Tag Archives: United Van Lines

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!

Consider these strategies to onboard your candidates… especially when they need to relocate!

In my book, “Find Your Lane”, I share an experience that my son and I had with Patty Farr, the wonderful rental car agent that went above and beyond to help us find a hotel for the Big 12 Championship game in Kansas City, Missouri. This was a memorable moment because it was not expected and outside the scope of our expectations during a stressful time since it was a last minute decision for us to make the trip. Memorable experiences are the best because they are embedded in our minds for life and triggered during reflection from time to time to share with others. This goes for both good and bad experiences.

Recently, I was reading the “Sapling Blog” about companies that invest in the experience to onboard their employees. Onboarding starts from the time the candidate says YES to the new job offer to help him/her assimilate into new role. Here are a few of the onboarding strategies that I found interesting on their blog to help elevate the experience for their candidates.

  1. Twitter: From YES to DESK! Before the employee sits down, they receive email address, t-shirt, and bottle of wine. Their desks are also strategically placed close to experienced employees for support. They also have breakfast with CEO and tour facility.
  2. LinkedIn: New hires start with ice breakers and then attend session called “Investing in you” which includes tour, and an orientation to learn more about the company.
  3. Zappos: This Company thrives on protecting the culture. After 30 days, if employees say they are not a good fit, they are offered $2000 to leave the company. Wow!

…BUT what about the employee that has to relocate for the new position. Many times the employee is already working and the spouse is left to coordinate the relocation. In fact, a recent survey showed one of the biggest challenges to hire talent was a family reluctance to relocate.

What are you doing to elevate the onboarding experience for your candidates relocating? Some ideas might include:

  • How about starting with an email introduction from you and the relocation team explaining process and expectations. Include pictures and maybe even a short welcome video.
  • What about including a welcome packet for the family including community info?
  • How about sending a video with information for the new area and providing an area orientation trip INCLUDING a PAID extended vacation for the family?

Now that might be memorable and an experience they share with other potential candidates to help build your culture when it comes to mobility. What do you do to help onboard the relocating family for best experience? Share your ideas and let’s collaborate and find ways to implement new strategies for us to include MOBILITY when we think about ONBOARDING a new hire! It will make a difference for the family and your organization!

“The customer experience will never exceed the employee experience.” Tony Bridwell

Call to Action: Reach out to your partner and discuss ideas to elevate the experience when onboarding your candidates relocating. Identify a strategy that works for your organization and drive mobility with purpose when hiring relocating talent.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Onboard strategies for better experience when relocating talent” 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 for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

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!

Drive the candidate experience with purpose when relocating talent this summer

In Chapter 6 of my book “Find Your Lane”, I share the importance of driving with purpose.

“When you drive or lead with purpose, you are committed. Commitment is the key to getting through the tough days and making it to your destination. You can’t be half in or even 90%, you have to own it!  Whether it’s finishing college, advancing in your career, or improving your marriage, you will need to be committed all the way for the most effective results.”

This is also the case when you are trying to relocate talent for your company.  For example, Tax reform has created a lot of questions and is driving conversation around changing mobility programs to a “lump sum” benefit which often places the burden on employee (and spouse in most situations) to manage the relocation on their own. This will decrease the experience in most cases since the majority of families need support during this difficult transition. They need a concierge and a coach to help elevate the onboarding and relocation experience.

Did you know over 40 million families move each year in the US and the majority of these moves happen in the summer from the time school gets out in May until school resumes in September?

This brings many challenges that requires comprehensive and many times complex coordination by relocation and transportation companies to meet customer expectations and make each move a great experience for each family. This time of year is more important than ever to have a partner you work with that you know and trust.

