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Relocation Policies

Practical tips and advice on how to develop effective relocation policies for corporate transferees.

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.

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.

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. 

The Buyer Value Option is Still a Relocation King

Last week, I talked a little bit about real estate transactions and how they should be implemented, specifically in a Buyer Value Option (BVO) program. In response, I received a few questions about whether or not the BVO is still the best home buyout program in this economic climate.

Three Must Have Rental Assistance Benefits

Historically, relocation packages have focused on homeowners. However, since the economic downturn has made renting more popular, there are more transferees renting today. Further, we know that most Millennials are not yet buying homes for various reasons. For one, tight mortgage restrictions, a difficult job market and rising home prices has made home buying seem unattainable. Also, younger generations are enjoying the flexibility of renting, especially as rentals are now being built with great amenities.  Will this trend continue? It’s hard to say. At some point, the Millennials will dominate the workforce and should have the financial means to start buying. When that happens, there will be a substantial uptick in the market as the Millennial generation is as big as the Baby Boomer generation. For now, however, we expect to see the rental trend continue.

Are Mortgage Buydowns Lurking in Your Relocation Policy?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about mortgage rates going up. Of course, the media pings pongs the issue back and forth: one day, we hear that rising rates are stemming housing demand and the next day, we hear that rates will remain steady. In all honesty, we don’t anticipate a drastic rise in rates this year, but by 2015 we could be back in the 5% range and that’s worth looking at. Employers who currently still have mortgage buy down components in their policies probably haven’t looked at them in years – there was no need. Before rates do jump, however, relocation managers may want to revisit the policy.

Three Simple Steps for Relocation Benchmarking

Many of our clients like to hear how their costs, policies and specific benefits compare against a client base of similar size and industry. We are often asked by our clients during our quarterly meetings whether their relocation costs are typical and whether the benefits they are providing in their relocation programs are competitive. Benchmarking is always a smart move. Whether benchmarking against best practices or other companies within your industry, it is important to know and understand how your relocation program stacks up.  Further, it demonstrates to senior management that you have done your due diligence and have made informed recommendations and decisions.

When to Make an Exception the Rule

The increase in exceptions over the past several years is a good indication of the pressure employers are feeling to address the concerns of skilled talent. Unfortunately, over time, managers and previous transferees often share commonly granted exceptions with new transferees as if they are a staple of the program. Consequently, unexpected relocation expenses start to spring up frequently.

Solutions for Managing Temporary Living in Remote Areas

We manage a wide variety of relocation programs for firms in a wide variety of industries. Sometimes, we are charged with moving employees to very remote locations with few relocation resources. With a little creativity and patience we can always make it work, but there are some relocation benefits that present a greater challenge than others. One of the most common issues we deal with (as well as a frequently asked question) is finding adequate and budget-friendly temporary living in remote areas with few options and high prices. So, how do we solve the temporary living problem?

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MIKE CANNING
VP, Client Services

RICK CALANNI
VP of Business Development Northeast Region

 

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