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Survey Says: Business Opportunities Abound for Relo Departments

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By Peg Guinta, CRP, Projects Director, RIS Consulting Group

Survey respondents mentioned traditional services, such as Property Management and Expat Settling-in /Orientation Assistance, and corporate trends support both as potential growth areas. Fewer homeowners may be eligible for home purchase assistance and those unable to sell may consider vacant or tenant-occupied property management arrangements for limited periods. There is evidence of increased international expansion, too. According to Cartus, a leading relocation management company (RMC), 48 percent of multinational companies say they expect their international assignment activity to increase; an additional 40 percent say it will remain the same (2013 Trends in Global Relocation Survey). Corporate relocation policies are continually evolving and these changes can represent new roles for brokerage relocation departments.

Respondents also indicated a potential need for Senior Mobility Services. Sometimes corporate mobility clients must relocate with elder dependents and require specialized information or assistance regarding alternate housing options or arrangements. For the non-corporate sector, this growing population demographic also includes still-independent seniors wishing to downsize locally. Could your real estate expertise be re-packaged into a specialized service program for local seniors?

Survey responses also noted Short Sale and REO servicing activities. Some agents focus only on these specialized purchase and sale activities but also provide advisory services, educational materials and short sale and REO seminars.

Purely educational offerings did not come up frequently in our survey responses. But many real estate firms provide information on local market data, housing trends, regional profiles and home sale/purchase guidelines on their websites. Online resources also include relocation-related article links and self-help style interactive tools to access regional demographics, economics, school and cost of living comparison data. Although usually complimentary, these resources reinforce brand awareness and enhance market presence. Relocation departments can further broaden awareness by participating in national and regional WERC or other mobility groups to reach corporate relocation professionals, RMCs or corporate affinity groups.

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