As we get ready for the upcoming summer peak moving season, let me share 10 things to consider as you drive your program with purpose to make it a great moving experience for your employees moving:

  1. Schedule the moving survey as early as possible. A successful move starts with a successful move plan.
  2. Reserve moving dates 2-3 weeks prior to your loading dates. Don’t wait. Many areas of the country close dates early especially during the summer.
  3. Stay away from “bidding” moves during peak moving season. Capacity pricing actually drives pricing up and employees and relocation companies aren’t committed until the customers says yes which can be too late to get their preferred dates.
  4. Some “difficult to service” areas may require a “virtual survey”.
  5. Need one day delivery? Ask about small shipment container options. Some include free storage up to 3 weeks.
  6. Transit spreads will be longer due to driver “hours of service” regulations and ELD mandates.
  7. Make sure you have full replacement valuation coverage.
  8. Want your boxes picked up after unpacking, ask about getting a debris pickups.
  9. Ask about other relocation services when moving such as home marketing assistance and home searches in new location.
  10. Draft or update your policy… Discuss with your partner for expertise and support!

Quote of the week: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Albert Einstein)

Call to Action: Have questions when moving your talent to elevate the onboarding experience? Reach out to a partner to help you achieve your business needs this summer! The return will significantly exceed the time invested.

This has been A Relocation Minute on “drive with purpose when relocating talent” 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 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!

NTRP is Driving Relocation in North Texas with Purpose

Do you have Mobility responsibility in your organization? If so, you need to “plug in” and connect with the North Texas Relocation Professionals, a WorldwideERC chapter in North Texas! On Feb 7, NTRP kicked off 2018 with some great speakers to share information about relocating in North Texas with Purpose. Special thanks to Jessica Heer, VP Talent Acquisition, Dallas Regional Chamber for sharing information with our members on “Say Yes to Dallas” campaign, and David Arbuckle, Vice President-External Affairs with Texas Central as he shared information on “The Bullet Train” project. Both speakers brought a wealth of information and value for our members and guests…

Here are a few takeaways for you to review too!

Jessica Heer, Dallas Regional Chamber

  • More than 70 HQ relocations in last 5 years. (it’s actually over 100 now!)
  • Why is Dallas so attractive? Economy, Airports, College Graduates, and Affordability
  • Recently launched http://www.SAYYESTODALLAS.com campaign on twitter and Instagram
  • 2017 Nationwide Survey for Millennials (19-37 years old)
    • 4 in 10 looking to relocate
    • Cool, fun, innovative, progressive, and affordable
    • Dallas ranked #9 (Denver #1)
  • Website also includes a cost calculator
  • Traffic congestions has decreased significantly on I-35 and I-635 with Texas Express
  • Over 380 outdoor parks to enjoy in Dallas
  • Dallas Essentials Guide in a must review – check it out on the website!

David Arbuckle, Texas Central

  • The Texas Bullet Train is good for Texas
  • Dallas to Houston in 1.5 Hours / 200 MPH
  • Trains run every 30 minutes / Always on / seats every 30 minutes
  • 53 Year Safety Record in Japan
  • $10 Billion investment / $36 Billion Impact for Texas
  • Create 10,000 Jobs / 1500 once completed
  • Shuts down at night for maintenance
  • No road crossings / either up over highway, or below highway
  • Breaking ground 2019
  • Opens 2024

Our members/guests asked some great questions during the meeting including questions about safety, capacity pricing, carry-on limits, and terminal parking. David did a wonderful job responding to each question including something we don’t think about when it comes to parking. He mentioned there will be enough parking, but we really don’t know if there will be as many people driving cars in next 6-8 years with carpooling playing a big transit role to and from airports. Parking space at terminal is still in review. For more information, check out our website http://www.northtexasrelocationprofessionals.org We hope to see you at our next meeting on April 19th as we discuss Tax Reform challenges and success stories with Relocation Management Company leaders in North Texas at Omni Hotel in Frisco, Texas.

Call to Action: Check out www.sayyestodallas.com to review/share information for employees moving to Dallas, or www.TexasCentral.com to access Bullet Train project forum.

Quote of the Week… “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” (Henry Ford)

This has been A Relocation Minute on “NTRP is Driving Relocation with Purpose 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 www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!