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Taking your key people with you when relocating

Lara Poder, Relocation Manager at Relocate UK, explains how businesses can retain their key personnel when relocating and how a relocation specialist can help save time, money and stress.

Taking your key people with you when you move is fundamental to the success of any business's relocation. Yet many companies find the 'human factor' the most difficult and time-consuming element of a relocation.

Fortunately there are a number of steps you can take - both before and during relocation - that can get (and keep) key personnel on board and ensure a smooth move for everyone.

For businesses that do not have the in-house resources to put the advice below into practice, an experienced relocation agent will be able to do so on their behalf.

Getting your employees on board

The most important step a business can take to persuade their employees to move with them is to consider the relocation from their employee's point of view and identify the potential benefits of the move to them personally.

For many employees the lifestyle benefits to them and their family can be one of the biggest considerations. The cost of housing and the average commute from home to work are strong influencing factors, as well as potential improvements to their lifestyle and work/life balance.

If your employees will benefit from a lower cost of living in the new location a comparison table showing them the differences in costs is invaluable. Include everything from buying or renting a home, commuting and joining a gym to eating out, going to the theatre or cinema and private schooling - anything that will enable them to see how much better off they will be by relocating. Consider your employees' partners and families too, where relevant.

Your employees will inevitably have lots of questions about the area you are asking them to move to so the more information you can provide the better. This should include housing, schools, local amenities, employment prospects for their partner, transport links, leisure facilities and entertainment. It takes detailed research but is well worth the effort if you want to sell the relocation to your staff.

Whilst there may be a number of potential benefits to your employees of relocating, it is crucial to be balanced and accurate in the information you provide. Setting reasonable expectations is vital for the long-term success of the relocation and for avoiding ending up with a lot of disappointed employees post-relocation!

Helping your employees find the right home

An average family will take approximately four weeks of looking to decide on their family home. The time, stress and effort involved in making appointments, attending viewings, researching schools and desirable residential areas can be huge - and a major distraction from their work.

This is where a relocation agent can make a big difference. By providing your employees with detailed shortlists of properties and areas that specifically meet their specifications they can drastically reduce time wasted researching properties, liaising with agents and viewing unsuitable properties. With the right help the entire house-hunting process can take as little as two days and be a very positive experience.

Identifying potential cost savings

Understanding local property markets and good relationships with quality local agents are essential for quickly identifying the best available properties and negotiating the best prices - whether renting or buying.

Letting agents and landlords prefer tenancies that are drawn up in the name of a company rather than individuals, so when renting properties on behalf of employees businesses can often benefit from favourable rents.

A good relocation agent will draw up tenancy documentation on your company's behalf so that the letting agent does not have to follow the normal processes. In this way it is possible to negotiate the waiving of administration fees, potentially saving thousands of pounds. A Letter of Indemnity can also be used in place of a deposit so your business does not have money tied up in deposits earning interest for somebody else!

The savings in both time and money that a good relocation agent can bring can be considerable.

Opting for professional help

Outsourcing the relocation of key personnel removes the burden from HR and other staff, allowing them to concentrate on their day-to-day jobs and other aspects of the move.

If you decide to do so, make sure the relocation agent is a member of the Association of Relocation Professionals (ARP) and the European Relocation Association (EURA) and that they can offer you bespoke relocation packages for the specific needs and circumstances of each employee, based on age, family composition and job levels.

Lara Poder is Relocation Manager at Relocate UK (www.relocate.uk.com) and has a number of years specialist experience assisting businesses and people relocating to and around the UK.