Recent Tweets

Follow Me on Twitter

Powered by Twitter Tools

Mike Canning

Do We Really Need That Anymore?

Every so often we go through an exercise where we look at our processes and ask ourselves why we do the things we do and why do we do them that way.  In one of our recent exercises we looked at our photo copier. In its prime the behemoth energy sucker sat in the corner and clanked and clicked its way through hundreds, even thousands of pieces of paper and pounds of toner in a day.  However, as we become more and more immersed in a digital and eco-friendly world, the continual whirl and occasional frustrated user clearing a jam, has died down to the point where occasionally someone will ask, where do we keep the copier.  Today, I can proudly respond, “We don’t have one!” 

Analytics and the Review Process

Reviewing your mobility program requires more than an overview of numbers. It needs to include a deeper dive into why those numbers may be changing.  In addition to helping you determine if exceptions are getting out of control, or one cost center is being more generous that others, sometimes, a statistical change can be misinterpreted if not looked at from every angle.

Recently, a client reached out, concerned that, although initiations had not increased, the year to date expense had taken a notable spike.  On the surface, their conclusion was correct.  While expenses increased over 16% over the same period last year, overall initiations were actually down almost 7 percent.

 

The first thing I did was break out the expenses by category.  Immediately, I could see the culprit.  While other category expenses stayed in line with the previous year, the homesale expenses increased significantly, mirroring the year over year expense variance. Additionally, while there was a small increase in average sale price, this uptick in homesale expenses was more due to the number of sales completed during the two periods.

 

This is where I found the good news.  Looking at the average days on market for each home that sold over the past two years, I was able to see a positive trend. Homes are selling faster.  In the past 12 months, homes sold in an average of 32 days on the market, verses 59 days in the previous year.

 

Additionally, I found the average program cost went down almost 30 percent over the same period!  Logically, this makes sense, if you think about it.  The biggest drag on a relocation program is the homesale piece.  In addition to typically being the biggest ticket item, it also impacts other benefits when the market is soft.  When transferees cannot sell their home, you find they need to use more temporary living, home trips, loss on sale benefits and exceptions.

 

analytics over review

 

So, in the example above, what appeared to be a negative program development, is in actuality a sign of an improving economy and an indication of future savings.

 

Should this positive trend continue, employers should look at those benefits used to entice potential candidates in a slower, uncertain market and grant them by exception, or remove them outright. By removing these benefits (which no longer make the difference between accepting or refusing the move), employers can cut costs further.

 

When you look at your historic program data, do you have a clear understanding on the cause of trends?

Why You Really Need to Review Your RMC

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  That’s how the expression goes.  But, it’s time to evaluate the definition of broken.  I’m willing to bet that there are a number of factors why you have postponed reviewing the job your relocation management company is doing.

The Low Down on Temporary Living Expenses

Temporary living can be a doozy of a line item in a relocation budget.

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.

Search

MIKE CANNING
VP, Client Services

RICK CALANNI
VP of Business Development Northeast Region

 

Site Tags

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |