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Mike Canning

How to Project Relocation Costs More Efficiently

With relocation busy season around the corner, relocation managers are probably dusting off their policies and taking a good look at relocation budgets. But, how realistic are those budgets? One of the biggest challenges that human resources and procurement managers face is the difficulty of designing a proper relocation budget and then sticking to it when the rubber hits the road. That’s why clear cost projections are the linchpins that connect cost containment with adequate relocation benefit delivery. In order to ensure clear projections, its critical to get the most accurate view of anticipated costs right out the gate, preferably before an offer has been extended to the potential transferee.

To Stage or Not to Stage?

We all know time is money.  When it comes to real estate, this couldn’t be truer. While the sales price of a home may

Staging a Home

Photo credit: HGTV

not change, obtaining a sale quickly can save a considerable amount of money in the form of carrying costs and even loss on sale if the market is in decline.  One way to give prospective buyers a perception of the depth and functional usage of space is to furnish the home. As such, transferees may request additional monies for staging the home as a part of the home marketing benefit. Should you comply?

Managed Cap Program Managers: Yay or Nay?

Like corporations, employee relocation service providers have had to adapt to shrinking program budgets, less company gatekeepers, and ongoing pressure to simplify the process. Some companies, in response to budgetary constraints, and just not having the personnel to administer multi-benefit programs have switched (especially with Managed Cap Programstheir lower level and rental programs) to a lump sum or managed cap program. Both these programs offer the companies more budget certainty and uniformity. Noting this, some relocation providers have entered the market with a stripped down, limited scope approach. Whereas the traditional service provider had previously geared their approach toward homeowners, with modifications scaling back benefit levels for the renters, and college recruits, these new companies focus on the growing population of less defined relocations.

UPDATE: RESPA Rules Granted an Extension

UPDATE: This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule moving the effective date of the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, also called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, to October 3, 2015. The Bureau believes that moving the effective date may benefit both industry and consumers with a smoother transition to the new rule. The Bureau further believes that scheduling the effective date on a Saturday may facilitate implementation by giving industry time over the weekend to launch new systems configurations and to test systems.

Rental Market and Housing Market Lock Horns

We admit, we have been a little obsessed with housing market stories lately. But, who isn’t? It’s a weird time for real estate.  And, what it boils down is this – today’s real estate and rental market needs confidence and equity.  While we are seeing significant appreciation in some markets, it is not due to a significant number of new buyers.  As we have pointed out, the lack of inventory is the real culprit.  For this reason, we are not seeing any let up in the rental market.

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.

How to Identify the Best Candidates for a Relocation

Are you new to relocation? If you’ve found yourself sitting in the relocation hot spot recently, then you may find yourself overwhelmed with the many tasks and responsibilities associated with moving stressed-out families. We often talk about transferee relations and the transferee experience, including the challenges the moving families face, but we also know that it’s no easy feat for human resources to identify appropriate transferees and then move them seamlessly. One of the biggest questions we get from clients new to relocation is, in fact, how do I know who I should select to move? And, then, the inevitable, how do I avoid a failed relocation?

Is it all Doom and Gloom for the 2015 Housing Market?

Last week, we read (and shared) and article by Chicago Agent Magazine titled, “3 Important Trends to follow for the 2015 Housing Market.” I think the article raised some good points – namely, that the rise in home prices will slow down a bit and the rental market will continue to flourish. But, after reading this article, you may find yourself a bit depressed.

Four Rules for C-Suite and Senior Executive Relocations

So, you have built your relocation program with multiple relocation policy tiers, addressing the various elements of your organization.  Although there are always the typical exceptions (additional temporary living, home finding trips, storage, etc.), for the most part your program is running smoothly. That is, of course, until you receive a call or meeting request to discuss a senior level executive who is relocating. 

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