It’s no secret that relocation budgets are shrinking. As part of the general push toward doing more with less, many companies are cutting costs across the board. The golden days of the expat have come to an end, with extravagant remuneration packages and full-service relocations now largely off the table. The coronavirus has only sped up this trend, making it harder and more expensive to bring people in from overseas – or even interstate. Despite this, we’re seeing locally grown talent wanting to return home in record numbers. But even attracting these individuals has its challenges, including the immovable hurdle of a two-week hotel quarantine stint for anyone coming in from abroad. The rise of Zoom and widespread appreciation of working remotely has helped fill the resource gap in the short term. However, this is not sustainable for most roles (particularly those at the highest levels) and the expectation for a return to the office is growing rapidly. But, as we’re unlikely to see an increase in budgets anytime soon; cheaper, more tailored relocation support approaches must be found.
Getting bang for your buck
When budgets are tighter, you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible return for your investment. You can do this by focusing on the key activities that deliver the greatest benefit – both to the person relocating, and to your business. For example, we know that one of the biggest challenges facing relocated employees is settling into their new location. The whole family needs to feel like part of the community and connected to the local lifestyle. Without this, they will be unhappy and disengaged, and unlikely to want to stay for an extended period. We also know that the property that the relocated employee and their family moves into can have a major impact on their ability to settle. More than just fitting the size of their family and their budget, it needs to feel like “home” and suit how they want to live. Finding such a property is hard enough at the best of times, and near on impossible from the other side of the world, so focusing your limited relocation budget on a quality home finding service could deliver significant benefits. Similarly, we know that the actual move is usually one of the most complicated parts of the relocation process. Getting their beloved belongings from Point A to Point B can weigh heavily on a relocating employee’s mind and takes a lot of careful coordination – particularly when it needs to be shipped internationally and pass through customs. This is where a great removalist can make a huge difference, managing the entire process and saving the relocating employee and their family a lot of time and stress.
Cutting costs by partnering with a couple of key services
One of the best ways to keep outsource costs down is to bring as much coordination and administration activity back in house. However, with relocation management resources already stretched paper thin, a balance needs to be struck between the cost savings of self-management and the efficiencies of outsourcing. One way to do this is to formalise partnerships with a couple of key services – like a renter’s advocate (to find the perfect home) and a removalist (to do the actual moving) – but retain responsibility for managing the end-to-end process. This would allow you to outsource the most labour-intensive activities, while avoiding the premium usually paid for a full-service relocation. It would also enable you to deliver a similar quality of experience to your relocating employees, with a relatively minimal increase in the administration required.
And if money is really tight…
If your relocation budget cannot stretch to cover even a couple of select services, consider enabling relocating employees to manage their own moves. Simply connecting them with your preferred providers can make a big difference, and some companies may be willing to offer a discount in return for a formal referral arrangement. This means no cost to your company, but plenty of benefit for your relocating employees. Many businesses will also have lower cost services specifically targeted at helping people on tighter budgets. For example, at Your Home Hunter, we offer an ‘Express Package’, which helps renters refine their search criteria and narrow down the shortlist of properties they are considering. Then, once they’ve found the place they want, we can review their application and recommend ways to maximise their chance of being approved.
As Principal of Your Home Hunter – Australia’s premier renters advocacy service – Wendy Eva-Scott works with time poor professionals to find the right rental property. As the first point of call for property managers looking for quality tenants, she takes the stress out of securing a rental by managing the entire process – from working through the wish list to securing the lease, and following up after the move in date. So, if you’re considering alternatives to full-service relocation, and are wondering whether working with a Renters Advocate could be beneficial to your company, give Wendy a call.