • Transferee has purchased but not yet closed on the new property.
  • Transferee has closed on a new home but it is not ready for occupancy.
  • Employee has a family, which translates to inconvenience and extra employer cost of reimbursing for an acceptable hotel room(s) for more than a few days.

Important and Cost Effective Solution

Offering temporary housing solutions create a win-win result for both employers and transferees. Employee advantages include:

  • Having a 'home away from home' is more comfortable than being confined to a hotel room.
  • Eliminates transferee concerns for living options prior to finalizing the relocation.

Employer benefits include the following:

  • The performance curve compresses, allowing the employee to be immediately productive at the new location.
  • Eliminates employer uncertainty regarding when the transferee arrives at the new workplace.
  • Cost effective resolution to an otherwise major road block to employee relocation, as employer can negotiate a budget-friendly arrangement for short-term housing.

Having short-term housing features in your relocation policy generates the perception that your organization is professional and caring when dealing with new hires and valuable current employees.

 

Download Our Free  Rental Services  Whitepaper

 

Arranging for a clean, contemporary furnished apartment, condo or home for temporary housing generates happy, productive transferees. Your ability to manage the cost of this benefit is another significant plus. When you hope to attract or retain the best talent available, offering temporary housing solutions, when needed, identifies your company as an upper echelon employer in your competition for the most qualified employees you crave.

Topics: Short Term Housing, Temporary Housing, employee relocation concerns

When to Offer Rental Services Programs at Origin and Destination

Posted by George Herriage on Wed, Jun 12, 2013

for_rent2.jpgAs more homeowners become renters, employers should understand and respond to this trend. Rental services are more important than ever due to this desire or condition. Rental services typically fall into two basic categories.

  • Short-term, temporary rental assistance.

  • Long-term, more permanent rental services.

 

When employers should offer these services depends on a variety of conditions. Some of the more common situations that make rental services valuable to transferees and the company include the following:

  • Difficulty in selling the current home.
    While down housing markets can impede selling a home, even hot real estate markets offer no guarantees of selling a home fast at an acceptable price. In some cases, the employee and family love their home to the extent they cannot conceive of finding another duplicate, resulting in the employee rejecting a lucrative relocation offer. Employers need to address this situation with home selling assistance and rental services at the new destination.

  • Inability to purchase a because of affordability or financing issues.
    The cost of living in the destination location may prohibit some transferees from affording replacement homes. Employer-offered rental services can help solve this problem. Further, the potential transferee, because of credit issues or interest rate spikes may not qualify for a sufficient mortgage in the new location. Once again, offering rental services, both monetarily and in the form of expert assistance.

  • Temporary or indefinite relocation job assignments.
    In the early 1980s, with mortgage rates as high as 18 percent, many transferees didn't bother to selling their homes, but simply rented residences in their new location. Those employees relocating to temporary or jobs of indefinite duration often adopt the same approach. Employers offering strong rental assistance will attract or retain more key employees under these conditions.

Employer relocation programs that offer rental services for renters and employees meeting these conditions get the benefit of satisfied transferees, while enjoying elements of cost control. Whether offering temporary housing for transferees not yet able to buy another home or renters who seek a more permanent residence, employers who include rental services will attract and retain higher quality, better performing employees.

Rental services need never become a relocation budget buster, as employers can arrange rental situations that are cost effective. In the case of temporary and indefinite assignments, rental services are indispensable benefits that will separate your company from the crowd of competition trying to get and keep the best employees available.

 

Download Our Free  Rental Services  Whitepaper

 

Topics: Rental Issues, Temporary Housing, Popular Rental Lease Assistance Features

Connecting the Dots for Transferees: Temporary Housing

Posted by Barbara Miller on Tue, Feb 12, 2013

Finding temporary housing for your employees is about more than just selecting a suitable place to live when they arrive at their new location. It's also about having a relocation policy that makes your employee's life easier, makes your life easier, and encourages many years of goodwill and hard work from your employee.

Using temporary housing is a multi-pronged solution that involves more than just finding an adequate way place to live! What's important is moving your employee in such a way that he or she feels well taken-care of, without spending time and energy that you could more profitably spend elsewhere.

Making Life Easy for Employees Undergoing Relocation

Relocating is never easy for anyone – even when their new job provides much better pay, benefits, or other conditions. The employee relocation process is a critical step in moving your business forward. The way your employee is handled – and what he or she communicates about this to fellow employees – is critical. It's not an exaggeration to say that picking the right relocation company now is an investment in your company's future.

