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How to Outsmart a Housing Shortage
Despite the housing shortage, there are several ways to keep your relocations on schedule by tweaking your current relocation benefits.
If you work with a relocation management company, start by asking for their ideas. After all, it’s not their first rodeo, and they may have some turnkey solutions to offer. In addition:
Offer (or Expand) Short-term Housing Benefits
Paying for short-term housing is the fastest way to get relocating employees on the job quickly, whether or not they’ve finalized their permanent housing arrangements.
Short-term housing benefits are traditionally provided in 30-day increments. But be warned: if your area is in a housing crunch, you may want to offer—or at least be open to—longer 60- or 90-day benefit periods to help your new hires stay focused on work.
Better Yet, Provide Short-term Housing
Want to get your new people on board even faster? Instead of simply offering short-term housing benefits, arrange the housing directly and spare them the hunt. Some employers purchase or rent corporate condos for this purpose. If that’s not your thing, broker an arrangement with a local extended-stay hotel, take advantage of services like Airbnb and VRBO or ask your relocation company for help.
For example, UrbanBound has a discounted agreement in place with a top extended-stay chain—which gives our clients an affordable, easy-peasy short-term housing go-to every time.
Extend the Length of House-hunting Trips
In hot real-estate markets, it’s difficult to find (let alone lock in on) a home in just 3-5 days. If you’re willing to extend the length of house-hunting trips, you’ll vastly improve your new hires’ chance of scoring a home the first time around.
Not only will this reduce employee stress, expanding this relatively low-cost benefit reduces more expensive short-term housing costs dramatically. It’s a win/win.
Connect Your People to Top Realtors
There are advantages to working with realtors who specialize in relocation—and one is that they get that time is of the essence. In addition, they know what information newcomers want most—say, school and safety rankings—and which neighborhoods appeal to out-of-towners.
Ideally, your relocation management company has built a network of vetted realtors for this purpose; it’s certainly a highly-utilized feature of our services.
Okay, you say: all this short-term housing talk makes sense—but it’s going to cost us more, and our relocation program is already pretty pricey.
To that we counter: maybe it’s time to look at those program costs and see if you’re getting the best possible value? There’s a huge range in relocation management costs.
Here’s the thing: when employers switch to UrbanBound, they slash their relocation costs by up to 66%, while improving employee satisfaction. And we’ve got some great short-term housing solutions to share, too. Just ask.