“This was my first major move and I was not as prepared as I should have been, but your guys were so helpful and understanding. They were so efficient and amazing. They worked quickly, and truthfully, it was a pleasure having them. From the moment they walked in, I felt comfortable and knew I was in good hands. You run an unbelievable business.”
“Your team is amazing in their communication, attention to detail, and providing excellent customer service to Sabre's employees and their families for their packing, shipping, and storage needs. Moving to and from an assignment can be terribly stressful for all parties involved, but you and your team really go above and beyond the normal expectations to relieve that stress from the employees and their families.”
I’ve been in corporate relocation for 20 years, and yet, I’ve never relocated. I’ve moved – across a few towns, and I’ve consulted customers over the phone for their domestic and international relocations and assignments, but I’ve never relocated myself.
I often visit the homes of people who are relocating, checking to see how things are going. I was onsite this week for 2 moves that were taking place with customers who have each moved many times in their past – so they know the ropes. I sat down and asked them some questions about their experiences, feedback and advice – both for the supplier partners assigned to their moves, as well as advice for people embarking on their first relocation.
These questions surrounded the entire relocation experience – not just the moving piece. Whether you work for Arpin, or if you are one of our agents, clients, customers, or just happened across this blog – I think you’ll find it interesting, what they shared:
BR: What is your very first reaction when you realize you are going to need to relocate for your career, or are tapped on the shoulder and offered relocation?
Customer #1: I’ve done this many times, and I like to know the end game so I can create a timeline – both for myself, and to relay to everyone involved that will be assisting us. Then I work backwards from that deadline.
Customer #2: Many things immediately come to mind: Is it a desired city? Does it meet my personal goals? In my 20s, the atmosphere of a city being young and fun was important. In my 30s, that was important, but so was the importance of being able to meet people, as well as the advancement of my career was in focus. In my 40s, it’s about family and their needs: Will my spouse and child thrive there? Are there good hospitals and access to great doctors there? What are the schools and lifestyle there, and would I want to raise my child in that atmosphere. Equally as important – is my employer as loyal to me, as I am to them – especially now that a family is being affected by this decision? That’s important.
BR: What advice would you give – to either the many vendor partners who are hired by your company to assist you with your move?
Customer #1: Keep in mind how many of you we are in contact with – even when there is one person managing the process, we meet and talk to many people – realtors, moving crew, mortgage and title people. So keeping redundancies of core questions about our situation, disclosure we’re to sign, etc and paperwork to a minimum would be helpful. Anytime we are provided a checklist and instructions in print that is appreciated.
Customer #2: Understand that – like you – we get many emails per day – and now we’re getting many more just related to the move – many of which are not just status updates and requests for action, but they are guides and checklists, and we don’t always have time to read them all the way through, so it would be helpful if very key helpful tools were spotlighted as such and told in person “this will really help you – make sure to read this”. Additionally, in any situation where you can send someone out to walk through things helps us prepare (i.e. for the movers – to come a day before and talk about the process of the day, what they should have ready, what is normal relative to lunch for the crew or tipping).
BR: What advice would you give to another employee who is about to embark on their first relocation?
BR: What is a final general statement you’d like to make to anyone reading this blog?:
Customer #1: It’s a lot of work, but know that it’s not that scary. Just take the leap, acclimate not only to the idea, but when you get to the new location. It’s an adventure and it’s about your attitude.
Customer #2: Know that relocation is a risk, but it also brings new opportunities: Professional opportunities as well as opportunities for your family. Weigh all the options out but don’t be afraid to push forward.
What’s important about these sentiments, in every area of their answers, and in each move situation, is to know that there is a lot of psychological forethought that goes into our customer’s move, prior to them having any contact with any relocation management companies, realtors, movers, you name it. Being empathic in our jobs is key. Relocation is listed as one of the top stressors in a person’s life, but if we work together and look at it smartly, we can make the employee have as smooth an “adventure” as possible!
Submitted by Bridget Ritchie, Executive Director of Business Development, Arpin Group, Inc.
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