Category: ARC Blog

The Art of Negotiation: Tips for Relocation

 

Congratulations! Your employer has promoted you to a new position within your company—however, it requires a long-distance move.

Depending on the location and specific package selected, a full-service move ranges anywhere from $5,000 to over $80,000. While employers may offer impressive relocation packages, transferees are often unaware of the negotiables. ARC Relocation wants to equip you with the right questions to ask and tips to assist your negotiation!

 

Defining the Options

While employer relocation packages differ, most tend to fall into one of the following categories:

 

Reimbursement (not recommended)

The typical procedure for full reimbursement finds the employee paying for all relocation expenses upfront and is later compensated by the employer. (It’s important to know this isn’t a blank check. Employers usually provide a price limit.)

 

Lump Sum Payment (not recommended)

An employer offers a designated amount of money to cover moving expenses. The perk of this payment option is found in its flexibility. Employees maintain control over how and where their relocation funds are allocated.

 

Third Party Relocation (industry best practice)

This is gold standard of relocation benefits, where employers pay for all incurred expenses through a relocation management company. While the amount of coverage depends on the employer, many outsource to relocation brokers who provides comprehensive coordination for all aspects of a move. This can offer tax protection and ensures that relocation events are covered!

 

No Reimbursement

Unfortunately, this option speaks for itself. An employer has declined to offer any relocation assistance. The assumption of “what isn’t offered in transfer payment can be offset by a salary increase or bonus” neglects the stress that relocating on your own places on your family and the difficulty of successfully starting a new position without any relocation assistance.

 

When it Comes to Reimbursement, Company Size Matters

According to Atlas Van Lines 2019 Relocation Reimbursement Survey, full reimbursement for transferees’ hovers around 64% (an increase from 55% in 2016). More companies have resorted to providing lump sum payments in 2019 than previous years. Company size plays a significant role in transferee reimbursement, with large companies (over 5,000 employees) providing full reimbursement, while mid-size and small companies reimbursed about one-third of the move’s total cost (1 in 7 didn’t provide any reimbursement).

 

You Can Negotiate

Many employees don’t even realize they have the power to negotiate their relocation package. Ask your HR department for a copy of the company’s relocation policy. If they don’t have one – send them an example policy to benchmark from. Learn what is and isn’t covered. Engage in research. Seek out relocation policies of similar companies to compare it to. Do you have a former colleague who recently relocated? If so, bend their ear about not only the relocation negotiation but their lessons learned about the entire process.

Preparation is key, so organize your talking points, know your data and associated costs, and be prepared to confidently ask for what you want.

Remember that time is money to your employer. The quicker the process is expedited, the sooner you can begin working in your new position.

Last and most importantly – ask an expert! ARC Relocation receives calls and emails every day from employees asking for guidance and counsel so that they are covered in their relocation!

 

Aspects to Negotiate

The needs of a young, single employee seeking an apartment rental differ from someone with a family and a home to sell (as well as one to purchase). Be sure to assess your particular requirements for a move. Although it varies, common relocation expenses covered for transferees include:

 

Travel Allowance

Scouting out the new area before a move is a necessity. Airfare, car rental, and hotel stay are all reasonable costs employers can cover. Consider meeting with a realtor to discuss home and area, and if children are a part of your family, check out schools as well. Travels costs can also cover the family’s final move.

 

Home Sale Assistance

Some relocation packages help with realtor fees, closing costs, and additional expenses related to both selling and purchasing a new home. If your current home doesn’t sell in time before the relocation, ask about a bridge loan. This short-term loan allows the purchase of a new home before finalizing the sale of your current home.

A high level policy (know as a “Buyer Value Option” even covers all of the taxes so the employee is completely protected in a home sale transaction!)

 

Household Goods Moving Fees

This is a big one, in both reality and price tag. Most moving companies should disassemble large furniture and pack, ship, and deliver all household goods. Remember to account for items requiring special care, like a grand piano or family heirlooms. Vehicles are another consideration.

