Tag Archives: Relocation

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!

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!

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.

COLLABORATION
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.

MOTIVATION
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

INNOVATION
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!

3 Takeaways from WorldwideERC Global Workforce Symposium 2017!

The last week of September, I enjoyed the opportunity to spend 4 days in the city of Chicago attending WorldwideERC’s Global Workforce Symposium annual conference. The week started with partner meetings and the opening of the marketplace where exhibitors get to share their latest products and services. I always enjoy attending the marketplace because it is a great opportunity to not only learn about new services, but a chance to meet up with past friends and meet new ones too while having great conversation around the industry we enjoy called RELOCATION. 

Anytime I attend a conference, I always try to achieve 2 objectives. The first objective is to expand my network. This takes time and courage to step out and say hello to someone you don’t really know, but want to connect with because of the common thread of relocation. Your network will allow you to be more resourceful and give you another channel to verify and validate throughout the process of helping clients and business partners.

The second objective is to learn something new to apply for myself, or someone I know. This takes investing time to attend the educational sessions offered during the conference. I really enjoy the sessions that share trendsetters, and things to be watching for in the industry.

Today, I want to share 3 conference takeaways that you might be interested in learning about as well.

  1. Technology continues to enhance our industry. I enjoyed the sessions “Has Technology replaced service” which was quite fascinating hearing from a panel of experts. Some of the technologies discussed included email picture signatures, video surveys, 24/7 platforms, gaining efficiencies, generational differences, AI, Augmented Reality, and security. Another interesting note was the idea of hiring talent with technology experience and training the relocation skills.
  2. Duty of Care continues to be a hot topic especially during a time of natural disasters. This is the importance of Risk and Compliance obligation. What are we doing as corporations, and supply chain to engage in the process? Interesting note that 80% of ee think the company has a legal obligation, while 46% of companies actually have a policy. Some of the other notes in this area included the temp housing security such as air B&B. Be on the lookout for continued conversation around this topic.
  3. Lastly, BE BOLD! We all enjoyed hearing from an expert corporate panel facilitated by Peggy Smith, President and CEO of WorldwideERC. Peggy helped drive some real conversation around the topic of being bold… from corporate leaders to partners. Imagine the possibility of corporations including their partners for onboarding just like their new employee population. Imagine the possibility of driving business strategy in the mobility space. Maybe it’s time for us to “hit refresh” and be bold to start the next conversation.

Bonus was hearing from Mitch Joel. He shared some much about disruption, transformation, and innovation. But the takeaway for me was around marketing and the 3 components needed for success. These included Image, Mobile First, and the important of being social.

Call to action: Let me know if would like to learn more about the conference, consider registering for NTRP event on October 18 to hear Peggy Smith in Dallas. You can register at http://www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org or you can visit WorldwideERC at  http://www.worldwideerc.org for more information. It’s time to be bold and refresh our thinking in mobility!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “WorldwideERC Global Symposium” 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! 

What would you add to this list for a great partnership?

I recently had the honor of speaking to a wonderful group of HR professionals in Dallas, Texas about maximizing the onboarding experience when relocating an employee. The employee relocation is often the first experience for a new employee and family with the new company which makes it critical to get off to a great start.

One of the points I always stress is the importance of developing a great partnership with your vendors. The right partnership can make a difference for the person managing the program and put them at ease which will also put the employee relocating at ease too. Investing in a great partnership basically says “we care” from the moment you made the decision to join our company. 

When the meeting was completed, I was asked to share some of the traits that make up a great partnership and wanted to share with you too. When engaging a vendor, it’s like a new date. It starts with being a good listener and learning what’s most important to each other to make the partnership effective. A partnership is a two way street and both parties need to be open minded, transparent, and committed to develop a great long term partnership

Some of the partnership traits that can make a difference include:

  1. Trust… is the foundation!
  2. Integrity… always do the right thing.
  3. Open communication… allows access when needed.
  4. Collaboration… working together when issues arise.
  5. Relationships… shows you care.
  6. Values… creates alignment for things that matter.
  7. Serve… each other in everything you do.
  8. Patience… when mistakes happen.
  9. Transparent… gives you the best chance to achieve goals.
  10. Purpose… its why we are here doing what we do!