It's important to make things as easy on your employee as possible, so that he or she can focus on their new position as quickly as possible – and with 100% of his or her energies. In the long term, it's also important for your employee to feel well cared-for by the process. The way that you handle relocation now will affect how your employee relates to you in the future, and also how he or she influences other employees to relate to you.

A good relocation policy will provide:

  • Adequate housing (or choice of housing) within an acceptable distance from the employee's new place of work.
  • Close and accessible storage for items that can't be moved into temporary housing.
  • Assistance moving from the original place of residence into temporary housing.
  • Assistance moving from the temporary housing location to permanent housing.

This last point is where many employers (and, unfortunately, relocation companies) drop the ball. It's easy to forget that the employee's relocation is not actually done with when they reach their new location and begin work. For the employee, it isn't truly over until they move into permanent housing.

This can cause a "hiccup" in their performance several months after relocation – one that can sometimes reduce the employee's overall morale, loyalty, and production. There are several ways to handle this transition out of temporary housing; the most important thing is that it is addressed so that your employee is able to spend the majority of his or her energies on work (for the short-to-medium term) and feels cared about in a way that is also communicated to subordinates and co-workers (for the long term).

Making Life Easy for You

Perhaps the chief reason employers seek help from outside relocation agencies is simply because it's easier, and will take less time. Unfortunately, the majority of relocation companies complicate the process: a system with too many moving parts, too many points of contact and/or a supposedly single point of contact that seems to rotate every few weeks – or days!

Download Our Free  Rental Services  Whitepaper

Your life will be much easier if you can find a service provider that will provide you with a single point of contact. Your point of contact needs to be able to answer every question you have - or at the very least, be able to know exactly where to get the answer, and get back to you quickly. But a relocation service can only provide you with this solution if they have adequate experience in the industry, and can leverage relationships and services from a number of sources.

Topics: Temporary Housing, relocating employees

Relocation Policy Varieties

Posted by Nicole Overholt on Wed, Sep 12, 2012

Employers offer different relocation policy varieties. However, most policies fall into one of two primary categories, sometimes with identical components.

Employers may have a single "one size fits all" policy for all transferred employees, regardless of their position. A second popular relocation policy is a tiered variety, with benefits that vary with the employee's grade or pay level.

Tiered relocation policies often apply to new hires, whether recent grads or experienced executives and for transfers of current employees. Employer benefits vary based on the employees' current or new position, compensation level and whether they are existing homeowners or renters.
   

Typical Policy Components

While relocation policy components differ from company to company, there are common features, some of which are part of the majority of policies that many employers offer.   

New home finding, old home sale and new home purchase help. This component includes funding house hunting trips, assigning an experienced relocation real estate agent and assisting employees in selling their existing homes. At times, employers include home sale bonuses or financial contributions for employee losses when rapid sales are necessary.

New mortgage help or mortgage financial subsidies. Employees may have to pay off advantageous mortgage loans, but receive employer financial subsidies for new, more expensive mortgages. In all cases, transferred employees appreciate employer assistance in getting stress-free new mortgages with potentially new, unfamiliar local community lenders.

Temporary housing accommodations. Whether on house hunting trips or awaiting permanent housing solutions, employees often enjoy employer assistance in securing temporary housing accommodations. While short-term hotel stays are relatively easy to locate, longer-term temporary housing can be challenging to find in unfamiliar surroundings.

Household goods. Organizing, packing and transporting household goods always poses its own challenges, stumbling blocks and logistical issues. Relocation professionals can smooth out this process to generate a coordinated, stress-free process of safeguarding and moving personal items to a new community. Often, household goods must be stored for some period before a new home is purchased or ready for occupancy. Relocation policies often provide for temporary household goods storage, while awaiting delivery to the new residence.

Duplicate housing expenses. Circumstances sometimes generate temporary duplicate housing expenses for former and new homes. Financially daunting, this situation can consume large amounts of cash quickly. Employers often help transferees meet these expenses, describing reimbursement conditions in their relocation policy.

Miscellaneous expenses. Relocation inevitably generates other expenses that fall into the miscellaneous category. A common component of relocation policies, miscellaneous expenses are typically reimbursed after the transferee presents original receipts.   

Tax liabilities. Many moving expenses paid or reimbursed by the employer are excludable from income. However, others, such as meals, temporary housing, a portion of final move mileage reimbursements and home selling costs must be included in the transferee's income, creating additional taxes. Some relocation policies offer financial assistance to the employee in paying these extra income taxes.

Successful transfers depend on competitive, comprehensive relocation policies. To be successful, policies should be compliant with IRS regulations and aligned with the employer's goals and objectives. As you might expect, regardless of the type and number of components, effective relocation policies meet the wishes and needs of both employer and employee.

