Tag Archives: Household Goods Moving

What gauges are you watching this summer?

If someone asked you which dashboard gauges on your vehicle were most important, you would probably say the speedometer and fuel gauge. Can you imagine driving your car without knowing how fast you were going, or how much gas you had in the tank?

What about oil level and tire pressure? Thankfully our check engine light on the dashboard appears when there seems to be trouble ahead. These gauges are critical to helping us maintain the health of our vehicles so we can travel safely each day to our destination.

Though we don’t have physical gauges to tell us when we need to refuel or fix something in our professional and personal lives, there are certain indicators or gauges we can look to on our hypothetical dashboards.

In relocation, we look to on-time pickup and deliveries by our van operators, survey bruce_on truck original pictureaccuracy for the moving estimate, and quality scores for best customer experience to just name a few. I know recruiters that focus on time to fill job requisitions, HR leaders that focus on engagement, and sales professionals that focus on the number of calls made each day.

Establishing a few gauges to focus on can help increase your chances of success. Such gauges can help you see when something isn’t working for you and when it’s time to make some changes. It doesn’t matter if you’re in an entry level role or part of the senior executive leadership team. To stay aligned with your business goals, you need to keep an eye on your personal dashboard.

Here are a few gauges (trends) to watch when relocating your candidates this summer:

  1. Tax Reform is here and companies will spend approx. 50% more for the household goods move. The household goods move averages can be as much as purchasing a new car…which is about 10-20% of the total relocation, so be sure to budget for the gross up when planning for business unit leaders.
  2. If the candidate has a home to sell, you can offset this cost by considering a home sale tax program such as a BVO (Buyer Value Option). This is a favorable tax savings program that can save the company on the tax gross up… which could be as much as $35,000-$40,000 savings on a $1,000,000.00 home value!
  3. Household goods moves require significant more lead time in the summer to reserve pack and load dates, especially in the northeast as well as some DTS (Difficult to Service) areas. Most states require 12 days, but some areas are closer to 21 days. Advise your business unit leaders, recruiters, and the relocating family.
  4. The small shipment container model is becoming very popular because of one day preferred delivery for candidates. This also eliminates the candidate from having to drive a moving truck. If your candidate has a small amount of items to move, ask about this program before you give them money or advise them on self moving.

…and most importantly, remember the best relocation programs have great partners. This is because there is an investment in the relationship which creates consistent dialogue from each party throughout the year.  I call this “investing in your people zone”. This is the best approach to keeping an eye on all of your relocation dashboard gauges which will ultimately bring the best experience for all of your candidates relocating this summer! Invest in your partnership and make it a win-win-win for everyone!

For more on mobility trends… Check out WorldwideERC website

Call to Action: Reach out to your relocation partner to schedule 30 – 45 minutes to review your program to make sure you are in alignment with your company goals and candidate experience this summer. If you don’t have an established program, develop one with a trusted partner. The cost is minimal and the return is significant for both you and the candidate relocating. 

Quote of the Week…  “What gets measured, gets done.” Peter Drucker

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Summer trends in June 2018” with Bruce  Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONTWaller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

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

When relocating talent, start with this plan for the best chance of success…

In chapter 4 of my book, Find Your Lane, I talk about “Planning: Your Road Map for Success. When I decided to write my book, I started with an outline, when our family decides to take a vacation, we outline the timeline to plan our events… and when we help our clients with household goods moving for candidates from one city to another, we start with a plan for both our customers and our clients managing the relocation.

The best plan for a successful household goods move, always starts with a pre-move bruce_on truck original picturesurvey. The survey gives us the information to determine the number of boxes that need to be packed, the number of crew members needed for loading the truck, the space we need for the moving truck, the access for loading, and more importantly, how much the move is going to cost!

There are three different ways to get a “budget/estimate” for a household goods move and each option below serves a different purpose. …

but only one gives us the most accuracy!

  1. The “Ballpark or Quick Quote” survey which is based on size of home. These budgets are great for someone considering a household goods move based on size of home averages. Best for a “quick estimate over the phone” to see if it makes sense to move or sell items, but you really don’t know what’s in the home, which is why you will need to follow up with a visual survey before the move.
  2. The “Virtual / Phone” survey… This is an innovative way to “virtually see” the contents on the home. Moving company contacts candidate (spouse in most cases) and goes through the home ON VIDEO to identify items in home. This method is typically used in “Difficult to Service” areas and/or “Fast Breaking” moves. However, there can be challenges if customer does not show all of the areas (such as a closet or attic), or if you need to measure items. Also, if the technology is poor at destination, then it can be extremely frustrating for the customer and take much longer than planned.
  3. The “On site visual” survey is the very best method to survey any home. Depending on size of the home, this process takes 30 minutes to an hour. It also gives the surveyor a chance to view the access as well as answer questions along the way.

