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A Fly on the Wall
That’s what I felt like at this week’s Worldwide ERC’s US Advisory Council in Las Vegas. CHPA has a seat around this table, along with many other industries involved in global mobility. It gave me great insights on the trends our partners are watching and I wanted to share them with you.
Good News in Relocation
− Relocation business is strong, the majority of attendees feeling “somewhat optimistic” for continued economic recovery in 2011.
− High and low-ends of housing market is moving, with the middle still suffering.
− Many corporate members are doing development relocations (as opposed to filling open position relocations) – one measure of recovery.
− Younger demographic choosing temporary housing rental over buying a new home because they are still nervous about the overall housing market.
Real Estate Observations
− 89% of the room believe homeowners becoming renters is an emerging trend.
− Consensus is that analysts are not necessarily reading market indicators correctly and that the combined effect will be increased demand with limited supply.
− Positive outlook as 85% of members in the room will be hiring more associates.
− Another emerging trend is a pre-decision process that includes a before-hire consultation with employer and employee about their ability to relocate. For example, corporations want to know: “How much of a loss am I willing to absorb to relocate this employee?”
Policy Changes Impacting Relocations
− Even with the trend of more transferees choosing rental options, Relocation Management Companies (RMCs) and their corporate clients have implemented limited policy changes related to rentals.
− Interestingly, RMCs/corporate clients are very receptive to paying for at least one day of rental location assistance. With supply so tight in certain markets, this expertise helps to quickly identify the right inventory for placement.
− Some RMCs/corporations incentivize certain transferees with high-value homes to rent rather than purchase because the corporation does not want the liability on the back-end.
− RMCs/corporations are approving temporary housing stay extensions to facilitate purchase of new homes. Process has become longer due to financing and purchasing delays and frequently exclude short-sales because of unreliability for purchase/closing.
− RMCs/companies are now using moderated forums to solicit feedback from employees regarding relocations and policies to gain insights on how to improve process.
These trends provide insights to corporate housing professionals and identify opportunities of how to better work with partnering industries. I’m able to be around this table because of my involvement with CHPA. I encourage you to get connected with CHPA today. Use CHPA’s resources at www.chpaonline.org or via our social media networks to share this information and ways to connect with your clients and customers.