A family relocation can be stressful and confusing. Luckily, there are corporate housing solutions available that can help make your move much easier.
How to Help Relocating Families Find the Right Temporary Housing Solution – Part 1 of a 2-part series
If one word comes to mind about family relocation, it’s probably “stress.” But with the right strategies in place, helping a relocating family find the right short-term rental or furnished apartment doesn’t have to be stressful.
HR managers and other professionals with responsibility for helping employees relocate with their families can keep in mind the top three challenges that arise for both companies and employees before, during, and after a family relocation—as well as three effective solutions:
Challenge #1: Employees choose location based on limited information.
Employees sometimes try too hard to drive the process for where their corporate apartment or other temporary housing solution should be located. Unfortunately, since these employees are often unfamiliar with their destination city, they end up making decisions based on limited or incorrect knowledge of the new location.
Solution: Corporate housing experts can help you more effectively guide employees to choose a neighborhood that will best match the needs of their family. It’s important to qualify the location for temporary housing based on workplace and lifestyle so that employees and their families are able to assimilate into a neighborhood both during their temporary housing stay and with subsequent permanent housing.
Allow your corporate housing provider to qualify the employee by asking the following questions:
- Where is your company’s office located?
- Would you prefer to live in a city or suburban setting?
- What do you and your family like to do in your free time?
- Do you enjoy outdoor activities?
- Are there particular types of restaurants that you prefer?
- How old are your kids and what grades are they in now?
- Do your children play sports?
- Do your children have any special school needs?
- Does your family participate in specific religious activities?
Challenge #2: Employee/family has pre-move jitters.
When a family moves, it is common that the relocation policy gets communicated to the employee, who then relocates but is too busy working to manage the family’s activities relating to the relocation. Instead, they end up being managed or driven by the spouse and/or family of the employee. This lack of communication between parties can often slow the relocation process and cause the entire family to feel stress, resulting in collective pre-move jitters about their temporary housing plan.
Solution: Allow your corporate housing provider to facilitate your ability to successfully attract and retain talent by helping relocating employees enjoy their temporary housing solution from the start. This begins by aiding communication with the employee and family, which can greatly reduce pre-move stress.
As a first step, consider letting your temporary housing provider communicate openly with both the relocating employee and their spouse/partner/family. You could also consider placing your employee in temporary housing in 2-3 different neighborhoods over a several month stay, so that the employee and family can “test drive” various neighborhoods before committing to purchasing permanent housing.
Other ideas include asking your corporate housing provider to tour the employee through multiple corporate apartment examples during any business trips to the area prior to the move. This will allow the employee to be more comfortable from day one in temporary housing, and to communicate positively about it to their family.
We’ll cover two more key challenges for family relocations in the next post.
By Craig Partin, CCHP GMS CRP, Vice President Furnished Quarters