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Happy Fourth of July!

 

Happy Fourth of JulyWe just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you all a happy, fun, and safe Fourth of July weekend. While we’re all excited about BBQs and fireworks over here, I can’t help but think about the transferees who recently relocated abroad and will be missing out on this wholly American holiday. Then I started thinking about how difficult it can be to celebrate any holiday in a foreign country with different cultural views, traditions, and lifestyles. Luckily, there are tons of resources to help expats adjust.

Repatriation and Retention Lessons from FEM

Recently I attended the Forum for Expat Management 2015 NYC Roadshow. What an exciting buzz with many people in attendance from both the corporate and supplier side of global mobility! Everywhere I looked people were gathered together either at a roundtable event, a session, a supplier booth, or just in groups chatting about global mobility. One of my favorite panel sessions was “Repatriation, Localization, or Redeployment – Exploring the Best Succession Plans to Retain Top Talent.” The panel, moderated by Brian Friedman, Founder, FEM included Tricia Schneider, Director of Global Mobility, American Express; Melissa Sudano, Director of Global Mobility, CA Technologies; and Patricia Tavares, Global Mobility Regional Head – Americas, HSBC. Their combined expertise left me with several lessons but, today, I wanted to share some thoughts on repatriation and retention specifically.

Free EBook: 2015 Housing Market Breakdown

Remember a few years ago when there was no one to buy a home? Well, today, things are different. Instead of a lack of buyers, there is a lack of supply. At the same time, with fewer people able to buy due to lack of inventory or financing, more people are renting. Consequently, rental rates are skyrocketing around the country making it difficult for first-time buyers to save – or, in our world, corporate transferees to find short-term housing.

Lack of Supply Haunts the Housing Markets

Pursuant to our last post, and as a lead up to our next EBook, today we wanted to talk about the big, not so subtle elephant in the housing market: a lack of supply. According to Zillow, the lack of new supply is squeezing renters and buyers by keeping housing costs high. In fact, U.S. renters can expect to spend 30.1 percent of their income on rent, while home buyers can expect to spend about 15.3 percent of their monthly income on a mortgage payment.

Zillow: Negative Equity Persists in 21 Housing Markets

Back in March, Zillow released a report showing that, in 21 out of the top 50 U.S. housing markets, some underwater home owners are sinking deeper into debt. This seems contradictory to the face that home values are generally rising across the board around the country. Confused by the paradox, I asked Mike Canning, our real estate guru, to share his thoughts on the article.

Top 5 Issues HR Will Face During the Busy Relocation Season

Last week, Paige posted about how the busy relocation season has arrived. She went over the fact that the household goods aspect of your transferees’ moves will definitely pose a challenge this year due to an increase in volume and decrease in actual trucks and drivers. For your employees, the household goods moving process is, without a doubt, the most stressful piece of the relocation puzzle (well, maybe after selling the home). This week, I want to talk about some of the stresses that HR will encounter as the summer season really takes off.

Brace Yourselves, Summer is Coming.

Well, it’s that time of year again. From the hustle and bustle in the office, and the parking lot behind me, I can safely say that the relocation busy season is upon us. And, if the strengthening housing market and increase in relocation activity is any indication, this year will be busier than it has been in several years. How are you managing the season so far?

Is Social Media Driving Decision Making?

Lately, for whatever reason, the social media conversation has dominate most of my marketing discussions. Of course, social media is huge. We write about who uses social media here all the time. But, I think the more people who start to identify with more tools – and then start to use these tools themselves – the more interested they become. Because, today, social media isn’t just posting about your lunch on Facebook. It’s about the cumulative share of a wealth of information that influences decision making every day in both small and huge ways.

The Rise of the Hybrid Lump Sum Relocation Policy

Lump sums are all the rage. And, they will continue to be a hot ticket item. Yep, we said it. While we are not the lump sum’s greatest fan, we wholly accept that many employers will be working to combine as many relocation services as possible into a lump sum component.  Predictability is, understandably, very important for managing budgets. But, on the other hand, predictability does not automatically translate into cost savings.  In fact, it could do just the opposite.

What’s the Real Impact of the New RESPA Forms?

In the past week, I have attended two relocation industry conferences, where there were spirited discussions regarding the RESPA changes, slated to take effect this August.  This legislation was designed with two primary objectives: make consumers better aware of charges (anticipated and actual) associated with the closing of their new home; and consolidate several confusing currently used forms into fewer, more concise documents.  Further, within the process, lenders are given additional responsibilities and time frame for providing buyers the anticipating charges.  The final (cost) disclosure statement must be received by the buyer a minimum of 3 days prior to the settlement (which will now be referred to as “Loan Consummation”).  If they are not, or if there are any changes beyond the specifically permitted limits, closing cannot take place until three days after the proper disclosure document is provided.

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