What Does a Relocation Consultant Do?

A relocation consultant is a service professional who helps employees plan and manage the logistics of their corporate relocation.   

Most relocation consultants are employed by relocation management companies, or RMCs. However, an employer that manages its relocations directly may also employ in-house relocation consultants. While not all corporate relocation programs include the services of relocation consultants, the majority do. 

Needless to say, relocation consultants spend much of their time interacting with the employees they serve. Most work one-on-one with specific employees throughout the course of a given relocation. Throughout the process, their duties typically include:

  • Helping employees understand their specific relocation benefits, as well as the best way to use them.
  • Coaching employees on relocation best practices, in terms of planning, scheduling and arranging their move.
  • Introducing employees to vetted vendors, such as movers and realtors and, in some cases, helping employees book their arrangements.
  • Making employees aware of resources and information at their disposal.
  • Generally answering questions, troubleshooting problems and finding solutions to atypical situations.

In short, relocation consultants often assist employees with every aspect of their move, from shipping household goods and vehicles and facilitating home-finding trips to securing short-term housing, if needed.  

In addition, most relocation consultants work hard to ease employees’ stress throughout the relocation process. After all, moving and switching jobs are among life’s biggest stressors—which is why an effective relocation consultant may come to be viewed as an unflappable, knowledgeable resource for employees.

RMCs: One of These Things Is Not Like the Others  

While relocation consultants perform many of the same functions regardless of who they work for, there is one important distinction.  

There are two types of RMCs: traditional RMCs—which are powered primarily by relocation consultants—and modern, tech-based RMCs like UrbanBound—which also offer employers and their employees access to move management software. 

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This groundbreaking software, which is relatively new, simplifies relocation planning for employees, while empowering them to take control of their moves. (At the same time, relocation software gives employers much greater visibility into their programs and related expenses.)     

As a result, relocation consultants who work for tech-based RMCs are charged with     introducing employees to their software and helping them get the most from it. 

“UrbanBound is a unique beast,” says Grace Ashenhurst, UrbanBound’s Relocation Consultant Training Manager—and a relocation consultant herself. “So, we do things differently.”

“We guide employees through the UrbanBound app, so they understand what an amazing tool they have at their disposal.”

That includes managing their move, tracking their spend and utilizing a wide repository of valuable content. 

According to Ashenhurst, employees appreciate the empowerment and flexibility the software gives them. 

As a result, UrbanBound relocation consultants use—and talk about—technology far more than traditional relocation consultants, while performing fewer of the tasks employees are free to manage, easily and directly. 

Career Considerations for Aspiring Relocation Consultants

Corporate relocation is a $14.1 billion industry in the U.S.—and growing. Between the Great Resignation and the fact that more Americans are looking to move, there are ample career opportunities in the relocation management industry.

A successful relocation consultant is a true “people person”—someone who enjoys talking with a variety of people, coaching them and providing assistance as needed. 

According to Ashenhurst, successful relocation consultants are also inherently kind, remain calm under pressure, and excel at organization and time management. 

Because they are continuously presented with new situations and challenges—say, how to move a tropical fish tank 800 miles—they should have strong research and creative problem-solving skills. 

In addition, tech-based relocation consultants, like those at UrbanBound, must be comfortable learning and using evolving technology and coaching others to do so, too. 

Not surprisingly, job satisfaction in this sector tends to be high. Beyond the gratification of helping others, every day brings new people and puzzles to solve. 

Working for a tech-based relocation management company like UrbanBound—which pioneered relocation technology and continues to forge new ground—is particularly exciting.

“Before UrbanBound, the relocation management industry was set in stone for more than 50 years,” says Ashenhurst. 

“There’s really nothing like belonging to a team that’s revolutionizing an industry and creating something totally new.”

Human Resources Today