 

Temporary Accommodations

Temporary housing is a great option when a transferee is planning to purchase a home in a new area. It allows time to become acquainted with the different parts of town to determine which best align with your needs. Fortunately, with sites like Airbnb and Vrbo, temporary housing is quite accessible.

 

Spousal Assistance

If a working spouse is leaving their job for a relocation, some companies will set them up with a recruiter.  Additionally, if moving to a more expensive area of the country, inquire about a cost-of-living allowance.

 

Expert Advice

An authority in the business, ARC Relocation’s Director, Bill Mulholland, offers his valuable input. “Relocation costs are very fluid and depend on a number of variables. The main advice I give customers when negotiating relocation benefits is to not request a fixed dollar amount.” Mulholland references the shipping of household goods as an aspect of moving that the average transferee wouldn’t be familiar. While 5,000 pounds sounds like a reasonable amount for an employer to cover, Mulholland explains this is the average weight of a one-bedroom apartment. A single-family home with four-bedrooms hovers around 18,000 pounds, which means that the transferee would end up paying over 70% of their shipped items cost.

 

Read the Fine Print

Once the terms of the transfer contract have been reached, review it carefully. Ensure that nothing was omitted and all the agreed upon conditions have been properly accounted.

 

Additional Considerations

Practice your negotiation skills. Since this is imperative to your bottom line, we wanted to provide more than one resource. Be sure to review these talking points from Inc. and Harvard’s Program on Negotiation.

As you prepare for a move, see how much home you can afford with this helpful mortgage calculator and compare mortgage rates to find the best fit for your finances.

Check out NerdWallet’s top-rated budgeting apps for 2020.

 

When ready to advance with this next stage of your career, ARC Relocation is there to assist!

 

Research obtained from the following sources

https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/storage-and-organization/long-distance-move/#:~:text=Long%2DDistance%20Movers%20Cost,%244%2C000%20to%20%2410%2C000%20or%20more.

https://www.atlasvanlines.com/corporate-relocation/survey/2019/relocation-reimbursement/

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/relocation-negotiation-what-to-ask

https://www.fool.com/careers/2018/06/10/how-to-negotiate-a-relocation-package.aspx

Top 10 Best Cities to Move to in the U.S.

Planet Earth is billions of years old. Since her creation, she has given rise to many species who, in their own time, sat at the top of the food chain.  The humans we are today (homo sapiens), are said to have arrived onto the world stage anywhere between 200,000-300,000 years ago.  For thousands of years, we were strictly nomadic, we followed the food, and made shelter along the way.  It took us thousands of years to become homesteaders and since then, our roaming DNA has been lying dormant.  However, in 2019, our team here at ARC Relocation Connections managed more moves than ever.  That has got us wondering: “Has our ancient nomad DNA been reactivated”?

The reasons for moving homes, and or cities can vary drastically. Some people move in search for a new start, some move to be closer to family.  Furthermore, the reason for using a relocation management company can range from a company providing a corporate relocation services package to personal global mobility services needed.  Our focus is on those who relocate for their career.  In 2019 ARC Relocation managed over 4,000 moves, within North America and Internationally. As such, we began to ask ourselves, “where are they all going” and “what are the best cities to move to in 2020” in The United States?

We took our time to come up with a list of the best cities to move to, after all, being “the best” is largely subjective. Is a city the best because of the job market, the arts, the climate, the schools?… Our corporate relocation experts considered these variables, and spent hours filtering through reports in order to bring you our official “Top 10 Best Cities to Move to”.

  1. Arlington, VA

With close and easy access to Washington D.C., Arlington was traditionally a dense suburb for federal government employees and diplomatic transplants, but, this little – big city is changing.  Arlington is also the “…future site of Amazon’s home away from home HQ2, which is beginning to reshape the Crystal City neighborhood and the greater northern Virginia region (curbed.com, 2020)”.

This D.C. extension boasts some of the areas best park systems and a 16- mile bike trail that will surely make you feel much farther from the city than you actually are.  For a population of only 226,400, the real estate can be pricy.  However, the cost of living is worth it to those who find themselves in the throws of the tech boom, but don’t want to live in D.C.

