CHALLENGING HOME SEARCH LOCATIONS
For one client initially an employee home search proved difficult with suitable available property in the North of England being limited due to a lack of suitable corporate rental properties meeting their search criteria.
Our team went the extra mile to help the client find their ideal situation, without having to compromise on their requirements – we pushed the local estate agency market, contacted previous corporate lettings agencies, made contact with landlords that we knew had previously let their properties out to corporate tenants and when this all failed for us we then leafleted the most suitable properties and paid for a newspaper advert asking for landlords to get in touch with us if they were considering letting their properties.
We were able to find a suitable property to the delighted German assignee within two weeks.
REMOVALS TO DIFFICULT LOCATIONS
Zermatt is a municipality in the German speaking section of the canton of Valais in Switzerland. With a popluation of only 5,800 it has a large expat contingent with just over a third of inhabitends moving into Zermatt from outside of Switzerland.
Not only is Zermatt in a challenging location to get to, surrounded by the high mountains of the Pennine Alps and covered in snow for most of the year but Zermatt is also a combustion engine vehicle free zone in order to prevent air polltion and protect the towns view of the Matterhorn. This means no traditional removals lorries can enter the town and only electric vehicles can be used which presented a unique challenge for one client moving to Zermatt from the UK.
Our experience in removals to Switzerland meant that we were already aware of these restrictions and could proactively make arrangements in planning for the move. Working closely with our local partners in Switzerland we arranged a small electric shuttle vehicle which could operate within local regulations which met our removal lorry and crew on the outskirts of the town. The customers belongings were shuttled in small consignments up to the property in the town and succesfully delivered inside.
LIMITED EDUCATION OPTIONS
In an environment driven by technology and a customer base increasingly more comfortable with self-service many service providers are looking to technology to replace human service at a lower cost.
For some clients this solution is great, for others the lack of human interaction devalues the service. For one client their former school placement provider only worked online, there was no way the individual could have a personal conversation with the supplier which became a problem for them. A high profile Sheikh relocating to London was insistent that his son attend a particular choice of school. Due to high demand for International Schools in his area because of one school ceasing business and an influx of companies investing and relocating employees to the area, his son was unable to secure a place, despite the father’s personal intervention in the registration process.
Due to the online service delivery method of Schools placement service the client turned to us for assistance with the placement. Our coordinator was able to find 10 alternative, suitable International schools, meeting the same criteria and fulfilling his personal preferences and concerns and the Sheik was happily able to secure his son a place at their 2nd choice.
In addition to providing a human service we did not have to eliminate the benefits of technology. What we did instead was to introduce RedSky as a management and tracking tool but only as a supporting mechanism which does not in any way replace the human interaction that takes effect immediately with the assignee and their family.
This technology is being utilised as a supporting secondary function but in our people driven business we never forget that people matter most. Personal likes and preferences are given precedence and needs matching on an individual and human level take over any other of the human skills that we have become famous for.
LOW BUDGET FOR HOME SEARCH
Our client needed to find a way to assist their employees find a new home and to manage the risks of them trying to navigate this area alone, but they had a very low budget available for each assignee that didn’t allow a full accompanied home search service.
We helped our client to design an unaccompanied Home Search service for their assignees to help them balance a low available budget with assisting their employees to find a new home and to manage the risks of them trying to navigate this area alone. We provide an unaccompanied service but with unlimited human support by phone allowing us to guide the assignee every step of the way. The importance of providing home search support was highlighted early in the relationship when we were asked to step in to help one employee who had arranged his own rental and quickly found things going wrong. He had paid a deposit and first month’s rent but on viewing the apartment the day before the move found that many of the things agreed with the agent to be completed before move day were not done. This left the property uninhabitable with carpets ripped up and dirty furniture and food left by the previous tenant, broken windows and white goods that were not working and a property in a generally poor condition. The assignee was finding the agent, who was unregulated, impossible to communicate with and faced being homeless, losing his initial monies and with is family arriving from India in just a few days. We stepped in to find him a new property as quickly as possible that was more suited to a corporate assignee and went above and beyond the call of duty in working tirelessly on behalf of the assignee to release him from his previous self-selected property and ensure his payments were refunded in full.
“I wanted to especially thank you for be with me during my bad days, and for doing your best for helping me to get a new home till the end.
When I was having a bad experience with a previous property and was unable to figure out whom to reach out for help, Jeremy stepped in and handled the matter personally on behalf of me. You rapidly took this matter on priority and made yourself available all the time for discussion with me. Because of your help, I managed to get out of all the bad things I was facing in the previous property. From summarising the entire situation in a single mail to drafting refund request letter, you did more than what a client could expect from their service provider. Having said that, you never made me feel that I am a client to you, rather someone I can rely upon during bad situation.
Georgette was always there from very start to end during my home search. From communicating with agents to review the contracts, she made sure whatever home I am moving into that has to be legally correct and everything should be documented. Because of you, I managed to move into the new home before 15th and celebrated our son’s birthday :)
I am very much relaxed that my family is finally at a good home. Thanks again to both of you for making this possible.”
Our client had an assignee who wanted a fully furnished property but the market did not accommodate his budget and stock levels for furnished properties in that area were very low.
Our consultant did a review of the market and thought creatively about alternative solutions. Our proposal was to advise the assignee that if he were to consider purchasing furniture himself, the outlay for this divided over the 12 monthly payments would allow him to remain within budget and open up the market to unfurnished properties, allowing him to view more properties of a better standard.
The assignee had a tight temporary accommodation deadline and with this solution we were able to meet his budget constraints and deadlines at the same time reduce the stress involved for the assignee.
A client had a very unclear and generalised Relocation Policy with no parameters set in terms of relocation assistance. Relocation costs have been high as assignees had been given almost anything they asked for! The client forecasts that mobility will be increasing and Procurement have now been tasked with finding “quick wins” to reduce and manage costs for the upcoming relocations in advance of a complete policy rewrite.
We assisted by providing insight into the most at risk areas and suggesting limits and allowances which can quickly be inserted into the policy, such as:
- Place a 30-day time limit on temporary accommodation to focus the assignee on finding long term accommodation
- Set realistic rental housing budgets based on suitable locations near the office to restrict assignees from choosing expensive locations such as Central London
- Specify the number of days assistance offered for orientation/home search/settling in
- Set volume allowances for shipping household goods by sea
- Set strict parameters for allowance of air shipments and set weight limits
- Restrict the circumstances in which the company will pay for storage in the home country and/or limit the volume the company will pay for
- Specify any items the company will not pay to ship – e.g. cars, grand pianos etc.
- Control the shipping of pets – limit company’s responsibility to paying for cats and dogs/limit number of pets.
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Our company is known for the way it looks after customers. This reputation is built on over 140 years of trust and the passionate team of people that have always believed in Bournes commitment to deliver excellent customer experiences.