Tag Archives: Relocation Leadership

2018 Texas Relocation Network (TRN) Conference Takeaways

I recently attended TRN’s annual Texas Relocation Network Conference which was held in The Colony, Texas. More than 100 relocation professionals traveled to north Texas to hear about the latest trends in relocation, and to network with some of the best of the best in mobility. TRN did not disappoint as they provided a great keynote speaker to share perspective from a mortgage lens, corporate relocation panels, and speakers to inspire attendees during the conference. The theme this year was Partners in Progress: Collaboration, Motivation, and Innovation.

Here are a few of my takeaways to share with others:

Scott Eggen, EVP PrimeLending kicked off the conference sharing perspective on relocation in north Texas and surrounding states:

  • Current demand will carry new construction thru 2021
  • Lack of labor holding back new housing, and driving prices up.
  • Lumber is at its highest cost of all time.
  • Mortgage rates expected to increase up to 5% by 2020.

Corporate Panel led by Cartus, OEG, Aires, and Toyota discussed Group Moves:

  • Policy was created or modified for group move.
  • Bus tours can be very challenging due to delays.
  • Special needs children can be a challenge for family relocating.
  • Geographic area needs to be considered when helping family search for home.
  • Other factors include weather (Oklahoma) and property taxes (Houston)
  • Group move conversations should be started early with providers.

Bruce Waller, VP Armstrong Relocation and author of “Find Your Lane” presented “Find Your Lane: Change your GPS and Experience Success”

  • Maintain your vehicle by investing in yourself
  • Plan your road map through goal setting
  • Take the The Carpool Lane and expand your network

Corporate Panel led by Acosta, Shell, and American Heart Association

  • Chabot’s, Machine Learning, & Artificial intelligence leading the way for talent acquisition
  • Employment Branding is critical (Social media aggregation)
  • Sourcing strategy should include texting recruits
  • Permanent Solutions for temporary assignments makes a difference for Shell in West Tx
  • Its more than housing: Safety and dangerous roads can be a factor in rural areas

Petey Parker closed the conference with an inspiring presentation to encourage everyone to “Write Your Story”!

THANK YOU to everyone involved for making this another great conference!

Until next time… Be Partners in Progress!

Call to Action: Check out Texas Relocation Network for more information. You can also check out other relocation education at North Texas Relocation Professionals or WorldwideERC. Let me know if you have any questions about these groups or how to get involved. Reach out and “Partner for Progress”!

Quote of the Week… “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (Abraham Lincoln)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “TRN Conference 2018 Takeaways” 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 or Barnes and Noble. Also available on Kindle!

Use these 10 C’s when considering CHANGE in any organization!

Are you responsible for recruiting or mobility on your HR team? Do you feel like your on-boarding program continues to evolve when relocating talent or needs a refresh? If you say evolving, I say keep going! Unfortunately, the response I hear most often is… we really need a refresh. However, a refresh often requires an investment of time and energy during the assessment, then more time and energy “selling” to leadership. Sound familiar? This is why the majority of companies that need a refresh settle for the status quo.

This is similar to the time and energy it takes to recruit and develop talent in any organization as well… you just have to “C” (see) it from your (internal) customer lens. In other words, if you were relocating to a new city for a new role, are you doing everything you can to make it a great on-boarding experience for your team members or just using the “we’ve always done it that way” approach because you lack resources? Next time you sense a need to change or improve the experience for your teammates relocating, consider pulling in some of your stakeholders and use these 10 C’s below. Using a status quo approach could actually be costing you more “time and money” than you think.

  1. Be Committed to the development of the policy and partnership. This may take some time, but it is the heartbeat to any successful program.
  2. Be Consistent managing policy which may include “exceptions”. Tracking exceptions can be a game changer each year during the client review. Know whats driving these needs.
  3. Collaborate with all stakeholders this includes HR, Recruiters, Business Unit leaders, Vendors, Executives, etc… Be open to hearing other leadership perspectives.
  4. Continuously improve and evolve your program. Attend local relocation conferences as well as invest in WorldwideERC for an assortment of mobility resources.
  5. Have the Courage to BE BOLD and make adjustments during the process. Every relocation has different elements.
  6. Be an Champion of the program so other team members understand the on-boarding impact. Once you have established your program, meet with stakeholders to share success.
  7. Communication is key with all stakeholders even when you have bad news. Be proactive and push information rather than pulling.
  8. Change policy when needed. Sometimes there is no need to wait for an end of year review when a change is immediate.
  9. Challenge the status quo. Your employees and family relocating will appreciate this approach. Develop a passion for providing a great experience no matter the challenges.
  10. Have Compassion and empathy for family challenges along the way. All moves are not created equal. Family issues are one of the biggest reasons for a failing assignment.

