Relocation Services

Services for Group Moves

Project Planning and Strategic Development

WE MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Our Relocation Services team offers a collaborative planning effort to assist with the coordination of every aspect of a group move. Our goal is to help you create and administer the best group move and relocation program that meets your business goals and objectives.

GROUP MOVE CONSULTING SERVICES

We work closely with you throughout the group move process to recalibrate and refine plans, prioritize efforts in response to changing needs, and remain responsive to your employee issues.

In partnering with you for the group move event, Relocation Services commits to providing the following consulting services:

  • Ongoing consulting to you and your employees
  • Project coordination with select vendors, suppliers, and other project team members
  • Policy design and development
  • A cooperative program management approach
  • Ongoing status reports and feedback

Additional components to our consulting services will also include:

COMMUNICATIONS

Special communications have a positive influence on employee attitudes. They also help maintain productivity, assure employee retention and position management fairly through all phases of the move. Centrally directed communications are advantageous in keeping all employees informed while streamlining questions to the appropriate sources. This enables managers to focus on their main responsibilities rather than channeling move-related information, concerns and questions.

ANNOUNCEMENT DAY PLAN

The official announcement of a group move decision is actually a series of communications delivered within a short time period. The announcement day plan identifies, schedules, and assigns responsibility for all activities occurring during this time. The following materials should be developed by you and with Relocation Services’ guidance, in preparation for the announcement:

  • Announcement Day Schedule – listing all activities, times and responsibilities
  • Formal Employee Announcement – properly framing the decision, and emphasizing its importance and management’s commitment to providing a smooth transition for all employees
  • External Announcements – including text for letters to employees and their families, press releases, letters to clients and suppliers, letters to the community and government organizations that may be affected by the move
  • Question and Answers Handouts – key “Talking Points” to assist in responding to employees, through press and other public inquiries with a uniform, controlled message

The objective of this meeting is to help the managers understand what policy decisions have been made and what type of employee questions to anticipate and who to properly direct them to for ongoing assistance.

MANAGER’S BRIEFING

The support of front-line managers is vital to the success of a group move project. They play a dual role: managing their employees and potentially relocating themselves. To enhance business continuity and gain support during this sensitive initial period, Relocation Services recommends a briefing just prior to the general move announcement to the employees. This briefing will:

  • Begin a team-building process to enlist any managers’ support and create a climate in which they too, feel part of the relocation process
  • Strengthen their understanding and buy-in of the business rationale behind the group move
  • Explain the anticipated impact of the relocation on performance and operations
  • Provide a forum for sharing employee reactions about the move and keeping a pulse on the organization – as employees tend to be more candid with their line managers.
  • Prepare managers so they can correctly respond to employee questions or concerns
  • Review policy benefits

The objective of this meeting is to help the managers understand what policy decisions have been made, what type of employee questions to anticipate and who to properly direct them to for ongoing assistance.

POLICY DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT

Policy and Program Recommendations and Cost Estimates for Budgeting

Your group move policy and program is the most powerful tool you will have to retain your key employees, therefore, it needs to address the specific circumstances of your move and the needs of your employees. Together we will develop detailed policy and program recommendations including relocation and attrition management provisions. Each recommendation will be supported by appropriate rationale and comparisons to your existing relocation policy.

Additionally, together we can create data and cost assumptions for each recommended program item. This will help you forecast all move-related expenses including provisions for relocation, transition, separation, recruiting and tax gross-up impact that may be incorporated into budgeting the project’s total costs.

Employee Group Move Policy

A user-friendly relocation policy can help position the program in a positive manner. It documents a philosophy of employee support and is a key reference source for program administrators and employees alike. Following approval of the final policy benefits and program provisions, our team will create for distribution to the employees the following:

  • A relocation policy draft which outlines the assistance and professional services available to each employee, along with guidelines and requirements associated to their move
  • Contact information for questions and concerns

Employee Policy Briefing/Meeting

A group employee policy briefing introduces the relocation policy and support programs in a more dramatic and personal way than with just a printed policy. In addition, the group briefing plays a vital role in creating a feeling among employees that a sound, well-managed process is underway. This also provides an open forum for communication between employees and management, thereby reinforcing management’s commitment to be comprehensive and effective.

