Tag Archives: Armstrong Relocation

2018 brings opportunities and changes when relocating talent in the US.

Each New Year always brings many opportunities and challenges for all of us in business and in our personal life. The key to success is how we adapt and respond to change. In 2018, there are some changes that will impact your company when relocating talent in the US. Some of these changes will include the $1.5 Trillion “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, as well as the FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Device mandate for owner operators in the trucking industry. 

In the book “The 4-hour work week” by Tim Ferris, he shares an email from a friend that reminds me of the best approach when facing any new changes:

“While many are ringing their hands, I recall the 1970’s when we were suffering from an oil shock causing long lines at the gas station, rationing and 55 mph speed limits on federal highways, a recession, very little venture capital, and what President Carter (wearing a sweater while addressing the nation on TV because he had turned down the heat in the White House) called a “malaise”. It was during those times that two kids without any real college education, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, started companies that did pretty well. Opportunities abound in bad times as well as good times. In fact, the opportunities are even greater when the conventional wisdom is that everything is going into the toilet. … we can look forward to a new year filled with opportunities as well as stimulating challenges.”

So what are these changes and how will they impact employee relocation?

  1. The Moving Expense Deduction: The moving expense tax deduction will be suspended until the year 2025. This means that companies that gross up the relocation expense will need to plan on an increase for the household goods move, 30 days of storage and final move trip. Since this is no longer an excludable tax deduction, the moving expense will now show as income to the employee. (*Exceptions will be for a military relocation). There are other areas of impact for relocation expenses as well which include supplemental rate changes, mortgage insurance, home sale capital gains reduction, and others. The bill does not seem to effect the tax on relocation home sale transaction expense completed by an RMC. Please consult with your tax firm for making any changes to your current program.
  2. Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate: The Federal Carrier Motor Safety Act (FMSCA) has now mandated the use of ELD’s for all truck drivers including household goods van operators. This device will sync with the van operators working / driving hours. What does this mean for corporate relocation? It could mean longer transit times up to 2 days due to the hours of service rules, increase temp housing, and an increase in transportation costs. The key to success will be communicating expectations during the relocation. Companies and their suppliers must be proactive, more now than ever when communicating with employee/family moving for a successful relocation.

Call to Action: Reach out to your tax consultant for the latest tax law changes and update your policy as soon as possible. Q1 would be a great time to review any changes with your suppliers and partners. If you don’t a partner, invest in one for 2018! You will appreciate the single point resource and so will your employees relocating.

“The first step to leadership is no action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Relocation Changes in 2018” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page. 

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

3 strategies to include when planning your road map for success in 2018!

In February of 2004, I was ready to make a change in my career. I wanted to pursue a sales and marketing role, but knew that I had little experience and no clients to bring with me which might limit my chances of being hired. However, I had a plan that I shared during my interview which is what ultimately landed me the job. I explained how I was able to network with others to get an interview set up, then shared a written plan of the companies that I would be pursuing as potential clients and business partners. I also shared my personal growth plan too!  It doesn’t matter if you are an HR Manager, a mobility professional, or someone looking for a different role in the company, When you plan ahead, you are more effective and drive your career with purpose. 

As we begin the New Year, think about (and write them down) some of the important things that want to accomplish each day, each week, or each month. Share these goals with others in your circles, especially your supervisor so they know what you are working toward. Make sure you align your personal plan/goals with your company goals. Then review for alignment (and make changes when needed) throughout the year.

Here are a few ideas to help you plan for 2018!

  1. Set Goals: Invest one day to think about what’s important to you and write down 3 goals that are important to you. It might be leadership training, or how to elevate your mobility program, or something personal to help you become a better leader. In 2015, I wrote down that I wanted to publish a leadership book. I didn’t publish it until two years later, but was working toward the goal because I had written it down and reviewed often.
  2. Burn the Boats: 2017 ended last month… It’s a New Year!!! In my book, I share a story about a Spanish Army Leader that advised his guys to “burn their boats” once they had reached the island to take on warriors, so they would know there was no going back. Be committed to your goals and dreams even when things get tough. It may be a goal to learn something new while you are in your current role that will help you move to another role.
  3. Dream BIG: I once heard John Maxwell say “if it is your dream, no one can talk you into it, and no one can talk you out of it”. Whats your dream? Write a book, be the #1 sales producer, achieve an HR or Mobility certification, or even be a keynote speaker? Write it down, share with others, and review often. Be sure to include others on your journey to give you feedback and perspective along the way.

Call to Action: Set 3 important goals this week and hang them up in your office for review. Share them with 3 friends, post on social media. and send them to me too! I am confident you will hit them when using these strategies! Find your lane and make the most of your journey in 2018!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (C.S. Lewis)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Planning for success in 2018” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Member Spotlight with Armstrong Relocation

Mike Gonzales, President of Armstrong Relocation’s Dallas office, gives us an inside look at Armstrong Relocation, a moving company that is celebrating its 60th anniversary. 

