Destination Support in Domestic Moves Matters
US domestic moves are easier than global, right? Think twice. While many employees simply ask their work colleagues for advice and hire a Realtor to get housing and schooling information, they may not be getting the full story.
Global Mobility professionals who engage Destination Service Providers (DSP) equip their transferees with current, local knowledge and provide “front-line defense” by being a strong advocate for the family. The DSP is able to address a family’s unique needs in an unbiased way, less restricted than a Realtor, as well as provide insights into cultural nuances that stem from a regional move. IOR asked several of its Destination Consultants to provide their thoughts on how to best advocate for their clients.
IOR: What are some of the challenges are you seeing domestic transferees facing? How do you approach and/or resolve these situations?
Cheryl: The biggest and most frequent challenge is the pace at which properties move and limited inventory. Sometimes, providing a list of properties meeting their criteria allows the transferee to “follow the market” pace and monitor activity prior to arriving. Once they have seen properties come on and off the market, it reinforces the expectations to be prepared to act quickly during home finding.
Diane: Transferees do not always believe that the market is so competitive and that fast decisions need to be made once they have found a home. Renting sometimes means compromise; when looking at homes, a transferee needs to understand they may not always get 100% of what they want in a rental property. Good location, good commute, good school and 80% of what they are looking for in a home is a reasonable expectation.
Lisa: I try to be up front with them about what a typical rental price will be and whether you can get a good home/apartment for that.
Diane: Although colleagues have the best intentions, they often provide misinformation which causes the transferee confusion and possibly a delay in services. It is vital that the transferee see the DSC as someone who understands the system and is there to assist them and guide them.
IOR: Is there anything we can share with the relocation industry/HR to help them better prepare the transferee for the move ahead?
Cheryl: Prep the transferee on the real possibility of high rental prices; most are normally shocked at the rental costs.
Lisa: Begin setting area and schooling expectations. Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities cover extremely large areas. Did you know Dallas-Fort Worth is the size of the state of Connecticut? With respect to schooling, transferees normally do not know a year in advance that they will be moving. However, various private schools require applications almost a year in advance.
Diane: Sometimes the transferee is receiving mixed signals. When the transferee is given time to handle the settling in tasks calmly, they will have a better chance of getting a good start which will ultimately benefit the employer. I have seen transferees frazzled by trying to juggle their job, the paperwork needed for various items and trying to find a home. The employer should let the transferee know that it is acceptable to miss work to handle their home finding and settling in services.