Category Archives: Relocating For Work

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An Employee’s Guide to Corporate Relocation

So you’ve been offered your dream job. Congratulations! However, this dream job has one big caveat-it’s located far away from where you currently live. Deciding to make the move may seem like a hard decision, but actually making the move could be even more difficult.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of a difficult move. Instead, use these tips to take advantage of your job opportunity-no matter where it takes you.

1. Find out if your employer offers a relocation package

Before the economic downturn, many firms offered generous relocation packages to their employees to acquire the best talent. Now, fewer companies offer financial compensation for their employees to move. But it never hurts to ask.

And if you take time to negotiate, your company may compensate you for at least a few of your expenses.

Relocation packages could cover:

  • Trips to find a new home in the new location
  • Professional moving services
  • Moving costs for specialty items
  • Travel costs for you and family members
  • Rent of temporary housing for a short period of time
  • Loss-on-sale protection (if you lose money selling your current home)
  • Closing costs
  • Relocation bonus

You should also ask your new employer if you should take advantage of preferred providers. The company may work closely with certain real estate agents or moving companies, and they may only reimburse you for moving costs if you use those providers.

business handshake2. Ask how you will be compensated for relocating

Companies have different types of relocation packages: lump sum, reimbursement, direct bill to employer, and third-party relocation packages. Find out which method your company uses before you start spending money on moving.

Lump sum: Your company will give you a one-time payment that you and your employer previously agreed upon. There are no restrictions on how you spend the money, but you won’t get any more.

Reimbursement: Your company determines an amount that they will reimburse you for moving-related expenses. You typically need to show receipts to receive the reimbursement.

Direct bill to employer: Your company pays all or some of your moving bills directly through the moving company. Generous employers will combine this payment type with lump sum payments or reimbursements.

Third-party relocation: Your company uses a relocation company to coordinate and manage your move in its entirety. You may be required to pay the relocation company yourself, or the company may contribute with one of the payment plans above.

3. Figure out how much money you’ll spend out of pocket

Your company will likely not cover every single cost of your move. You’ll probably have to pay for the travel expenses of you and your family, your food, any stays in hotels, and home selling costs.

Here are some costs you should think about (note that some are also listed in possible relocation package bonuses):

House hunting trips: You should research your new location thoroughly. Many people who relocate take at least one trip to the new city to search for a new home. Do your research before you arrive. You should look at school systems, crime rates, cost of living, home values, and any other information you think is valuable. Then when you get there, schedule walk-throughs of several potential homes so you can decide which one suits you.

Remember, the expense of traveling to search for a new home may fall on your shoulders, so be economical with your time. If you fly, take rental car expenses into account.

skd273191sdcLease cancellation or closing costs: If you’re currently renting, you will typically have to pay a cancellation fee to get out of your lease. The cost could range anywhere from one month to three months’ rent.

If you sell your home, you may have to spend as much as 10% of the price of your home to get it sold. Take into account real estate agent costs, listing costs, and closing costs. You may also have to accept the possibility of selling your home at a loss.

Miscellaneous expenses: Remember to account for the little things. You may have to store your belongings in temporary storage while you wait to move into your home. You have to prepare your home for the move. You have to get the new home ready to move into. You’ll have to pay security deposits for utilities in your new home.

4. Find temporary or rental housing

If you’re selling your home, avoid paying two mortgages at once. Unless your current home sells right away, live in a rental unit for a portion of your time in your new location. Often, people who relocate for work live in temporary housing for 1 to 3 months. 3 months is more typical if you owned your previous home.

Living in temporary housing gives you a chance to live in your new environment before you make a final purchase of a home. You don’t risk as much of a monetary investment. If you hate your rental housing, it’s not a big problem, because you can easily move.

5. Make the move

Now that you know where you’re going and who’s paying for your move, you’re ready to move you and your family to your new location. Visit our Corporate Relocation Services page for more information.

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Benefits for Corporate Clients When Using Bekins

For more than 120 years in the household goods moving industry, Bekins Van Lines, Inc., has specialized in corporate relocation for transferees and their families.

Making a smooth transition for your employees is a priority. With its network of 370 agents and 5000 drivers, Bekins can ensure that your employees will be well taken care of.

As a Human Resources Director and Corporate Relocation Manager, you are looking for quality and profitability. Bekins offers this through our unique business model as well as the services that put us above the competitors.

