MobilityMatters Blog

  • International Relocations: Should pricey private schools be a “given”?

    17-10-2018

    When thinking about relocating to a new country, a candidate’s first thought will likely be to evaluate the possible impact on his or her family. But is it always necessary to assume the children are to go to private or independently run schools? If education assistance is provided, the impact on program costs can be…
  • The Complications of Moving Wine Collections

    02-10-2018

    Most of us love our wine, and when it’s time to pack up and relocate, dealing with our limited number of bottles is not an issue.  Generally, movers will not transfer liquids as part of a standard load so it’s either pack it in your car trunk (if driving), consume the wine before the departure…
  • Fake News! – Take 2: Moving and Storage

    19-09-2018

    We thought we would follow up on last winter’s blog on Fake News in the relocation sphere. This time, we focus the use of misleading content, manipulated context or false connections in the business of moving of household goods. Fake News – Tariff discounts Movers that present the highest tariff discounts are offering the best…
  • “Out of the Box” Series – Part 3: Would You Live in a Yurt?

    21-08-2018

    Yes, a yurt… a round, one room semi-permanent platform supported tent/home.  With sparse furnishings, a composting toilet, hot plate, and stove for heating, it offers basic comforts, cozy surroundings and a novel way of living. Is there any reason why an employee couldn’t live in a yurt while on assignment if this is what really…
  • Home Sale Expenses – Harvesting the Low Hanging Fruit

    30-07-2018

    Focussing on the “low hanging fruit” of your relocation policy could improve the cost-effectiveness of your program while minimally affecting the employee experience. Generally, these quick fixes can be introduced without much fanfare or disruption. Home Sale is a good place to start. This benefit represents between 25% and 30% of the total cost of…
  • “Landlord markets”: Are your transferees being bullied?

    10-07-2018

    If your organization is relocating employees to major cities with very low vacancy rates, high rents and an affordable housing crisis, such as Toronto or Vancouver, are they getting enough support in dealing with the rental market? It may be increasingly necessary to ensure that they do. A recent case provides a good example of…
  • Feedback: Top 3 irritants expressed by transferees

    21-06-2018

    Employee satisfaction is a key to an effective mobility program, so it is essential to know what are its most irritating features. One of our previous blogs (Should service providers be self-assessing their performance?) outlined how important it is to have a good handle on supplier performance and that a well-designed independently administered employee satisfaction…
  • “Out of the Box” Series – Part 2: Embracing Lump Sum Mobility Programs

    25-05-2018

    While most of our business processes and every day work procedures seem to be getting more sophisticated, we are seeing a trend toward simpler relocation policy design.  Comprehensive full service relocation programs are still the norm, however, the use of a lump sum approach seems to have taken hold. Though more common for new hires…
  • “Out of the Box” Series – Part 1: Is storage necessary?

    15-05-2018

    Overused cliché? Not so in the moving industry. In this new series, we will share some of our “out of the box” thoughts on a number of relocation issues. Our first blog addresses the storage of household goods; expensive but also, not essential. Witnessing events surrounding a recent move prompted us to rethink the cost…
  • The Growing Importance of Destination Services

    02-05-2018

    In the elusive quest to measure ROI for relocation assignments, mobility specialists agree that employee satisfaction, effectiveness, and retention are key.  Often overlooked when developing the framework to support the employee is the impact the transition to a new location can have on the accompanying spouse and children.  An unhappy family can have a significantly…
  • Should service providers be self-assessing their performance?

    17-04-2018

    Think about it. Does it make sense to have the provider of an important relocation service report back to you on how well they are supporting your corporation or more importantly, your relocating employees? Relocation service providers measure and track their performance for operational purposes but, from the standpoint of good governance, can you, the…
  • Reset to Fee for Service

    29-03-2018

    When we review RMC proposals, clients are often astonished at the complexity of the revenue flow for a typical relocation file and the strong reliance on referral fees. Whether you believe in referral fees or not, they are a well-established industry practice. Some, however, question their benefit to the client corporation.  In this blog, we…
  • Will your relocation policy survive a housing crash?

    14-03-2018

    Although we heard from the Bank of Canada in late 2017 that a stronger economy and good policymaking are bringing about “a gradual easing” of vulnerabilities in the housing market, many analysts feel that the risks of Canada’s precarious housing market have not gone away. Is your mobility program protected? The financial vulnerability of relocation…
  • Fake News!