Here are a couple of examples we recently came across showing the survey variances:

Example #1 – Ballpark to Virtual Survey…

When calculating a ballpark,, then followed up with a virtual survey. In this case, we calculated a 3,400 sq. ft home to be approx 23,800 lbs. based on averages, but when we completed the virtual survey, it was 29,000 lbs. This would be critical for both pricing and planning for the van operator timeline.

Example #2 – Ballpark to On-site survey

The customer advised over the phone that she had a 4000 sq. ft home, so we calculated 28,000 lbs.. BUT when we arrived and went through the home, there was no furniture. Customer had sold everything leaving approx. 4,500 lbs. which resulted approx $10,000 less cost than what was expected. This can be significant.

There are many cases like this because everyone has something different in their home. The  bottom line is that a candidate really needs to schedule an on-site visual survey for best accuracy. Yes, there are still chances of error during the process since some homes are challenging to survey, or some furniture / boxes weigh more or less than the average, but it provide the most accurate pricing for the client and will help plan a successful household goods relocation

Call to Action: Reach out to your preferred provider and have some dialogue about survey options to help you achieve your business goals when relocating talent. Let me know if I can help you or someone you know. It would be my pleasure!

Quote of the Week… “The art is the start.” (Guy Kawasaki)

This has been A Relocation Minute for “this survey is best for planning your next Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONThousehold goods move” 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 review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Questions from the “lens” of your talent relocating.

I remember relocating from Oklahoma to Texas over 20 years ago. My wife and I had so many questions from the process of selling our home at origin to where we would live in the Dallas area. The best thing a company can do for their candidates relocating is develop a partnership with a company to help guide the candidate/family during the transition. There are so many questions needing to be answered and many times the spouse is left coordinating the move. …and change creates “fear of the unknown” especially with when relocating to a new city for a new opportunity.

One of the tasks a candidate thinks about when accepting a new job that requires relocation is the movement of the household goods. The key to any successful household goods move ALWAYS starts with the “pre-move survey” which is the first touch point following the introductory call. This is an area I enjoy about my role in relocation, because it allows me to learn first hand about what’s most important to the employee/spouse during their upcoming relocation. I hear questions from “how will my personal items will be packed?” to “how long it take to pick up and deliver for planning”? I will be sharing questions during peak season from the employee lens to help equip you and your employees with relocation resources. I hope you find it helpful!

This weeks question from the customer…

“I am wanting to move next Tuesday from Dallas to Houston. Can I have delivery on the following Saturday? If not on Saturday, then can you hold my household goods for 2 weeks because I start my first day on Monday then I’m traveling for 10 days before I can accept my shipment?”

Answer…

Interstate and intrastate move transit times are based on the weight of the shipment and miles to destination. In this scenario, the move delivery spread is generally 2-4 days to allow the van operator time to load additional shipments to maximize his trailer. This means the delivery would be scheduled for Friday or Saturday depending on van operator assignment. Many times with a “short distance” move, the preferred delivery day can be planned for a one day delivery which is what we were able to achieve for a great customer experience.

In some cases, we would need to place the household goods in storage, then plan the delivery once the employee returned from traveling unless her or she would be able to have a family member it friend accept delivery! The key is to listen, learn, and respond with best approach for the best customer experience on every relocation.

Quote of the week… “The first step in leadership is not action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

Call to Action:  Delivery guidelines change when peak season begins in May and run through September. Reach out to your preferred relocation partner to discuss strategies for best employee relocation experience. …or send me a note for questions. I’m always glad to help!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “questions from customer lens – delivery time” with  Bruce Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

Who moved my “mobility” cheese?

As Hem saw his friend getting into his running gear, he said “you’re not really going out into the maze again, are you? Why don’t you wait here with me until they put the cheese back?” “ Because you just don’t get it”, Hem said. “I didn’t want to see it either, but now I realize they’re never going to put yesterday’s cheese back. It’s time to find New Cheese.”

I love the book “Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D.. It’s a great story about an  amazing way to deal with change in the workplace and in your life. We are currently dealing with change today in many industries including the mobility industry with the new tax cuts and jobs act law implemented this year which is creating a lot of “buzz” around change and the process of relocating talent. Many companies are reviewing their program and discussing ideas and strategies with their partners for policy alignment with the new tax laws, and their business goals.

