Tag Archives: Relocation

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!

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!

3 Goals HR and Talent Management Leaders should have in next 30 days!

In just 60 days, moving companies across the country will start closing off dates to move families due to peak season capacity. School is out, and families start preparing for their relocation to a new city, or across country. March 16 marks the start of the 2016 peak moving season and the driver shortage over the past few years continues to make significant impact on date availability during the summer months. Did you know approx 60% of the household goods moves happen in the four month span of May, June, July, and August each year?60days

Here is some great news… There are a few things you can do over the next 30 days to prepare for the upcoming peak moving season as an HR professional to elevate the experience for your employees and ensure a smooth summer for your HR team. Here are 3 things to focus on now for maximum impact!

  1. Schedule a client review… to confirm expectations for alignment. If you haven’t reviewed your 2015 activity and 2016 projections, now is the time to make sure you and your relocation provider are in alignment with results and discuss strategies for process improvement. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 moves, or 100 moves annually. Take time to discuss volume, quality, costs, company goals and initiatives for the New Year. There are also “value added” programs available today that include home marketing assistance and other benefits with no additional cost even when you provide a lump sum. This will help elevate the experience for your employees moving!
  2. Update Policy… for both US domestic and/or international. The economy has changed in last few years. HR and Talent Management leaders are leveraging ways to be more competitive in the market to land key talent while containing costs along the way. There are many types of policies depending on how complex your program is. Reach out to your provider for benchmarking, trends, and best practices. This will give you the data needed to make changes for improvement or updates if needed.
  3. Equip your employees… Since peak moving season starts in less than 2 months, now is the time to start sharing this information with your employees moving. It’s critical they contact the moving company as early as possible to schedule the pre-move survey even if they are not ready to reserve dates. This approach allows the family to be ready to schedule move once they are ready to go. Ask your relocation provider for information to share with the employee when assigning the move. They will appreciate it. Also, try to stay away from bid moves during the summer. Moving companies typically will not reserve dates until they are secured moves and many times will frustrate the employee that is ready to reserve moving date. Use a distribution approach during the summer if needed.

Thought of the Day: “The Bigger the WHY, the Easier the HOW!” – Jim Rohn

Call to action: Reach out to you relocation partner to review 2016 peak season for alignment in next 30 days. If you dont have one, I encourage you to find one asap. I am confident you will find value in a 30-60 minute call/meeting. There may be something you can add to your program without additional costs. Your employees will appreciate it and so will you!

This has been “A Relocation Minute update with Bruce Waller” on “60 days To Peak Season”, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @ brucewaller too!

Be a Lifter Leadership Series – #2 These people provided the LEAP in my leadership!

Today is the 29th day of February which only happens once in every 4 years also known as “LEAP YEAR.” When I think about leap, I think about moving / jumping forward to make significant progress. When I think about all of the times I “leaped” forward in my career and personal life, I can clearly see that I had lifters next to me providing encouragement and confidence in my decision. Lifters not only offer encouragement, but also see the potential in others and know how to bring out the best in them!

Have you been lifted on your journey? Who helped you “Leap” forward? Have you shared your story with them?

Today, I want to share 3 examples of how others lifted me to take a leap of faith which has helped me be successful on journey:Lifter

  1. In 1995, I had just finished college and working as a manager for my parents bowling business. It was a great experience, but I worked at nights and my wife taught school in the day time. This didn’t really work that well for us and our 3 kids. When my brother shared an opportunity for me to relocate to Dallas, we talked about it and made the move. This only happened because I had my family lifting me up and giving me the confidence to take the leap. I’m happy to be in relocation 20 years later and enjoy it now more than ever!
  2. In 2004, I decided to take a position as a sales consultant over operations management offers because I wanted (and needed) to round out my leadership skills in the area of sales. Fortunately for me, my boss is a lifter and constantly encouraged me to learn and grow to better myself so that I could add value to others that were in HR including relocation. This month, I am starting my 13th year at Armstrong Relocation only because of my boss and all of the people that lift me up daily.
  3. In 2012, I enjoyed serving in the leadership role of President for DallasHR. This organization is the 6th largest SHRM organization in the U.S. I remember the day a good friend planted the seed for me to consider applying for the role. It was because of this person that gave me the confidence to take the leap. I am so thankful for the many lifters in the organization that have helped me become a better leader today.

You need lifters in your life to provide you encouragement, give you confidence, and inspire you to take action. I am a better leader because of these amazing lifters in my life.

So who is your lifter? Are you investing time to lift others? What are some things you can do to lift others to take the leap needed to help them reach their potential? It really starts with asking questions to find out their goals and dreams. Once you tap into this, you are on your way!

Call to action: Surround yourself with LIFTERS! Take time this week to write a note or send someone an email to help lift them up. It may be a customer, a business partner, a colleague, or a friend. I would enjoy hearing your story. Send me an email to bwaller@goarmstrong.com.

This has been “A Relocation Minute Update” on “Be a Lifter Series – Taking a LEAP” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com. Follow me on Twitter too!