Briefly tell us about your organization and its work in the Dallas Region.
Armstrong Relocation is a family business that was founded in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1957. We have been helping individuals and their families successfully relocate their household goods for more than 60 years. We work closely with our corporate clients in the Dallas Region, assisting them with relocation services for their employees, as well as with any office moving or warehousing needs that they may have.

What differentiates your company from others in your industry?
We like to start with our “why.” We pride ourselves in knowing why we enjoy helping our customers reach their next destination — by making that transition as easy for them as possible. We are here to hold their hands when they have questions and provide them with a seamless relocation by utilizing the largest moving fleet operated by any agent in the United States.

How long have you been a DRC member and why did you decide to join?
Our Dallas office opened in 1975, and we have been a DRC member for more than 30 years. We joined the DRC because we feel that every local corporate citizen has a responsibility to be part of an organization that helps to not only bring our region together, but also reach new heights by convincing companies to relocate here to become part of our vibrant metropolitan area.

What do you enjoy most about doing business in the Dallas Region?
I enjoy the Dallas (and Texas!) business-friendly, can-do attitude, which has helped our city and state become one of the most dynamic areas in the entire country.

How has your business changed over the past 60 years?
We have enjoyed tremendous success and expansion during the past six decades, having grown from a single location to currently operating in 29 cities from coast-to-coast. Additionally, we have become considerably more aggressive in seeking out written customer feedback, with the goal of continuously looking for ways to improve our performance. And like all successful companies, we have also changed with the times by applying the advances in technology to our business approach.

What do you hope for your company and the Dallas business community over the next 60 years?
I hope that our company and the Dallas business community both continue to grow in a positive way — by making this a place that everyone can be proud of and one that will maintain its current standing as a wonderful locale in which to raise a family and have a successful career.

Is there anything else you’d like to include about your company or its 60th anniversary celebration?
We look forward to continuing to grow and improve in this next decade and beyond, with the goal of being the premier relocation services company in the Dallas Region, the state of Texas, and the entire country.

Published by Dallas Regional Chamber https://www.dallaschamber.org/involvement-site/member-spotlight-armstrong-relocation/

Self Storage or Van Line Storage? 4 things to know!

One of the exciting things about a great economy is a robust housing market and being able to sell your home quickly. We are seeing this across several US markets. Sometimes, it’s so quick that you don’t have a new home to move into, which may require you to place move your personal household goods into short term storage until you can close on your new home.

Many times an employee relocation will include short-term storage with the van line while the employee searches for a new home. However, there are times when the family will be responsible for storage costs because the storage is not included in relocation policy, or the company may have provided a lump sum for the employee relocation which leads to a question I hear many times during the year: Should we use van line storage, or find a self-storage unit to minimize costs?

When helping families relocate, I often share the information below to help customers make an informed decision on this important topic. Consider these 4 points next time you or someone you know is moving into storage.

  1. Estimated Cost… A visual survey provided by the van line surveyor can help determine not only the estimated cost for the van line storage, but will also provide you with the information needed to determine self-storage unit size which is needed to compare costs. If the storage unit doesn’t have trailer access, there may be additional fees for smaller truck to “shuttle” for unloading too.
  2. Valuation Coverage… if you decide to use personal storage, be sure and check all items as they are unloaded into the storage unit for damage. When using van line storage, items are checked in / out storage for continuous coverage. Items placed in personal storage are typically not covered once unloaded.
  3. Protection… If customer decides to use personal storage, be sure to have plenty of blankets on hand to protect furniture items when unloaded. When items are placed in van line storage, blankets are provided for protection to minimize any damage while in storage.
  4. Access… When household goods are placed in van line storage, they are “vaulted” (loaded in a secure wooden box) for security, which doesn’t provide immediate access customer. You will need to call in and schedule appointment 24-48 hours so staff can locate your vaults for access. The advantage is minimal handling to prevent damage during storage to delivery.

Depending on where items are being stored, storage costs will vary from city to city. So be sure to look at all variables to make the best decision for your family. Many times, the van line storage will provide more advantages, as well as make it easier to coordinate the delivery when the new home at destination is ready!

“Policies are great, but without flexibility, you might lose your talent.” (Joe Crumly)

Call to action: Contact your relocation partner to confirm advantages and disadvantages for storage to share with your teammates relocating. With low inventory, storage is on the rise!

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “self-storage or van line storage” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. 

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This strategy can help lift your team to achieve success in 2018!

As I continue sharing HR strategies to help you achieve your business goals in 2018, I came across a story from my book, “Find Your Lane” that just might illustrate the importance of accountability and lift your team members to success in 2018… Find your lane and drive your goals with purpose! 