Question and answer sessions follow the detailed presentation allowing for increased employee understanding and comfort with the assistance to be provided by the company and through Relocation Services. We have found these sessions are particularly beneficial for employees who have never relocated before, and are not as “relocation-savvy” as employees who have been transferred previously.

EMPLOYEE/FAMILY DECISION-MAKING SERVICES

Central Point for Information

Employees asked to relocate will quickly demand information on the new area, including community and housing options, living costs, schools, spouse employment opportunities, future career alternatives, area amenities, services, and the general “quality of life.” Our team will gather and provide extensive information on the area and provide this information to each of your relocating employees.

Additionally, Relocation Services will serve as the “Single Point-of-Coordination” for all questions and concerns in relation to the physical move and relocation benefits authorized for the employee and family. Through detailed conversations, ongoing counseling sessions and needs assessments, we will provide area information such as public transportation, cultural amenities, recreational and shopping opportunities, public and private schools, child care, colleges and universities, places of worship, home marketing and selling information, destination area information, area publications and information on mortgage options/programs and the pre-qualification process.

As important as what the resource materials we provide for your employees are, the personal service attention we provide each relocating employee and their family goes unparalleled. Serving as a central point for information, as well as a coordinator for specific activities, we will help generate and maintain an atmosphere of positive energy and expectations for your employees. We create a trust and bond with your employees from the beginning. Our high-touch approach to answering questions, following-up on specific needs, and creating cost-effective solutions for everyone involved helps create a strong relationship and a successful outcome for the overall group move project.

Destination Area Familiarization Trips

Seeing the area first-hand before committing to relocate is a vital part of the employee decision-making process. We will partner with you to design a familiarization trip and coordinate group and individual tours of the destination area and its surrounding communities.

Familiarization tours are designed to:

  • Provide employees and spouses (no children) with a structured look at area housing, communities, education, cultural and recreational facilities
  • Provide an objective lifestyle overview of the new location
  • Give employees an opportunity to meet with others who have relocated to the new area
  • Allow employees and their spouses to create a positive synergy with others who are undergoing the same stresses and challenges related to a job and family move
  • Satisfy employees’ “need to know” more effectively than individual trips.

Our Relocation Services team will work closely with you to help plan, manage and host the area tours. Items we will assist you with include:

  • Coordinating trip logistics (hotels, restaurants, etc.)
  • Gathering sign-up data on employee preferences regarding commute times, communities and housing
  • Make follow-up needs assessment calls to each employee to ensure the employee has the appropriate information to be able to make the best decision regarding the move
  • Coordinating with area brokers/agents/rental specialists to be able to present the new area in a thorough and positive manner
  • Being available during business hours and after hours for questions, concerns, or special needs that may arise during their trip to the new area.

DEPARTURE AND DESTINATION SERVICES

Move Management

The Relocation Services account manager will work closely with a select group of national carriers to assist your employee during the relocation process from origin to destination.

Our services include:

  • Explaining how the employee can derive the greatest benefit from your policy and how the policy works
  • Explaining the employee’s responsibility and role in the process
  • Assistance in selecting a best-suited broker/agent for their home
  • Establishing a list price that is conducive to the current market and within a 105% price of the Broker Market Analysis’ (BMA) most probable sale price
  • Clarifying what to do when the employee receives an offer and the roles and responsibilities of all parties at that time
  • The account manager will work with your employee to price and market the home to its maximum advantage. We rely on our national broker network to ensure your employees are working with known, respected, and relocation-savvy brokers/agents within their community

Working with your employee through our account manager to price and market the home to its maximum advantage. We rely on our national broker network to ensure your employees are working with known, respected, and relocation-savvy brokers/agents within their community.

We typically establish a list price by averaging the two list prices provided by the brokers and recommend the employee list their home within 105% to 110% of the BMAs. This provides the best possibility that the employee will receive an offer from the marketplace within a 90-120 day period.

Destination and Homefinding Services

To complement our group move services, our team will also work to ensure a seamless homefinding process for your employees. The employees will receive ongoing counseling – before and during the homefinding trip, and until the home purchase is complete. We collaborate with brokerages experienced in relocation assistance to give employees optimal opportunities to find the right homes in their new destination.