  1. Boise, ID

We were pleasantly surprised when our research yielded Boise, ID as the 2nd best city to move to in 2020. This originally small mountain town has experienced generous growth over the past decade. It is no secrete that prices on the coast (CA) are high, and that’s why we have seen a large trend of Northern and Southern Californians relocating to this high desert destination. The tech industry is moving in and the medical industry is well established, providing many job opportunities with small town living.  But, don’t let the “small town” vibe fool you into thinking that this place lacks culture.  When you’re in town, a must see is “Basque Block, a stretch of the city dedicated to the culture and cuisine of the Basque people of Spain…(Curbed.com, 2020)”.

  1. Charlotte, NC

Most people we spoke to about relocation in North Carolina, instantly started speaking about Charlotte, which was shocking.  Being a millennial myself, I have met many generational peers who have made the leap to North Carolina but they all went to Raleigh! Raleigh was a tough contender for this number 3 spot but Charlotte won in the end. Largely due to the lower cost of living, the booming public infrastructure, and the always bustling arts scene.

Young people who want to buy a home are also finding Charlotte to be conducive. The medium home price is a cool $265,000 (charlotteobserver.com, 2019), which means young adults with student loan debt and a good job, can likely pick up their first home in a “hip” area, for a great price. Charlotte has been the host for good food and good music for decades, and with the new rail line and tech companies moving in, we are seeing urban living in this southern city like never before.

  1. Dallas, TX

“Everything is bigger in Texas”, and their cities are no exception. The sprawling Dallas Fort Worth area is up to 1.34 million people but, expresses itself in true hometown sprit. The prices have stayed low. We found that the average price to rent a 2-bedroom apartment inside of the Dallas city limits is $1,137 (curbed.com, 2020).

Dallas leads the nation in multifamily construction buildings, so it should be expected that two new residential skyscrapers are currently being built. Not only does this city offer plenty of job opportunities, affordable living, and a diverse ethnic culture, but when you are sick of the city you can step out to Caddo Lake State Park and reconnect to nature!

  1. Denver, CO

The Mile-High City. Sitting at 5,280 feet, this city has been on the rise over the past decade. Real-estate prices are slightly higher than others on this list, but with good reason.  The tech industry has been migrating to this city for years now, and the city has a stellar rail line for professionals and tourists to enjoy. Not only are there plenty of job opportunities from tech to environmental science but for those not ready to let go of their “active lifestyle”, this city has got the goods.

Even when it snows in Denver its sunny, and if you want a quick day trip to “shred some gnarr” you are just a couple hours away from some of North America’s most coveted skiing terrain. Not a skier? No problem, hop on your mountain bike and enjoy countless, novice to pro trails.  Or hop in a kayak and float down the Colorado river, who knows, you might find a hidden hot spring along the way!

  1. Madison, WI

When most people hear Madison, they think of the University of Wisconsin, and they’re right! This college town has been carried into the 21st century by the very same students who graduated from the state university. This midwestern hub is everything you think it would be.  Madison is walkable, quaint, and full of architecture from a time in America when aesthetic was king; the city is full of the homes designed by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright.  The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is only $1,296/month, so it’s no doubt that college grads are sticking around after they get their degrees for the affordability.  The town is full of tech wonders who instead of relocating to Silicon Valley, have decided to stay in Madison and make a name for themselves.  These young people want to fulfil their version of the American dream, and there are plenty of white picket fences just waiting to be put up! Moreover, the healthcare industry is also thriving in the region, which is bringing healthcare professionals and biomedical pioneers to the door step of this “small town”.

  1. Minneapolis, MN

The “Twin City” has recently taken large steps in order to keep up with the growth they are experiencing.  Unlike most Midwest cities, Minneapolis has experienced an increase in population over the past decade.  For this reason, the city just kicked off a $2 billion dollar restoration project downtown, and just built two new stadiums as well.  US Bank Stadium and Allianz Stadium are the two newest additions to the cityscape and they’re drawing a crowd. The Allianz Stadium is home to the city’s professional (MLS) Soccer team who were only recently added to the league.  Not only is the entertainment industry on a tear, but the city is home to some of the world’s largest retailers such as Target and 3M. With a medium home price of only $283,786, the market is primed for young buyers wanting a new start in America’s heartland.