Which one do you think is most important? Who you add to this list?

Call to action: Reach out to your partners to discuss the importance of these traits and what should be focused on to elevate the experience for everyone. or share how much you appreciate your current partnership! If you don’t have a partner, then use these traits to find a partner that best aligns to support your organizational goals.

This has been a “A Relocation Minute” on “Great Partnership Traits” 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” now available at Amazon!

 

Special thanks to these men and women… Driver Appreciation Week 2017!

May 8-12 is driver appreciation week. We also call it “van operator” appreciation week in the moving industry. Van operators have some incredible challenges, are tasked with many responsibilities, and instrumental in the success of a household goods move for families moving locally, or across the country.

In 1995, I also received my commercial driver’s license (CDL) to move household goods shipments within the state of Texas while spending time in operations! Yep, I was a driver. I was responsible for transporting household goods in the state of Texas (intrastate moves)), as well as local moves in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It was hard work and extremely challenging from planning shipments to managing moving crews to having time with my family. Since then, I have valued and appreciated the men and women in the driver’s seat helping our customers every day. 

Did you know? Many van operators are on the road more than 200 + days a year (that’s being on the road 40 of 52 weeks) while others drive a regional / local area and are home more often.

Many customers don’t realize the number of responsibilities they have when moving a family. In honor of driver appreciation week, here are 10 things that we all need to know about our van operators.

Each of them are responsible for:

  1. Providing excellent customer service for each family moving.
  2. Protecting the home when loading and delivering.
  3. Hiring qualified labor at local UniGroup agency for support.
  4. Managing the moving process from inventory through delivery.
  5. Driving a large tractor with 53′ moving van in the city, through the mountains, in bad weather, and across the country to meet delivery deadlines.
  6. Keeping compliant with hours of service and electronic logs.
  7. Updating operations for planning.
  8. Completing paperwork for payment.
  9. Vehicle maintenance for tractor.
  10. Tracking quality scores to meet corporation expectations.
    … And so much more!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all of our van operators this week for elevating the experience for our customers across the nation! We appreciate you!

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” -John F Kennedy

Call to action: Personally thank a driver, or send a “thank you” note to one of your drivers this week. If you don’t have any drivers at your company, send to me and I will post for drivers to enjoy!

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

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3 ways to be more competitive in candidate driven market…

One of the hottest topics in HR continues to be the war on talent. Companies continue to pursue the best candidates in a competitive environment to help meet year end goals and objectives. Many times a new hire or pivoting leadership positions will require a relocation. This could involve home marketing assistance to help sell their home at origin as quickly as possible as well as support to find a new home. It often includes moving the household goods along with storage and short term temporary housing as well.

For companies that have not invested time to explore advantages of relocation services in the past, there may be some alternative ways to help lure the best talent during the recruiting process to be competitive in the market. Here are 3 benefits to consider when your next hire requires a relocation which will elevate the onboarding experience with minimal costs…

  1. Area orientation. This benefit is designed to help the family view different areas in the new city. An area orientation program helps the employee with support to plan a productive trip to search preferred neighborhoods and schools near the office.
  2. Expense Management. Do you have challenges with keeping up with taxable and non-taxable relocation expenses? How about getting employees or new candidates not on the payroll reimbursed quickly? This is a great service that might help your team with support.
  3. Lump sum support. Many times the company will cut the employee a check without realizing the favorable tax benefits which can lead to big savings when you gross up, or ways to stretch the lump sum amount for the employee while giving them a professional to assist them along the way. You can turn an average move into a great moving experience for the employee and family with coaching and support from your preferred partner.

It’s a very competitive candidate driven market today, and these relocation benefits just might be a way to help land your next big candidate while providing them with a great onboarding experience during the relocation process!

Call to action: Invest some time this week to reach out to your relocation provider and request a 30 minute meeting to review these strategies to be more competitive when recruiting the best talent. You will be glad you invested the time, and so will your employees moving.

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “Recruiting strategies to be more competitive” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!