Your employee’s account manager will:

  • Discuss family needs regarding housing as well as basic parameters of the homefinding services in the initial call with the employee. Tentative dates for homefinding trips may also be discussed depending upon your file area orientation options and final policy benefits
  • Ship area information packets directly to your employees with specific information discussed during the initial conversation
  • Introduce and assign local area real estate specialists (agents or lease specialists) to your employee to begin researching and working together to identify the right communities, prices, and best suited housing options for them in the area
  • Introduce you employee to Ascent Home Lending for pre-qualification and program options
  • Follow-up with the employee once the homefinding trip is complete to debrief with the employee and respond to any additional needs, concerns or questions they may have

The account manager remains involved with the employee and their family throughout the entire process. Our successful management of the process increases the likelihood that homefinding is well coordinated and wise purchase decisions are being made. It also decreases the need for return trips and the additional expense of temporary living arrangements for long periods of time. Our preferred brokers/agents know how to work closely with us and the relocating employee we entrust to them.

Rental Assistance

Relocation Services also offers a rental assistance program for your employees. This program allows your employees to become familiar with the new community and quickly find an appropriate rental to meet their needs. The account manager will coordinate with a destination specialist and a rental expert to ensure the assistance provided your employee is positive and successful.

Relocation Services also offers a rental assistance program for your employees. This program allows your employees to become familiar with the new community and quickly find an appropriate rental to meet their needs. The account manager will coordinate with a destination specialist and a rental expert to ensure the assistance provided your employee is positive and successful.

Your employee will receive:

  • A thorough needs assessment in their initial conversation with their account manager.
  • A designated rental specialist who will provide property information (online) before they visit the area. This will provide your employee with a structured approach to the new work area, commute times, area housing options and more.

Our assistance allows your employees to select a rental property more easily in unfamiliar locations, freeing them for productivity in other areas. Our capability to identify and work with rental specialists/agents with proven rental expertise is a tangible benefit to the employee.

Temporary Living Arrangements

The Relocation Services account manager can arrange for both short‐ and long ‐term temporary living accommodations for your relocating employees. We want to make sure they are comfortable, ideally located and assisted throughout their temporary stay. Our partnerships with well-respected and quality providers enable us to monitor services, negotiate contracts, and pass pre‐negotiated savings to our clients. We help your employee become productive in a much shorter period of time by handling all the utilities, cable, phones, internet connectivity, and more.

MOVING EMPLOYEE’S HOUSEHOLD GOODS

Move Management

The Relocation Services account manager will work closely with a select group of national carriers to assist your employee during the relocation process from origin to destination.

Our services include:

  • Individually reviewing the household goods moving policy and procedures with the employee, plus answering questions about any specific concerns the employee may have.
  • Coordinating an on-site review and estimate for the move
  • Establishing tentative time frames for the move
  • Booking the move with the preferred carrier
  • Confirming pack/load/delivery with the employee and carrier
  • Initiating any traces or assist in filing appropriate claims
  • Conducting a comprehensive audit of the select carrier’s invoices
  • Forwarding you all authorized invoices and approved charges for payment
  • Arranging for Storage-in-Transit if necessary and authorized by the policy

EXPENSE MANAGEMENT

Cost Tracking and Client Reporting

Our experienced team will provide you will a full array of cost tracking and financial administrative services which can be customized to meet your needs. Our services often include:

  • Tracking of all relocation-related expenses and activities
  • Auditing of expense vouchers and invoices
  • Input of expenses into tracking system
  • Calculating employee relocation tax and gross-ups
  • Processing year-end 1099’s for employees
  • Providing monthly, quarterly, annual client reports on all relocation activity
  • Providing payroll pass-through reports and year end uploads
  • Processing of all employee relocation-related expenses and creating voucher requests for you
  • Processing of all employee relocation-related expenses and creating voucher requests for you

Each employee’s expense report and reimbursement will be processed by the account manager, with the assistance of our expense management partner. All expenses will be reviewed by Relocation Services for accuracy and compliance to your relocation policy as well as federal, state and local tax guidelines. Expense reimbursement vouchers will be sent to you within three to five business days of receipt of an acceptable expense report.