  1. Provo, UT

Honestly, most people we spoke with while writing this piece, had no idea Provo Utah existed; they do now!  With a small population of 117,335, this city is bursting with tech professionals who want to spend time with their families as well.  Laying in between some of the nation’s most recognizable national parks, and a bona fide “big city”, this mountain town will have you wondering why anyone wants to live on the coast.  If you’re in need of some big city fun, Salt Lake City is just a short 45-minute drive away, and while you’re there feel free to hike world famous trails or ski world famous mountains!

  1. Gilbert, AZ

Once a small town, this nest outside of Phoenix grew “…over the last 30 years, from only 6,000 people to more than 200,000 people (homesnacks.net, 2020)”.  Its pretty easy to see from those numbers that people want to be there! Not only does the city draw in new comers, but it retains them as well. The public parks are beautiful, and the public schools are a gem in the eye of the parents who raise their children there. Make sure you stop by the farmer’s market downtown, where you will be surrounded by fresh produce and good people, every week!

  1. St. Louis, Mo

Coming in last on this list is not an insult, given that there are thousands of other cities that didn’t make the cut.  St. Louis is very “midwestern”, and while some may interpret that to mean a lack of diversity and cold winters, others see the upside!

Recently companies like Square and Microsoft have set up shop there, meaning that the rest of the giants are soon to follow. Space is cheap, and the air is cleaner than the Bay Area, CA.  Not only is the commercial sector growing here, but young entrepreneurs might find this to be their next stop.  When a tech mogul in St. Louis hops off a conference call with someone stuck in traffic in San Francisco, he/she may just be on their way to one of the beautiful state parks that connects the city to country.

Whether you’re packing up your one-bedroom apartment and hitting the road, or you’re moving with your partner and children, we know that relocation isn’t easy. Often times employers do not give ample notice, information, or attention, and transferring employees are left to fend for themselves on the battlefield of relocation.  They land in a new city and have to start all over.  For these reasons, ARC relocation connections has fostered a rich culture and takes pride in providing full service relocation assistance programs. When you choose to work with ARC you are provided with the same relocation counselor from start to finish, a “Single Point of Contact”.  HR professionals and federal government agencies relay on their (SPOC) at ARC to use our patented technology, expert policy benchmarking, and home buying/selling services to make relocations not only easy, but an experience that will leave the transferring employee wanting more!

 

Home Buyer Security – They’re Listening.

Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and that was more than 40 years ago.  If only he knew how true this would be in the year 2019.  The power of surveillance has moved from the hands of the federal government and into the hands of consumers, and this changing of guard has rewoven the fabric of our lives.  ARC Relocation Director Bill Mulholland recently published that “Big brother isn’t just watching…he’s listening, too.”  Cameras are installed on almost every intersection in U.S. cities, and most citizens know that they can’t get away with running red lights anymore.

However, we wonder if potential home buyers know that millions of home owners are watching, AND listening to the showing of their home…live!

Our team here at ARC focuses on giving our clients the newest and most effective product.  The relocation/mobility industry recognizes that and that’s why World Wide ERC published ARC’s most recent article; in which we educate home buyers how to protect themselves during the home viewing process. Don’t forget, they’re not just watching, they’re listening too!

Click here to read the full article on home viewing security.

ARC Relocation Director, Bill Mulholland, contributed to a recent article for HRO Today about utilizing data. Analytics can deliver tremendous value for organizations.  It can allow companies to analyze not only costs but employee satisfaction as well.

“Costs require both analysis and insight to provide a true understanding. Achieving program visibility is essential. Visibility and transparency can only be achieved by tracking data and the associated metrics, which ultimately translate into accurate reporting.”

As the workforce becomes more diverse than ever, organizations are discovering that analytics and metrics can play a vital role in helping play a more strategic role in business. Commuting, short-term assignments are on the rise so some businesses will need to review their mobility strategies along the way.

Click here to read the rest of what Bill had to say about mobility metrics.

