Navigating Corporate Group Moves with WHR Global

Relocating your company’s headquarters or a significant number of employees is a complex undertaking that requires careful planning and execution. At WHR Global, we specialize in group move management services, ensuring a seamless transition for both organizations and their valuable talent.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the intricacies of corporate group moves and how partnering with an experienced relocation management company can make all the difference. We focus on making you the hero of your global mobility program, assisting with detailed cost projections to your leadership teams, relocation policy creation, and plenty of resources on the destination location for you and your staff.

Boston, MA, United States Downtown Skyline with Businesses for Relocation Group Moves

What is Group Move Management?

Group Move Management involves coordinating ten or more employee relocations occurring simultaneously between the same departure and destination work locations. Strategic decisions, such as opening a new facility, moving corporate headquarters, consolidating business, or mergers and acquisitions, often necessitate group moves. WHR Global’s comprehensive services extend to both domestic and international group moves. Whether you are relocating within the United States or considering a global expansion, we have the expertise to guide your organization through the entire process. Within this article, we’re going to focus on corporate group moves to Boston, Massachusetts.

Employee-First Approach to Corporate Move Management

Many group move management companies focus solely on larger project management, overlooking the individual families undergoing significant life changes. At WHR Global, our philosophy of “Advancing Lives Forward” ensures a personalized relocation experience for every employee, even amid a group move project. 
Close up businessman using calculator on documents Unrecognizable finance use calculate about cost at office

Relocation Cost Projections & ROI

Depending on your position, your leadership team may look to you for detailed cost projections, including benchmarking from other companies in your industry to ensure you’re competitive. WHR regularly assists with relocation cost projections, including the creation of new relocation policies with various hypothetical scenarios. We understand that not all personnel may make the move, so it’s important to plan for the unknown. Make sure to offer comprehensive relocation packages to your critical first wave of employees or faculty, with a scaled-down package for mid or lower-level employees who may leave your organization if they’re forced to relocate. Employees are your biggest asset, but it’s essential to factor in attrition rates for employees who will refuse to make the move.

In addition to our downloadable benchmark reports, WHR works with many industry-leading organizations for cost estimates and cost of living data. The cost estimator tool we leverage supports 2,500 cities and 300 tax jurisdictions in 190 countries. There are 65 prepopulated relocation benefits in the system to choose from, such as estimates for household goods shipments, temporary housing, allowances, language lessons, cultural training, transportation, and more. Plus, there are unlimited calculation reruns with a 28-day window.

The cost estimator tool covers North America transfers (U.S. & Canada) at a discounted rate, and variety of global transfers and assignments:

        • Home-Based Long-Term Assignments with Tax Equalization
        • Host-Plus Arrangements
        • 短期的な課題
        • Commuter Assignments
        • International One-Way Transfers
        • Domestic Transfers
        • North America One-Way Transfers (U.S. & Canada)

Once we successfully run cost estimates, these are imported into WHR’s proprietary system (CARICS) so we can track budget-to-actual spend in real time, in virtually any currency. By running cost estimates and tracking budget-to-actual spend, your organization can begin to calculate a true return on investment (ROI) for your group move.

Benefits of Partnering with WHR Global

Group moves are complex and can disrupt business operations. Partnering with a relocation management company provides the expertise and resources needed for a successful move, while minimizing business disruption and ensuring strong productivity. WHR leverages our global network of supplier partners to ensure your employees are receiving the best support and information, no matter the service or location. Our network of supplier partners fulfills the relocation process from A to Z, including: home purchase, mortgage assistance, furnished temporary housing, rental assistance, lease negotiation, destination services, area orientation tours, settling-in services, and more.

Destination Information (Boston, MA)

Here are key insights on the Boston market from one of WHR’s Partner in Quality award winners, Brandon Tabassi, President at RE/MAX Partners Relocation — Mass./New England:

The Boston area is not just a U.S. hub of industry, it is an international hub, and it is THE HUB for the biotech, life sciences, pharmaceutical industries. It is also a major center for the tech, financial services, and engineering industries. Boston is the Capitol of Massachusetts, the U.S. State which consistently tops the ranks of education and health care; some of the most innovative minds in the world live and work in the Boston area, home of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is at the center of where innovation drives growth, and where rich history becomes the basis for a fruitful future. It is where knowledge is not just shared, it is created.

Given the high specialization of jobs and high salaries, there is enormous buying power for the residents of the Boston area who work in these industries. The Boston real estate market is dynamic and competitive, offering a broad range of residential sales and rental properties, from single-family homes to luxury apartments. Neighborhood characteristics, commute to the city, school rankings, and ongoing development contribute to significant variations in property values. The market frequently faces low inventory and high demand, creating a perpetually appreciating market. In sought-after neighborhoods, competitiveness is evident through consistent bidding situations and quick property sales, especially for well-priced properties.

Boston is one of the most consistently appreciating and historically stable housing markets on the East Coast and in the United States. The high demand for rental properties in Boston, fueled by a strong job market and a sizable student population, drives up this demand, particularly in popular neighborhoods. Ongoing urban development projects and proximity to public transportation, like the MBTA, further shape the city’s rental market dynamics and contribute to its evolving landscape. Furthermore, Boston is considered one of the strongest markets in the US to invest in a rental property.