…and most importantly, be Calm… Relocation can be stressful, especially when you are in reactive mode. However, it is minimized when you have a purposeful program. Everyone understands the process and is in alignment with expectations which leads to more positive outcomes for the team members and their family.

Call to Action: Schedule a client review and find out what other options are out there to elevate the experience for your team… or consider attending the next relocation meeting in your area. Visit WorldwideERC.org for mobility resources and for local chapter information. In Dallas, check out NorthTexasRelcoationProfessionals.org

Quote of the Week… “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “10 C’s to CHANGE” 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!

Find your lane when onboarding talent that requires relocation.

Companies come in all shapes and sizes. There are large organizations with complex organizational structures to smaller companies that have only a few employees. One common thread is the need to achieve business goals which requires attracting talent. Many times the best talent can be found locally, but often requires mobility for a new candidate, an executive opening a new office, or even an employee in a developmental role.

When relocating employees, we have learned that different lanes will yield different experiences for the employee and family. There are basically three lanes to consider when managing a relocation for both US domestic and international. Each each lane has many  positives, but can also present potholes and the opportunity for detours to help make each relocation a better experience for the employee and family. Some employees don’t have the time or expertise to manage a lump sum relocation which creates challenges trying to get family transitioned,, while other employees are looking for a great experience, but the company doesn’t have the bench strength to manage the program and need a relo partner for support.

So which lane are you in?

  1. Lane 1 Lump Sum Relocation
    This lane is easy to manage/administer, but can be costly due to taxable income for companies when grossing up or to employee receiving non-taxable income. There is a  lump sum “plus” program that can be less costly and a detour to consider for best experience.
  2. Lane 2 In House Relocation program managed partnerships by HR staff.  Managing relocation takes expertise and bench strength, but can yield great results for the relocating employee working with partners they know and trust. The pothole to avoid is bidding moves during the summer peak season. Investing time identifying partners for the employee and family and using a distribution model will elevate the experience for everyone.
  3. Lane 3 Outsourcing / Partnering with Relocation Management Company. This is a great option when you have limited resources to manage and support executives with home sale purchase, as well as capturing expenses for tax reporting and more flexible. The key is to align with the RMC that best fits your program goals and culture.

Call to Action: Do you want to learn more about potholes and some of the detours available for your team? Attend HRSouthwest Conference on October 2, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas to attend my session. Register at http://www.HRSouthwest.com.  If you can’t make it to the conference, reach out to your partner to identify potholes and the best way to navigate around them, detour, or just change lanes for best experience.

“If you could get all of the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” (Patrick Lencioni)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Find your lane onboarding talent” 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!

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.


Want a better experience for candidates moving this summer? Consider these mobility strategies…

The month of May marks the beginning of peak moving season! Schools out and families take advantage of the summer months to relocate and settle in their new city before school starts in September.

Based on different sources, there are approximately 40 million families moving annually or 10-15% of US population. However only about 15 million families are moving to a different county, state, or country while the remaining population moving is locally within same county.

There are also approximately 8000 moving companies in the US, with approx. 50% of them (4000) that belong to AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association) and have authority registered to service long distance or nationwide moves. This means (based on my calculations) that household goods moving companies will relocate an average of 18 families per day from May through August compared to averaging 6 families per day from September through April. Statistics will fluctuate based on the size of the moving office, but either way — WOW! That is 3 times more volume moving each day during the summer! The peak moving summer season can make moving more complex and requires precision moving coordination.

Therefore, it’s important to approach your move differently during this time of the year. Here are a few tips to think about sharing with your team to have the best experience when moving this summer:

  1. If you don’t have a relocation partner, get one! Capacity drives up move cost, even when you get bids… and partners will often find ways to help your team when you get in a tough spot!
  2. Advise your employees to schedule the household goods move survey BEFORE home sells. This is a great time to discuss move plan expectations to be prepared when the home sells.
  3. Communicate that preferred moving dates need to be made at least 14 days prior to moving. Some cases less time and others may be 2-3 weeks due to the location.
  4. Consider a container move approach for small apartments or when moving less items. Benefits include a guaranteed delivery date and free storage while traveling to destination.
  5. Prepare employees for increased transit times for the household goods delivery in the summer due to driver hours of service regulations.

Also, be sure to ASK your moving partner about other relocation referrals and assistance including new community information. They can help ease the complexities for your team!