Adam Boland was looking forward to retirement after a 13-year career in the military. He’d been dragging his family all over creation during his time in the U. S. Marines. The Bolands were all looking forward to starting their new, stationary life in a new home in their home state of Missouri.

All was scheduled and ready for a smooth, painless transition, except for one problem. Their house was completely empty when they got there, as reported by St. Louis’ KSCD 5 On The Side.

The Bolands had hired the relocation service Titan Moving and Storage Van Lines Corporation out of Chantilly, Virginia. They were quoted a price of $6,900 and paid more than $5,000 up front. Once the moving vans were packed and ready, the moving service increased the price to almost triple the original quote.

“Why didn’t the Bolands do their research,” the less-credulous might ask. It wouldn’t have done any good, as Titan Moving and Storage Van Lines had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau when this story was first breaking.

Their Better Business Bureau listing has since disappeared. Their Yelp page reads like a true crime caper, however, as more and more people have been coming forward with their stories in the wake of the KSCD story.

Continue reading to learn more about how to avoid moving scams and the importance of vetting a relocation company.

Avoid Moving Scams

316 million Americans moved in 2016, according to the U. S. Census Bureau. 2.7 million of them will be moving to a different region, potentially across the country.

With millions of people moving to an entirely different corner of the country each year, it’s no surprise the moving industry is thriving. There are currently over 16,000 moving companies operating in the United States. The trouble, then, is how to pick a trustworthy relocation service?

Moving is stressful enough at the best of times. That stress compounds when you’ve got to worry whether or not the moving company you’re dealing with is even real.

Here are some ways in which you can avoid moving scams to help ease your mind.

Know Your Moving Scams

People have been talking about the “Nigerian Prince” scam for over a decade. Its history can be traced all the way back to the 18th Century. And yet people continue to fall for some version of the advance-fee scam, despite its reputation.

Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes. Here are a few more of the most prevalent moving scams to help you avoid them.

Held Hostage

The Bolands mentioned at the beginning of the article fell afoul of “The Hostage.” That’s when a moving company adds on exorbitant additional fees once your belongings are in their possession.

You’ll have to pay to get them back. Potentially two or three times the amount of the agreed-upon price.

Bait-And-Switch

The “bait-and-switch” is when a relocation service gives you a quote for their services, only to change their terms at the last possible second.

To help avoid the “bait-and-switch,” remember the saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

Additional Charges

The additional charges could be similar to the “bait-and-switch.” It’s when the moving company delivers an invoice with a lot of extra fees that can’t be verified or disputed.

Say a company charges you by freight weight. Then they change their terms, saying your belongings took up too much surface area inside their trucks.

That’s not the terms that were initially discussed, but you’d have to decipher the legalese and potentially pursue legal action to dispute the charges. Seeing as how the moving company often has all of their belongings, and they’re just trying to start their new life in their new home, a lot of people just end up paying the fees.

Vanished… Without A Trace

This is a danger of hiring an unverified or unofficial moving company. Someone with a van off of Craigslist is essentially a stranger that you’re entrusting with your entire life.

Once they have your belongings–and potentially your payment–they could simply vanish into thin air. There’s not a lot that can be done in these instances, short of hiring a Private Detective to hunt down your belongings.

Signs Of Spotting A Moving Scam

Now that you know a bit more about some of the most common moving scams, let’s finish by learning how to avoid them.

Look For Signs Of An Overnight Business

When it comes time to vet your relocation service, look for signs of illegitimacy. Check their website for mention of how long they’ve been in business. Look for a street address and information about their insurance and registration.

Another sign of an overnight business is a company that offers estimates over the phone instead of in person. Watch out for moving companies that use rented trucks, also.

Watch Out For Strange Requests

Any unusual request can be another cause for alarm. Requesting large payments or payment in full are both warning signs you should watch out for.

If a company refuses to deliver your belongings without additional payment, you should contact the police and the better business bureau immediately.

Get Everything In Writing

Legal disputes quickly become a matter of “he said, she said” when there’s no documentation. It is vitally important you get all terms, services, and expectations in writing ahead of time. This is for the moving company’s safety as much as your own.