  •  First-Class service for your employees – When a National Account client has an employee that requires relocation services, clients can be assured that their moving experience will be handled by qualified and trained professionals. The transferee will be serviced by one of the finest and most trusted firms in the moving industry.
  • Priority Service – National Account relocations receive priority over individually booked moves. National Account Transportation Agreements are not affected by seasonal deviations, such as rate adjustments.
  • Fixed Rates – Moving rates and discounts are fixed during the term of the agreement. During our busiest season of May through the end of September, peak charges are waived. This will provide savings to National Account clients that can equate to hundreds of dollars.
  • Free Replacement Value Protection “Valuation” – Under a Bekins National Account, your employees will receive full value protection valuation up to $100,000 at no charge. Another significant amount of savings, $300 – $800 depending on the characteristics of the move.
  • Custom Tailored Moves – We are focused on listening to the requests and needs of the transferee and fulfilling them with an honest, accurate and detailed moving plan. From partial packing to full pack, to delivery of cars separate from the household goods, to moving of pets, we will create the estimate tailored to your employee’s requirements.
  • Communication – Sharing of information is critical to providing a positive moving experience. Our move coordinators will be in touch with you and the transferee on a regular basis.
  • Higher Level of Work Production – Bekins will step up and handle all of the components of the move. Our move management staff is focused on alleviating stress and taking the time to coordinate all aspects of the move so your employee won’t have to worry about the moving process. We’ll set up appointments, communicate with the transferee from the time of estimate all the way to when the truck leaves destination.
  • Reduced Work for You – You will save time and focus on your day-to-day activities. Simply send us the name of the transferee and we will promptly start the relocation process.
  • Direct Billing – We will invoice the company directly with a comprehensive breakdown of all costs.
  • Accurate Invoices – We will perform a complete audit of the relocation charges. When you receive a Bekins invoice, you will know that it is accurate.
  • Unique Web site – Start the relocation off right. We will create a Web site that can be used for your transferees to insert their moving information and send it to the correct moving consultant.

To find out more information about a National Account Transportation Agreement with Bekins, contact Doug DeLor at 1-317-558-0733 or doug_delor@wvlcorp.com.

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Landing a Job in Your New City

Moving is a daunting task, but moving without a job can be completely overwhelming. Whether you are trying to find a job before you move or once you are settled in your new home, here are a few tips on how to land a job in your new area.

Research

Research the city that you are relocating to and learn about the industries that are located in that particular area. Pinpoint three-to-five companies that might interest you and think about what you, with your skill set, can bring to that organization.

You might want to research the geography of the city in relation to where these companies are located. Consider your commute to and from work as it might affect your decision on what neighborhood fits best.

Learn as much as you can about the culture of the city because these can be some great talking points in interviews.

Plan

When moving, planning is essential to alleviate stress. The same goes for finding a job, too.

Start by vamping up your resume and cover letter. A cover letter not only allows you to sell yourself, but can be a useful tool to explain your move and work availability. When possible consider using a local address on your resume since many larger human resources departments may filter out-of-town candidates from the pool. This will help you get past initial screenings.

Always be honest about your intentions to move. In your cover letter and in-person, make sure you are confident in your story as to why you are moving and when. It is essential to show hiring managers that you are not only committed to the move, but to the company and, most importantly, can remain composed under stressful circumstances.

Set a time frame and have a plan for your move when the time comes. There are many questions as to how much it will cost to move, who will relocate you, and how to pack your household goods. This will be much easier if thought out before moving day arrives. Here are some helpful tips when considering your relocation. http://www.bekins.com/household-moves/

Network

In recent study, 80 percent of jobs were found through networking as it can set you apart from a vast candidate pool. Be sure to connect with people in the area to let them know your intentions on moving. In addition, let family and friends know about you’re moving because they might have a link to someone in the area as well.

Consider reaching out to local recruiters or employment agencies. Their job is to find the best possible candidate for an open position at a company. Do a local search and explain your intentions with the move.

Try visiting the area before you move to meet up with these connections. If possible, plan your trip around local job fairs or networking events that can help build your network.

If you cannot visit before the move, the Internet will become your best friend. There are many career resources and job sites, such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and CareerBuilder, which will help you find job openings. You also can search local newspaper and government Web sites. Change your location on your social media profiles, including Facebook and Twitter, to begin networking with companies and people in your new area. Join local industry groups on LinkedIn as they may post job openings and give advice for job seekers like you.

Persistence

Finding a job takes persistence. You might not get call backs or interviews right away, which can be very frustrating, but don’t give up! The perfect job for you will come along; you just need to put in some work finding it!

 

Have you landed a job in a new city? What advice would you give to someone who is planning on doing so?