Here are a few questions I have been asked this month about new mobility tax laws that might help your team in 2018…

  1. Can a corporation still deduct moving expenses when relocating talent? Yes, employee relocation is still considered a business expense. However, corporations are now taxed on all relocation expenses and will need “gross up” the costs to make the employee whole on his/her W2 for tax purposes. Corporation tax has also been reduced from 35% to 21% providing $140,000 of windfall for every $1,000,000 taxable income to help offset costs.
  2. What relocation expenses are tax deductible? Most relocation expenses are now taxable income for employees except for members of military on active duty moving for military orders, as well as tax protected home sale programs (BVO and GBO) as long as they meet WorldwideERC 11 key elements under IRS Revenue Ruling 2005-74.
  3. Does the time and distance rules still impact relocation taxes? Since the moving deduction is no longer viable for household goods and storage for 30 days, you no longer need to include 50 mile / 39 week rule in your policy. However, many companies are revising their policy by taking out “IRS” and changing to “Company” to give them a guide for employees eligible for a corporate relocation.

Quote of the week: “There is always new cheese out there whether you recognize it or not. And you are rewarded with it when you go past your fear and enjoy the adventure.” (Haw)

Call to Action: What questions do you have about employee relocation? Reach out to your relocation partner to discuss and develop strategy for an effective program when onboarding talent needing to relocate their family. They will appreciate having new cheese, and so will you!

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

Also, check out http://www.BruceWaller.com to order or review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

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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Don’t miss this onboarding strategy to support talent acquisition in 2018!

November is a time to be thankful as we reflect on our achievements in 2017. It’s also business planning season which gives your team the opportunity to keep moving ahead in the same lane or make a lane change to achieve business goals and elevate employee experience in 2018.

One area often overlooked in the business planning process is the onboarding experience for employees and family relocating. Imagine coming to work on your first day not knowing where to park, or not having a computer login, or having no agenda or plan to onboard that day. It just might leave you with a sick feeling the company doesn’t care or value the importance of your arrival. 

What if the employee is relocating for the new job from another city? Oh my, this is where onboarding begins. Here is a question to think about as you plan for 2018…

Are you just giving your employees money to relocate? This message might be saying… we don’t really have time to procure companies to help you, so you are going to be on your own? Are you helping your employee with other ancillary services such new city tour, or helping the spouse with job search? There are so many ways to add value here…

It’s a competitive market and a great opportunity for your team to create a better experience by engaging in a partnership. There are several ways to help your employees from realtor support to sell their home, to finding temp housing, to moving their household goods, to providing house hunting trips and more with minimal costs depending on the level of comprehensive services.

Last month, I had the honor of serving on a corporate panel to share some ideas on career search and networking. It was exciting to see this company hosting a career networking event for employee’s spouses looking for employment. Now that says… WE CARE! I am sure it was minimal costs, just takes some time to plan.

So…….. What are you going to do to enhance the onboarding experience for your employees relocating in 2018? Here are 3 places to start…

  1. Start with a client review to confirm services available. Reach out to your partner and ask for a 30 minute meeting to discuss benchmarking and trends in the workplace.
  2. If you don’t have a partner, reach out to someone you know and ask for a referral. There is NO fee to have a partner coordinate the household goods moving and minimal fees for add’l relocation services.
  3. Try something NEW this year. Family issues are one of the biggest reasons why relocating assignments fail. It’s time to elevate and make 2018 the best year ever!

Call to Action: Reach out to someone you know in mobility and have some dialogue about enhancing services for your employees in 2018! They will be glad you did – and so will you!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Business Planning 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.

Cost alignment is key, but this component is just as important when relocating talent!

Over the last few years, we have heard about the importance of cost alignment from companies when relocating their employees. Many companies base their policy on a cost budget approach when relocating talent. However, the talent management shortage has also played a vital role lately for companies wanting to be competitive when hiring talent that requires a relocation.

Today, companies expect another component when relocating talent known as “the experience”. The employee experience is about employee engagement from the time an employee connects with the provider for their relocation. I recently heard one of our leaders share a poll that stated 80% of companies think they are providing superior service when look through their eyes, and only 8% of the customers think they are receiving superior service. Wow, that is a 72% difference! Delivering an experience starts with understanding the needs of the customer. 

So what experiences are customers looking for?

Customers have different needs. Some are looking for a specific moving dates, or budget options to consider when selecting services. Some like the new virtual survey concept because it is convenient, while others don’t feel like it is safe or as accurate as a visual survey. Some customers just want a warm smile and trust in their moving coordinator and driver. Whatever the case may be, the key to providing a great experience always starts with asking questions to determine expectations. If customer has needs that are not aligned with services, then they will most likely not have a great experience. However, if you can identify what’s important, and build a plan around their answer, then you just might deliver the experience they are looking for and create a customer for life!

“The first step in leadership is not action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

Call to Action: What makes a great experience for your team? Identify three things this week that might elevate the experience for your employees relocating and share with your relocation partner. Send me an email and share with me too! I would enjoy hearing your feedback!

This has been “A Relocation MinuteThe Customer Experience” 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.

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