Make sure to agree upon all liability and any potential disclaimers the movers might have. You need to know how much of your belongings’ worth will be covered by insurance, as well as any ways the relocation service might be able to avoid paying.

Looking For More Ways To Avoid Moving Scams?

The simplest, most surefire way to avoid moving scams is to hire a certified relocation service!

You need to know your moving company has your back, especially if you’re traveling long distances. At ARC Relocation, we believe that being fully independently-owned-and-operated is the best way to make sure you get the service you deserve.

You can rest easy, with our network of over 975 service providers traveling to over 200 different countries around the world. If you’re looking for a relocation service, get in touch with us today!

 

ARC Relocation is proud to have made the 2019 Baker’s Dozen list for Top 13 Relocation Companies awarded by HRO Today. The ratings are based solely on feedback from buyers of the rated services.

This year, ARC was 2nd overall moving up from 9th and 13th in the two previous years.

“Like most Relocation Management Companies ARC Relocation tracks a number of metrics in an effort to measure “performance”. However at ARC we realize that we are only able to offer our clients and transferee’s the best pricing and the best service in the relocation industry if we are able to partner with the best service providers in each market.

As a way to kick off the new year and thank those who made ARC’s success in 2018 possible, we want to publicly announce the shortlist of nominees for the first annual ARC Awards. In the words of, and by the vote of ARC employees, these are the service provider partners who displayed our core values and mission of ARC:

  • Team Work
  • Accountability
  • Inspiration
  • Innovation
  • Transforming Perspectives

Please take a moment and see what makes these folks so special!

Recently, ARC Relocation was among the 1,800+ that attended the 2018 Global Workforce Symposium in Seattle, WA. GWS is the largest global mobility meeting in the world. With a long-standing history, this meeting brings together the leaders in our industry who are innovating and disrupting daily mobility practices. Attendees come from over 50 countries around the world to create a truly global marketplace. Industry professionals come together to share distinct global perspectives and build mobility solutions for today and the future.

Peggy Smith, Worldwide ERC President and CEO, interviewed industry leaders about “Disruption,” as well as other topics. See her interview with ARC Relocation Director, Bill Mulholland below.

ARC Relocation was once again proud to sponsor “Thursday Night Live” which is the biggest social event at the ERC Conference. The event featured live music, an open bar and open food buffet.

Convention Center

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Have you ever noticed an NRG Energy charging station? If so, chances are the charging station was in the front row of the parking lot and you were jealous of the Tesla getting the best spot and a free charge!

Or you may have watched the Patriots win the 2017 Super Bowl at “NRG Stadium” in Houston TX…

Well, we’re proud to announce that NRG Energy is ARC Relocation’s newest client!

What does NRG Energy do?

NRG Energy collaborates with businesses to customize innovative power and sustainability solutions to diligently stay ahead of an ever-evolving energy climate with rising demands.

How serious is NRG?

¬ In 2009, NRG began an initiative to become a green energy producer and started investing money in clean energy projects. They include onshore and offshore wind power, solar thermal energy, photovoltaic and distributed solar power facilities, and repowering of some of their traditional coal plants with biomass.

¬ In late 2010, NRG launched the “EVgo” network, the first completely private public car charging station network for electric power vehicles.

¬ In January 2011, NRG signed a two-year agreement to provide 100% renewable energy for the Empire State Building.

¬ Now, in 2018, NRG has committed to reduce their own carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and working towards a 90% reduction by 2050.

NRG is considered the leading company in the power industry, with headquarters in Houston, TX and West Windsor Township, NJ. ARC Relocation is considered an industry leader in employee relocation services. We are proud to announce that ARC Relocation has signed an exclusive relocation agreement with NRG Energy to relocate the brightest minds in the industry to help support their mission!

“We are thrilled to be able to work with a company that has a strong sense of responsibility towards the planet and the future as we do at ARC”, said ARC’s Director, Bill Mulholland SCRP, GMS. “As an organization, ARC has enacted several green initiatives in-house to include partnering moving companies that are “EPA SmartWay certified” showing their commitment towards reducing their carbon footprint on the environment!”