 

Post Trade Show Thoughts: SHRM 2013

SHRM 2013

Having recently returned from the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Annual Conference in Chicago, our Sales team was abuzz with new and exciting ideas.  This annual conference, the largest of its kind in the world, brings together HR professionals as well as Insurance, Professional Development, Talent Management and Corporate Relocation professionals… just to name a few.SHRM Toy Trucks

Wheaton’s Sales Administrator, Heather Stafford, recapped her experience in the Windy City and filled us in on some of her favorite and most memorable happenings of the week.

What’s new

I’ve been going to SHRM’s Annual Conference for four years, so I wouldn’t call myself a novice, but I find that I continue to learn new things every year that I attend.  The biggest change I noticed this year was the presence of social media.  The amount of time spent on social media seems to increase every year and I find that fascinating.  I was amazed not only by the use of Twitter during the conference, but also at the amount of promotion that happened even before we walked through the doors of McCormick Place. The blogs (such as the one we wrote!), infographics and Tweets that I read for weeks leading up to the conference renewed my excitement to attend.

What’s not new

Long days.  You can always expect to be tired after a day at the SHRM conference, but the days are fun and full of conversations and networking.  I particularly enjoyed Sunday evening as the opening reception always draws a large crowd.Bekins booth at SHRM

Impressive keynote speakers are also a SHRM staple.  This year topped the list with names like Gabby Giffords, Hillary Clinton and Blake Mycoskie.  SHRM brings the best of the best to their conference every year and you can always expect to learn a lot.

Favorite part?

That’s a tough one. Of course, I love representing Bekins and talking about our top notch corporate relocation program.  It was also great to see new faces and reconnect with old friends. We raffled a Kindle Fire and Deana Moylan from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was our big winner. I would have to say, though, that my favorite part of the conference was the Kelly Clarkson concert.  There was so much positive energy in the room, Kelly put on an amazing show and everyone had a great time.SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition Logo

Final Thoughts

I always enjoy attending SHRM’s Annual Conference. I know that I’m going to have the opportunity to showcase our corporate relocation program and walk away with a solid list of potential clients.  The conference is always well-run, effectively scheduled and organized.  With an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, attendees and entertainment, it’s a conference that can’t be missed.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for SHRM14 in Orlando!

Heather Stafford is the Sales Administrator  for Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines.  You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about her experiences at SHRM and the Bekins corporate relocation program.

Everything You Need To Know About Bekins & #SHRM13

On June 16th, Bekins Van Lines will be heading to the Windy City for a 4-day conference presented by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

What is it?

The SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition is the world’s largest HR marketplace featuring information about all sorts of human resource topics such as employee compensation, health and wellness programs, and training… just to name a few.

You might be wondering why a moving company like Bekins would find it necessary or even beneficial to attend this conference.  The answer is two words: Corporate Relocation.

The van line performs hundreds of corporate moves every year, so it makes perfect sense to have a strong presence at a conference that so many key players attend.

Bekins’ Corporate Relocation Services

Bekins Van Lines will be present at the conference, informing attendees about the benefits of utilizing our moving services for corporate relocations.  These benefits, such as precise pick-up and delivery dates, valuation protection and competitive pricing have made us a preferred selection for many of the nation’s top businesses, universities and health care systems.

Work Hard, Play Hard

In addition to providing valuable information on our moving services, Bekins also wants to have a little fun.  With an abundance of raffles and giveaways, it should be on every attendee’s priority list to stop by the Bekins booth (#1928) for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, along with many other prizes.

Bekins Van Lines is very excited to head to Chicago to learn and interact with the best the human resource industry has to offer.  Is anyone else headed to #SHRM13? If so, let us know.  Leave us a comment or Tweet us using the provided hashtag.

SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition Logo

Can Moving Expenses Be A Tax Deduction?

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, many situations in which you have incurred moving expenses can count as a tax deduction from your federal income taxes. However, in order to file these moving expenses as tax deductible, you must meet several of the requirements. Here are the parameters for meeting the requirement for a reduction off your federal taxes.

To qualify for a deduction for “reasonable” moving expenses if you moved due to a change in your job or business location, or because you started a new job or business, you must first satisfy two tests: (1) Under the distance test, your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job location was from your old home. If you had no previous workplace, your new job must be at least 50 miles from your old home. Or (2) in order to meet the requirements of the timing test, you must be an employee working full-time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months right after you arrive in the general area of your new job.