Free eBook:  A Guide to Developing  Relocation Policies

Topics: Home Selling and Purchase Assistance, Temporary Housing, Tiered relocation packages, standard relocation package

How Temporary Housing Can Ease the Worries of Reluctant Employees

Posted by Chris Finckel on Tue, Sep 13, 2011

It’s easy to come to the conclusion that these days, there are far less people willing to relocate for business than ever before. But the fact is, relocation is something that’s always been a bit tough to sell on employees. People like to be “at home.” And if they’ve got school-aged kids, staying put is even more important to them. But what about the fence-sitters? Is there any way that an employee relocation company can help to sway them?

work from home resized 600

Fence-sitters can best be described as that entire segment of your workforce that would snap up the opportunity to relocate if they didn’t think the transition was going to be hard on them. One of the key driving factors behind that is the fear that they’ll dislike their new home with a passion reserved for ex-spouses and least favorite sports teams. There is one way that this worry can be eliminated from the equation – by arranging for temporary living through an employee relocation company instead of trying to nail down a permanent housing situation ahead of time. This accomplishes two critical things:

- It gives the transferred employee the ability to “test drive” their new surroundings and seek out a more agreeable environment if they don’t like what they’ve gotten themselves into. This freedom has an immensely beneficial psychological impact.
- That positive psychological impact lends itself to an “easing in” to their new surroundings.

Without those physical and emotional cushions that employee relocation companies can deliver, many potentially lucrative relocation opportunities would unfortunately be met with no-thank-yous from your key employees.

Topics: Temporary Housing, executive relocation package, relocation management company

What Do National Relocation Services Include?

Posted by Marianne Shields on Tue, Apr 19, 2011

Are you considering hiring an outside firm to handle your company's corporate relocation management? Whether you regularly transfer employees from one branch to another within the United States, or you're planning a full scale corporate relocation, CapRelo can help.

What exactly do our national relocation services include? 

Our national relocation services fall into several different categories, from home goods logistics to budgeting and finance. Take a look at some of the services we offer, either as full-scale, customized relocation packages or as individual services designed to complement your existing corporate relocation program. 

  • Assignment Services: Helping relocating employees find a good fit in their new community, from schools and activities for their children to joining local networking and business organizations.

  • Financial Services: Our extensive financial services include expense administration and reimbursement, budgeting, benchmarking, tax services, tax equalization, tax gross-up, negotiating relocation packages and more.

  • Movement of Household Goods: The logistics of moving your employees and corporate offices, including movement of household goods, people and pets.

  • Real Estate Related Services: These services include establishing temporary living arrangements, assisting with home sale and purchase, negotiating relocation packages associated with home sales, property management and more.

  • Low-Stress Relocation: This final category actually encompasses all the services we offer. Our goal as national relocation specialists is to make sure each move is low-stress, using our proprietary, proven Low-Stress Relocation Process (LSRP) as a guideline. This ensures on-time, on-budget moves and improves employee retention and satisfaction, with a faster return-to-productivity for all employees.

Topics: Low-Stress Relocation, relocation packages, relocating employees, national relocation management company, Temporary Housing

Is Temporary Housing an Executive Relocation Service You Need?

Posted by Barbara Miller on Mon, Jan 31, 2011

Executive relocation services and relocation management companies like CapRelo provide a wide range of business relocation services, including the sale and purchase of real estate. 

But what if, for whatever reason, it is more cost-effective and expedient to set up temporary housing for your employees? There are a number of reasons employees may prefer temporary housing for a stay that will be longer than one month but less than a year. 

Let's look at some of the reasons temporary housing may be part of the executive relocation services you need. 

  • home-interiorA trailing spouse cannot yet move due to employment commitments or school and the cost of maintaining two homes would place a financial burden on your company or your employee. 
  • The employee's home is slow to sell, and, again, two homes are not in anyone's budget.  
  • The employee has not yet found a house he likes in the new location. 
  • The assignment is only temporary and does not require a real estate purchase.  
  • The employee is still considering different areas within commuting distance of the new office and wants to get to know the region better before making a home purchase. 
  • The employee is waiting for the right deal on a new home. 

Whether to assist a transferee with a home purchase right away or set up temporary housing is just one of the many questions you must answer when spearheading a corporate relocation. Executive relocation services can help you with the right answer for any situation, as well as helping employees find temporary housing and move in.

Download Your  Free Executive  Relocation Article

 

Topics: Temporary Housing, relocation management company, executive relocation package

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