“Hold Yourself Accountable to the Plan; De La Salle High School, in Concord, California, was recently featured in the movie When the Game Stands Tall, featuring head football coach Bob Ladouceur’s teams, which won 151 consecutive high school football games from 1992 to 2004—a winning streak that stands today.
One of my favorite parts of the movie (and most impacting) is how the team prepared for the season during practice. Each player wrote down his commitment for the week on a small index card and shared it with another player. The other player would say that he accepted the commitment and they’d shake hands. Talk about POWERFUL!
What if we all shared a commitment with our colleagues each week in business? It might be a commitment to getting reports in on time, returning all customer calls within a certain time period, or commitment to spending 30 minutes with a different employee each week to learn more about their story and how you might better support them.
When you prepare and hold each other accountable, you can accomplish things that you didn’t think would be possible. It may be preparing for a job interview, or a sales presentation, or teaching a class. When you plan, you have a compass to guide you along the way.” (Excerpt from Book; Find Your Lane)

“Plans are nothing; Planning is everything.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 

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Call to Action: Share your business plan with colleagues to get input for 2018. Ask someone to hold you accountable. You might even want your team members to complete a commitment card for one of your most important goals and share with a colleague or friend. It just might be what you need to achieve your goals!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Commitment Cards” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

This US Tax Reform proposal could impact your corporate relocation budget in 2018!

Did you know… there is currently a house bill on the table for US tax reform that if passed, will make all relocation expenses taxable income for your employees relocating? This includes the movement of household goods and storage. The repeal of these moving expense provisions would greatly increase gross-up expenses for your employees relocating. 

WorldwideERC website states “The Senate plan released on November 9 repeals the moving expense deduction, as well as the exclusion for moving expenses paid or reimbursed by an employer, effective January 1, 2018. The moving expense deduction makes relocation more affordable for businesses and individuals and spurs economic growth. Without the deduction, a relocation will be costlier for companies and employees, and will impact decisions on whether the move makes sense.”

There is an exception for US military and the bill will not affect expats and their employers. You can read more information about this tax reform on the WorldwideERC website.

Call to Action: Write a letter to your congressman ASAP requesting that they help restore this tool vital to workforce mobility. You can access this information at WorldwideERC or American Moving and Storage Association.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “US Tax Reform” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for information on my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Being an ambassador of culture will elevate your leadership and company growth!

I recently was asked to be a table host for an HR leadership event to discuss what it means to be an “ambassador of culture”. There was so much energy in the room and a real hunger for ideas about how elevate culture in everyone’s organization. As I️ reflected on some of the conversation it got me thinking about the importance of culture and how it is critical to every winning organization. It doesn’t matter which role you play, customer service, management, operations, human resources, sales, accounting, etc… We all have the choice to drive culture!

I️ was recently watching the ESPN 30 for 30 special on Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz. He took over as head coach in 1985 and led his team to a national championship four years later in 1988. He started by setting expectations, getting buy in, and recruiting the right players that aligned with his mission and values. Sounds like a winning business model, right?

When you look at championship teams, they all have one thing in common… a winning culture! Culture is “the ties that bind us”. It’s what we believe in at our workplace or in a volunteer organization. We can either have a winning culture, or an accepting culture. In both scenarios, the leaders of the enterprise actions are the key to which way the pendulum swings. Think about companies like Southwest Airlines, Chick-fil-A, and Apple. What do you see? Employees believe… They believe in the mission and values of the organization. They believe in the alignment with their own purpose and have empathy for others to drive outcomes! So what’s your culture like in your company? Let me share a few action items to consider for better outcomes as you develop your business planning strategy for success.

  1. Do you know the vision, mission and values or guiding principles of your enterprise? They are on our walls and all around us. Invest time to discuss them with other members on your team and why they are important in your workplace and for your clients.
  2. How can you tie your mission and guiding principles to the business needs for positive outcomes? In our business, it’s about building trust, reducing stress, and delivering reliability around the world for companies needing support when needing to relocate talent. How does your mission link to your business needs?
  3. How can you be an ambassador of your culture? Take some time to talk about your vision, vision, and values with other teammates and share what it means to you. Start driving conversation and decision making based your guiding principles. Find your lane and drive your workplace with purpose!

In his book “Hit Refresh”, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft shares the following excerpt… “any institution building comes from having a clear vision and culture that works to motivate progress both top down and bottom up.”

Did you hear that? From top / down leadership, and bottom / up leadership! We all have a choice to make a difference in our workplace.

Quote of the day: “The Goal is bigger than the Role.” (Excerpt from the book FIND YOUR LANE)

Call to action: Write down your vision mission and values. Get to know them, confirm alignment with your purpose, and share with others. Strive to be “The Ambassador of your Culture”!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Ambassador of your Culture” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media facebook and twitter page.

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!