At RE/MAX Partners Relocation, we are a real estate company that specializes exclusively in corporate relocation. We consistently rank top in service level among all relocation providers in New England and regularly receive national Top Producer awards. Our real estate and corporate mobility expertise allows us to offer differentiated, comprehensive and tailored services, ensuring successful moves for individuals and group relocations. With personalized home search strategies and a focus on individual transferees, we provide boutique-level service combined with brand-name recognition, ensuring a customized and exceptional experience for each and every move to the Boston area. In a market like the Boston area, nothing gives the strategic leg up to the relocating employee and corporate client, than the best in class home finding and home sale, real estate services.

Brandon Tabassi, CRP

President, RE/MAX Partners Relocation - Mass./New England

Tobin bridge, Zakim bridge and Boston skyline panorama at sunset.

4 Steps in the Group Move Process

Step 1: Pre-Announcement Planning

A solid relocation policy forms the foundation of successful corporate group moves. Understand your organization’s relocation budget, benefits for relocating employees, and plans for those who choose not to relocate. Confidence in your plan and relocation packages contributes to employee satisfaction.

Step 2: Announcement Day Communication

Effective communication is key. Plan a targeted announcement to affected employees as soon as a clear relocation strategy is in place. WHR Global provides guidance on communication points to ensure your talent has the necessary information. Here are sample topics your employees may ask you about. It’s critical you and your leadership team have sufficient responses and plans prepared, otherwise your employees may feel the decision has been made in haste.
      • Timelines, such as: the date they need to report in the new location; how long it will take to sell their current home; purchase a new home in the destination; provide lease cancellation to their current landlord; how the timeline will impact their children’s schooling and enrollment periods.
      • What relocation support they will receive, and how the cost of living compares between their current location and the destination.
      • Some employees will request to work remote full-time; As a leadership team, are you willing to part ways with that employee if they’re unwilling to relocate?
      • Are there any tax implications related to the relocation I should be aware of?
      • How will the relocation impact my current employment contact or agreement?
      • Can you provide information about the new city (Boston), such as neighborhoods, schools, and local amenities?
      • Can I choose my own moving company and/or real estate agent?

Step 3: Post-Announcement Execution

Executing the actual move is the most challenging part. With our extensive experience, WHR Global ensures a smooth relocation process. Our counselors facilitate critical, continuous communication before and during relocations. Within 24 hours of authorization, your employee’s dedicated WHR Global relocation counselor will contact the employee to conduct an initial consultation. We’ll analyze their needs and review the policy information with them to ensure they understand the benefits associated with their relocation, and we understand their specific family requirements. Regardless of the benefits you’ve authorized for your employees — BVO, GBO, direct reimbursement, mortgage assistance, lease break and rental assistance, a household goods shipment, temporary housing, destination services, and more — our goal for every relocation is for you to have happy, stress-free employees who are ready to get to work in the new location.

Step 4: Evaluation

After successful relocations, WHR Global provides information for evaluation and recommends improvements for future group moves. By leveraging interactive data analytics dashboards like WHRインサイト, WHR reviews what went right and what could be improved. This includes items such as:
      • Employee surveys measuring their satisfaction with WHR’s service, technology, supplier partners, and the relocation benefits your organization offered;
      • Cost summaries, including multi-currency budget-to-actual spend, budget cost accrual reports, average cost per completed relocation;
      • Policy exception requests, including approved and denied exceptions; and more!

Why Group Moves Fail

Common reasons for group move failures include inadequate preparation, lack of clear objectives, and poor planning. Many organizations will attempt cost projections without first reaching out to a relocation management company (RMC). Or, those with less experience may not realize that most relocation benefits are taxable, which means providing tax gross up assistance to their employees — oftentimes 40% of the cost of the relocation — will drastically eat into their overall budget. Involving mobility managers early and tying the move to sound business objectives enhances success.

It’s also important to remember that you’re not just moving an employee, you could be moving their spouse, children, pets, and older dependents as well. Spouses may be quitting their jobs and uprooting their personal lives for the employee’s career. Children may be frustrating leaving friends behind, or they may have disabilities, which should be taken into account in their new school districts. If these needs aren’t addressed early and often, it could spell disaster for the employee’s relocation.

How Relocation Management Companies Help

RMCs assist in defining move objectives, advising on communication plans, designing effective policies, and managing logistics. WHR Global’s global footprint ensures the capability to handle group moves of all sizes and complexities.

RMCs also establish procedures to assess employee relocations, determine relocation policies, and project acceptance rates. Ensure your organization is incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) concepts and maintain consistent communication with stakeholders.

What to Look for in a Provider

Select a provider with extensive experience, user-friendly technology tools, relocation policy design expertise, and a clear reporting process.

At WHR Global, our team is dedicated to providing excellent service and peace of mind to your relocating employees. From policy development to planning and execution, we help your company achieve its corporate objectives during a group move.

Contact us to ensure a successful relocation for your organization’s headquarters or workforce to Boston or any destination worldwide.

Contact Us About Your Group Move!