Call to action: Reach out to your moving partner this month to discuss strategies to help your employees this summer. If you know someone that needs a partner, please share this information with them. They will appreciate the referral and so will their employees.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Beginning of Peak Season Moving Tips” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
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Using this “GPS” will help you find your lane for success!

In 300 feet, turn left. The destination will be on your right. Wait, this isn’t my destination. How can this be? I thought it was right here. This isn’t the destination I was planning. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? You had an idea of where you wanted to go, but when you arrived it wasn’t what you planned. Did your destination change, or maybe you just need to use a different GPS? Unfortunately, this is a common theme when pursuing goals and dreams. We think we know where we are going, but we often take wrong turns, or get jammed up in traffic along the way.

Maybe you are a college graduate that thought it will be easy to find the perfect job after graduation only to be still searching several months later. What about the salesperson that has big dreams of success, but continues to struggle from month to month trying to land that big deal? Are you the office administrator or young business person looking for your next opportunity in the company only to be disappointed because nobody has noticed your strengths as a future leader? brucetruck

Many people start out with big dreams, but later find out it wasn’t exactly what they planned along the way. So what do you do when you learn that you took the wrong exit, or get lost or stalled on your journey to destination?

It’s time to use a new GPS! Grow, Plan, and Share!

Grow – I once heard Jim Rohn say “Success isn’t pursued, it is attracted”. If you want that promotion, you have to get better by learning more and becoming more. Growing sales means learning more about your customer. Finding the perfect job means asking more questions and connecting with other experienced leaders. Opportunity starts with personal growth. What are you reading, or doing each day to put yourself in position to get to your next destination? Write down 3 things you can do each day to elevate your growth.

Plan – Setting goals is critical to finding your destination. I once had a boss that used the phrase “plan your work and work your plan”. I have adopted this philosophy for years and used it in my navigation system. If you want to grow your sales, make a plan to practice your calls each week and include others for feedback. If you are looking for a new HR opportunity or want a promotion, turn off your radio and practice interviewing in your car on your way to work and include others for feedback. If you need a certification to go to next level, go get it! Doug Sandler once shared this post on twitter, “the 10 most powerful 2 letter words are – if it is to be, it is up to me. Start writing down your game plan each week and focus on planned activity for results.

Share – This is one lane that many people miss. You have a great opportunity to help others just by sharing and being a resource for others. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will eventually get what you want”. When we share, we are serving. What can you do today to be more resourceful to help others reach their destination? Some ideas include sharing articles that inspire you, connecting mutual friends to network, or sharing an idea to a customer to help them improve their business. Share with me too!

Growing, Planning, and Sharing is a great GPS to help you find your lane to reach your next destination. I wish you safe travels on your next journey to success!

Call to action: Write down 2-3 ideas  that you can put into practice to finish strong in 2016. Please share with others so they can help you navigate to find your lane for success.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Are you using this GPS” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!

The GOAL is bigger than the ROLE!

When I was in high school, I always wanted to play quarterback. Our coach positioned me to play quarterback for our practice squad offense to help make the first string defense better. I knew the ultimate role for me personally was to play as the first string quarterback where I could throw that game winning touchdown and lead our team to victory, but our team also needed someone to run plays during practice to help make our primary defense better. The most important thing was for me to understand that the goal was team first, and not worry about which role I played as long as I was committed to helping our team succeed. cropped-bruce2013.jpg

It’s the same way in business, or possible in your community where there is a bigger outcome when the group pulls together and plays their role. Another word we often hear when talking about pursuing goals is collaboration. When the team pulls together, we are stronger and have a better chance of achieving big things. The people that inspire me the most are the ones that raise their hand and say I will help however you need me, not the person that says I will help as long as…

When moving an employee’s household goods, it takes several members on the team to deliver a successful relocation. It starts with the salesperson to surveyor to move coordinator to operations planners to driver/moving crews to accounting and finance to claims management. Everyone on the team has a unique role, but only one goal – to deliver a great moving experience for the customer!

What is your role in the organization and what can you do as a business leader or even a volunteer in your community to help advance achieving a goal? It may be assisting the salesperson with a new client, volunteering to help raise money for a charitable organization, or getting a community baseball field ready for the season opener.

Whatever it is, know that the goal is more important than the role to achieve team success. Just keep learning, and growing to be ready when your time comes for the next opportunity.

Call to Action: What are some of the goals in your organization? Reach out to others and find your lane to support the team for maximum success. Tomorrow you just may be the leader!

This has been “a Relocation Minute” on “goal bigger than role” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!