    26-02-2018

    The term Fake News, virtually unheard of a couple of years ago, is now part of our everyday language thanks to the omnipresent President Trump. With a definition of the term that would include the use of misleading content, manipulated context or false connections, we present our take on Fake News in the relocation sphere.…
  • Relocation Policy Development from a Blank Slate

    07-02-2018

    If you were given the opportunity to design a relocation policy, where would you start? What would it look like? Some would probably replicate the design already in place while others would make minor changes, but a good number, we believe, would cherish the opportunity to start from scratch. In this blog, we will share…
  • So If… Series – Part 5: Rethinking Outsourcing

    17-01-2018

    So, If  we try, can we find a better way to improve the relocation experience and more effectively manage the cost of relocation? The more businesses can increase assignment success rates and maximize human capital ROI, the more they can promote career advancement, nurture growth and fast-tracking of top talent, all leading to increased employee engagement…
  • Employee Mobility: SO IF… Series – Part 4

    29-08-2017

    So, If we wanted to better promote and sell relocation properties, could recognizing the efforts of real estate brokers through better rewards help? Real estate agents are generally responsible for all expenses on the sale of the properties they have listed, including advertising etc., and are only ‘paid’ if and when a transaction is completed.…
  • Employee Mobility: SO IF… Series – Part 3

    10-07-2017

    Drilling down on home disposal as part of risk management strategy … So, if employee and employer both assume responsibility for risk on disposal of difficult (normally ineligible) properties? Enforcing strict guidelines on property eligibility (i.e. mobile homes, acreage properties, etc.) has historically left some employees with little or no assistance.  In an effort to…
  • Employee Mobility: SO, IF…. Part 2

    30-05-2017

    So, if we dispense with the traditional Home Sale program as a “guaranteed safety net”, can we re-think home disposal as part of an overall risk management strategy? Imagine a Risk-Partnership model based on the establishment of a negotiated “Base Price”, and a property marketing strategy that is as risk-neutral as possible for both employee…
  • SO, IF… Series – Part 1: Guaranteed Home Sale Plans

    22-09-2016

    Welcome to our “SO, IF” Series SO, IF I climbed a mountain.  SO, IF I could see forever. SO, IF I could change the world… the world of relocation.  What would I do next? Following our series: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, our  “SO, IF… ” series pokes at traditional processes and provokes…
  • Relocation: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part 3

    10-08-2016

    The movie The Good the Bad and the Ugly has inspired us to provide our own take on the recent good, bad and ugly trends within the employee relocation industry from different perspectives: Part 1: Service providers, Part 2: Suppliers and Part 3: Policy design. Part 3: Relocation Policy Design The Good Flexible spending accounts are proving…
  • Relocation: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part 2

    05-04-2016

    With entertainment award season upon us, we remember one of the movie industry’s great westerns, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, inspiring us to provide our own take on the recent good, bad and ugly trends within the employee relocation industry from different perspectives: Part 1: Relocation service providers, Part 2: Suppliers and Part…
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Part 1

    21-03-2016

    As a tribute to the recent Academy Awards, we remember one of the biggest hit movies that failed to win an Oscar, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, with our own good, bad and ugly of 2015. Relocation Service Providers The Good *  With globalization we get more choices.  Canada has lost many large…
  • Supplier audits: Integrity + accuracy… It all adds up

    01-02-2016

    “In god we trust….all others pay cash”.  Cliché? We think not. It is estimated that for every 10 relocations, corporations are being over charged $10,000 to $30,000. How do you create an effective balance between trusting your suppliers and auditing their invoices?  Trust them to manage your relocations to maximize your corporate mobility goals, yet…
  • Simplifying Moving Tariffs – Save time, money and energy by simplifying now!

    19-04-2015

    Do you remember when ”they” said workweeks would be shortened from five to four days?…when computers would make our jobs easier ?…moving tariffs have also escaped simplification… until now. The role of the relocation manager has become more demanding, pressuring those involved in mobility management to reduce costs, increase satisfaction among transferring employees and simplify…
  • Give your relocation program a tune-up!

    17-03-2015

    If your car wasn’t working properly, you wouldn’t do something like sell it.  You would get a tune-up.  You can do the same for your relocation program. When looking at a poorly functioning relocation program, there can be many causes. In some cases, service delivery has deteriorated to such an extent, affecting the trust and…
  • Lack of transparency conceals hidden moving costs!

    22-01-2015

    The move of household goods represents a significant portion of your relocation costs. When was the last time you looked, really looked, at your moving costs to determine if you are receiving the best value for you and your relocating employees? The best method of reducing moving costs, without compromising service, is by having your…
  • There is a silver lining in every cloud!

    09-12-2014

    Our newspapers are riddled with stories concerning the falling price of oil and the impact this will have on Canada as we are a nation with a certain financial dependence on this important resource we all use in one way or another. While low oil prices will never be a silver lining for our oil…
  • Reducing the financial risk of Guaranteed Home Sale Plans

    24-09-2014

    In our first blog, we promised to ”present ways to mitigate the financial risk of certain employee mobility policy provisions, concentrating on the high cost items first”. We also said we would ”address issues that are considered irritants for employees”.  Here is a two in one – Guaranteed Home Sale Plans. Although the actual cost of…
  • The True Cost of Employee Mobility

    22-05-2014

    Linda Ward O'Farrell

    The structure of your relocation policy, in combination with your administration arrangements and the volume of transfers, can significantly impact the cost of employee mobility. Relocation costs are outweighed, hopefully, by the benefits of having the employee in the new position and meeting the business needs. From an employee’s perspective, career development or advancement associated…