Relocation services: 4 questions answered

relocation company

Finding a safe apartment in Johannesburg, learning the Thai language basics before leaving for Bangkok, finding a school for your kids in Brasilia... When preparing for settling abroad, handling multiple tasks and getting ready for various changes can be a rather stressful experience. Using relocation services can make an expat’s first steps abroad a great deal easier. A relocation company may not only be in charge of seeking appropriate accommodation in the host country but also of coordinating the entire global mobility process. Take a look at our relocation Q&A!


Who are relocation services designed for?

Though relocation services are mostly commonly used by businesses when sending staff abroad, many agencies also offer services which meet the needs of individuals. Thus, a relocation agent may be useful both for a family getting ready for the expat adventure (or even for repatriation) and an HR department organizing an employee’s international assignment.

Although some large companies do actually have a relocation management department, many businesses are not staffed with global mobility experts. This means dealing with employee relocation can be quite challenging.

What services do relocation agencies provide?

Relocation companies do not all necessarily operate in the same countries and offer the same range of services. In addition to the house finding service in the host country, relocation services may include:

  • utility connection (water, electricity, gas, internet…) and termination,
  • finding moving professionals and coordinating the international move,
  • furniture purchase or rental,
  • completion of administrative procedures (applying for expat insurance, applying for a work permit, opening a bank account abroad…),
  • local integration support through intercultural and language training, school search, spousal job-search assistance…

Why use a relocation service?

What if providing effective relocation support was the key to reducing the cost of expatriation? Using relocation management services when sending staff abroad facilitates the employees’ integration into the host country. As he does not need to spend time house-hunting and dealing with paperwork hassles, the assignee will leave with peace of mind and be more productive once abroad. In the end, both the employee and the employer will be saving time. Though relocation services are not costless, the consequences of poor relocation management tend to be far more expensive for the company.

What are the keys to picking the right relocation company?

To select the most suitable agency, making sure the relocation provider has adequate experience in the country of destination as well as a large number of international partners is essential. Indeed, in order to be able to respond to all their clients’ requests, relocation agents often work with multiple local partners. The agent’s ability to adapt, the number of services offered and the company’s possible membership to professional associations or organizations are also quality indicators.

To find out more about relocation services:

Take a look at the EuRA (European Relocation Association) website.

Date of publication March 22, 2015

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