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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.

Relocation Policies Across the Generations

I’ve written about Millennials and menu programs in the past and, as a team, we have certainly covered the generations in our EBooks. But, the discussion is important. As we all know, the makeup of the average assignee/transferee pool continues to change with the progression of the Millennials into the ranks and the exit of the Baby Boomers. For the first time ever, we have four generations working together – and that’s diversity that people rarely think about in the grand scheme of the diversity conversation.

Mortgage Outlook for Relocating Transferees

Over the course of 2015’s first quarter, a lot of home buyers found that obtaining a mortgage was easier than it had been in the past. And, it’s true. Banks seem to be more willing to lend now compared to recent years, though they’ll never admit any hesitation in the first place. A lot of this ease stems from the new loan options out there as well as current housing and economic trends around the country. In fact, the Zillow Mortgage Access Index tells us that access to mortgage credit is almost 70 percent of the way back to 2002 levels. To make a long story short, the economy and housing market have put lenders in a position where they are more willing to lend. So, what does this mean for your relocation program or for your transferees?

Does Your International Relocation Policy Address Culture Shock?

One of the greatest challenges that transferees face during an international relocation or assignment is the culture shock. A change in culture has a major impact on nearly every aspect of a person’s life including both professional and personal. It’s important that your international relocation policy provides proper training to help assignees adjust to local customs and ensure success in both the position and the relocation as a whole.

Relocation Managers Reconsider Household Moving Benefits

As we gear up for the busy summer season (yes, it is around the corner), we want to take some time to talk about moving household goods. Companies have, for a long time, been giving some of their employees (especially entry-level employees) lump sums for their household goods move. While lump sum serve their purpose in the broader context of a relocation policy, we have noticed that more relocation managers are reconsidering this thought process and returning to a direct-billing approach. They are doing this to provide a better relocation experience, mitigate risk and save in tax implications.

No More HUD-1? It’s Time to Review Your Relocation Policies

This week, we want to take some time to alert our readers of an upcoming document change that will be affecting transferees who sell (and buy) a home as part of the relocation process. Effective August 1, 2015, all lenders will be required to use the Closing Disclosure Form.  This form replaces the HUD-1 that has been used for home sale and home purchase lending transactions.  If any of your relocation policies reference the HUD-1, the wording should be changed to the Closing Disclosure Form.

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