“Renters Becoming Increasingly Larger Mix of Relocation” by Laura A. Pruchnicki, Executive Member-PorchLight LLC
In recent years, the need for rental assistance in the relocation industry has been gaining on the homebuyer market. Mobility Magazine’s October 2003 issue reports that 66% of new hires and 30% of current employees are renters, which is a 7% increase over 2001. Real estate companies are the first logical resource in locating a rental property. The majority of home realtor have comprehensive home sale listings as well as accompanying rental listings. A general consensus among realtors is that there isn’t a short-term benefit from listing rentals; after the collection and splitting of broker’s and referral fees, the agent’s commission is not worth the time or effort compared to the financial rewards of a home sale. Realtors have done their best to represent the rental market, but their experience and main focus will always fall back to homebuyers over renters.
Various apartment locator services have also been called upon. Their enticement is offering their apartment finding services for free. Compensation comes in the form of commission-based referral fees and agreements with property management or furniture companies. Again, many apartment locator services have been helpful, but are not able to offer unbiased options, rental homes or consistent national service.
Another alternative is to find a relocation company that specializes in “renter” relocations. Many are focused on what they know best, the homeowner. Some have attempted to fill this void by designing in-house renter solutions. These solutions vary depending upon the organization and the priority their clients put on renters.
How do you choose the right renter solution?
1. Determine what is important to you and your organization.
2. Examine your current process and policies.
3. Review and research current and alternative rental solutions.
Here are some questions to ask as you choose your rental solution.
- What is the goal in providing renters a service? Acclimation to the new market? A guided relocation? Assistance with all aspects of the move? Help negotiating leases? Tiered service levels to meet renter’s needs or policy?
- What is the current policy for renters?
- When a renter receives housing options, is it acceptable that they may be biased and therefore limited?
- Is a single point of contact important?
- Is it important that each transferee receive the same level and service deliverables no matter the destination?
- Are metrics required? If so, what should they be? Renter satisfaction? Time it takes to find permanent housing? Cost to relocate? Cost savings?
- Does the supplier have a specific plan or process for renters? How do they accomplish it?
- Does the supplier have a service commitment or guarantee?
- How is the supplier paid ~ a fee or through commissions? Is this important in decision-making?
- What feedback is currently received from renters, what are they asking for?
- What are the top three things desired in a rental service provider?
Answering the above questions will assist you in determining what rental provider will best meet your needs. Keep in mind that a failed relocation is the most expensive relocation, so choose wisely.
Published in Relocation Today (now called Monthly News), Monthly International Relocation Newsletter vol. 5, no. 10 October 2003 Beverly D. Roman, Publisher
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