Relocation Agents – Are They Worth It?
What does a relocation agent actually do? What are you, the corporate, actually paying for??
You have just found the right person for the job you have advertised but realise they need to move interstate or internationally. Does your company offer to help them with their relocation? What are you actually buying and is it worth the money?
Some would argue no it is not but think of it this way. Have you moved house, rented an apartment, changed suburbs? There is a certain level of stress that comes with this and this is in a city that you know with support of family and friends.
What if you had to do this in a new state or new Country. You don’t have a car, you don’t understand the systems to navigate the real estate industry, you are not sure where you want to live and where you are going to fit into your new city and you are starting a new job where you want to impress your new boss or perhaps you are the boss and you are managing other people so time is poor.
A Good Relocation Agent
This is where the relocation agent is worth their weight in gold. As a general rule the agent will understand what you are after and be able to narrow down your search for suburbs of where you will feel comfortable.
They will pick you up from an agreed destination and show you several properties which fit your description of what type of home you want to live in. This alleviates public transport ( which the new employee doesn’t understand) on a Saturday morning when there are only 15 minute viewing opportunities often with 20 -60 other people. It is not pleasant.
A good relocation agent will negotiate with Real Estate Agents making phone calls and organising appointments to view properties (often hours of work) They know the quickest ways to get from point A to point B showing you local attractions – that make your life easier where to shop for groceries, where to get a good coffee, where to exercise, a great yoga studio, what ever your interests are the relocation agent will be able to recommend a place to try because this is information that only a local can tell you which in turn saves you hours of time.
If your employee has a family they can recommend schools and often give first hand advice on what schools will offer making it easier to choose a school where the child’s needs will be met. Once a home is found a relocation agent can organise for utilities to be connected, advise on insurance, where to purchase white goods and other furniture making this process less stressful.
During the process the relocation agent can coordinate bank accounts, local drivers license, tax file numbers, health insurance just to name a few.
Without a Relocation Agent all of this is up to your employee to action. It causes stress and often means they are under performing in the new role you fought so hard to get. You are wondering if you made the right decision and picked the right person for the job which now adds stress to your life. A relocation agent is worth their weight in gold.
It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO, the head of Human Resources or an IT analyst it still takes the same amount of time to relocate a person or a family.
Often companies allocate hours of relocation based on seniority. It is no less stressful for a CEO to relocate than an IT specialist it still takes the same amount of time. Offer your employees help with their relocation they will thank you for it in the long run as they will not be stressed, their time will be spent actually working and not looking for houses during their work day as they know their relocation agent has their back and that it’s being covered.
Relocation Agents – are worth it? Damn right they are.
Published by: The Employee Mobility Institute (TEMI), June 2019
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