Relocating employees can be a daunting task for both the employer and the employee requiring a lot of planning, preparation, and coordination. One of the most emotional challenges is often finding a place for the employee to live. From saturated housing markets to changes in regulations between regions and different expectations of “suitable” housing, there’s a lot to factor in when looking for housing. Which is why working with a housing service can be a great way to relieve stress from the process.
What does a housing service do?
A housing service can provide expert assistance with finding and securing accommodation as well as help your employees set expectations, navigate the local housing market, save time and money, and avoid scams.
The differences between what is normal in one housing market and what is normal in another can be extreme. For instance, in many parts of Germany, it is common for rental units to include unfurnished kitchens - without appliances, cabinets or counters - or flooring, while in New York City many apartments include shared toilets down the hall, and in many parts of Ireland rentals come fully furnished. Housing services will help set realistic expectations about what to expect from housing in the area and set expectations around pricing.
Navigate local markets
Different countries have different laws and regulations regarding renting and leasing, and it can be hard for a newcomer to navigate these on their own. A housing service can provide guidance on the local market, ensuring your employee finds accommodation that is within their budget, and meets their specific needs. The housing service can also help the employee understand the local rental laws and regulations, such as the rental deposit, rental contract, and other legal requirements that need to be met. The housing service can also provide support with administrative tasks such as setting up utilities, opening bank accounts, and registering with local authorities, making the process of settling in much easier.
Provide information on neighborhoods
It can be difficult to get a feel for the different areas and neighborhoods of an area without spending a lot of time there - a luxury many relocating employees don’t have time for. Housing services can explain the nuances of each neighborhood as well as provide guidance on amenities, schools, and transportation in the area.
While not something anyone likes to think about, housing scams are real, especially for those looking remotely. A reputable housing service will conduct thorough background checks on landlords and properties before recommending them to the employee. This reduces the risk of the employee falling victim to scams or renting unsafe properties. Additionally, the housing service can help the employee understand the safety and security situation in the new location, such as crime rates, security measures in place, and other safety-related information.
While housing services are excellent partners to have when relocating, there are two main things they cannot do: find something that doesn’t exist and guarantee your employee will find exactly what they want in a short period of time. Which is why it’s important to set expectations early and offer both temporary and permanent housing support. Setting expectations will help ensure your employee goes into the housing process with the right mindset around what is possible - in terms of pricing, timing and amenities. While offering temporary and permanent housing options allows more flexibility in more saturated markets.
Localyze as your housing partner
In addition to our visa and immigration assistance offerings, Localyze has a robust partnership network to ensure your employees feel confident at every step of the way. When you add settling-in services, such as housing support, to your relocation package, Localyze and our partners will work diligently to find your employee the best options for their needs - whether that’s an urban or rural setting.
The Bottom Line
When relocating employees, the goal is to ensure a smooth transition; however, the process of finding suitable accommodation can be time-consuming, stressful, and challenging. It’s possible to alleviate some of these difficulties by offering a housing service to your employees that can help them set expectations, navigate the local market, and avoid scams. As an added bonus, when employees feel supported and well taken care of during the relocation process, they are more likely to stay with the company in the long term.
When you need to relocate employees, whether for extended stays or permanently, Localyze is here to help. We’ll walk you and your employee through every step of the relocation process - from the visa application through settling in with their new housing. Schedule a call to learn more.