In addition, if you are a member of the armed forces and your move was due to a permanent change of station, you do not have to satisfy the distance or timing tests previously mentioned. “Reasonable expenses” according to the IRS, include the cost of packing and transporting your goods and effects, the cost of storage and insurance on these items and the cost of connecting and disconnecting utilities while moving household goods and personal effects. Meals are not deductible as an expense. Also pre-move house-hunting expenses and entering into or breaking a lease are not deductible. The standard mileage rate for moving expenses for 2010 is 16.5 cents a mile, plus parking fees and tolls.

Moving to a New Home? Need Decorating Ideas?

You’re moving to a new home.  Do you need some decorating ideas to help make your new place look like home?  Here are some interior design tips from Interior Design News that might be helpful when you move and start getting settled  http://www.interiordesign-news.com/home-decor-ideas.html.  They recommend that when you decorate, you should consider your space, keep in mind your color and balance and don’t overspend!

Keep these in mind so that you’ll be able to settle in quickly and enjoy your new home!

Bekins “No Excuse Price” is the Best Option When Moving

A Bekins customer recently wrote the Cedar Rapids Better Business Bureau to praise Bekins agent Stannard Relocations about the exceptional service they received on the move from Belle Plaine, IA to Colorado and to commend Bekins for their “No Excuse Price” guaranteed price option. 

 This important pricing choice worked in his favor.  Reverend Campbell stated, “…I cannot underline enough the quality of effort, the professional spirit and the thoughtfulness of those who carried out the move.  Stannard Relocations met our expectations and our expectations were high.”

He continued…”This was our last moved in a professional career that required many moves.  Eight different moving companies we approach to provide an estimate.  Stannard  Relocations was not the low bid.  There were extenuating circumstances of unloading at our mountain home that would have run substantial additional costs had we chosen any other mover.  Beyond this was the reality that the weight of our move proved in the end to be much higher than any of the estimates given.  Bekins “No Excuse Price” is worth every penny for its slight additional fee.  When it was all over, it was Stannard Relocations that provided by far, the best deal we could have arranged.’

“For all the demands and expectations we put on Stannard, we are more than satisfied with the results and would highly recommend their services to anyone.  Again I underline the value of Bekins ‘No Excuse Price.”‘ — Reverend James A. Campbell

Be sure to ask your Bekins agent about this program and to get a free quote.

 

Moving? Do You Know What You’ve Signed Up For?

Moving. It’s a process that can make everyone stressed out because there is so  much to think about.  Bekins wants to make sure that you know what you’re signing up for when you choose a mover and to help you avoid the stress.

1.  Know your pricing options.

  • Is it a guaranteed price?
    • Bekins offers a “No Excuse Price” option.  The estimate is based on the items you’re moving, the services you need and the valuation option you select.  For a small fee, price is guaranteed and will not change unless you change the items being moved.
  • Is it an actual weight shipment?
    • The price is based on the exact weight & miles of your shipment.  Truck is weighed prior to loading and again after loading and you only pay for the actual weight of your shipment and services provided.
  • Is it an either/or pricing option (Not to Exceed)?
    • You receive an estimate based on the items you move, the services you select and the miles you plan to move.  You are given an estimate and the price will either be that price or a lower price.  Again the truck is weighed prior to and after loading to determine which price to apply.  Remember if you need extra service (shuttle, long carries, stairs) these costs will be added.

2.  Know what extra services are needed and the cost.

  • Shuttle Needed? Will a semi-truck be able access your street?
  • Flights of Stairs.
  • Crating of TV’s, glass tables, artwork.
  • Appliance service.
  • Know the cost of these additional services
    • Packing & Unpacking Services are an additional cost.
      • Professional packers know how to wrap items and pack a box.
      • If you do your own packing be sure to use materials and boxes that will protect your items.

3.  Be sure to discuss valuation coverage options.  Understand the level of protection you will receive:

  • Standard valuation protection – $.60/lb. provided free of charge.
  • Full valuation coverage – You can purchase $6.00/lb. coverage.  Fees can be based on a $0 deductible, a $250 deductible or a $500 deductible.

4.  Be sure to agree on a pick-up & delivery spread. 

  • To qualify for “guaranteed” pick-up and delivery dates, you must have a shipment weighing a minimum of 5,000lbs. unless otherwise stated.
  • If your shipment is delayed, you may qualify for compensation for lodging and food up to $125 per day.

5.  Upon delivery, be sure you sign the inventory, Customer Service form and “Bingo Sheet” to check off that you’ve received everything put on the truck.

  • Note any damage  on the inventory sheet.
  • Note any missing boxes or items upon delivery.

6.  Read what you are signing!

  • Make sure you know what your moving contract says!  The  Order For Service and Bill Of Lading are to be signed by the customer.
  • Don’t expect to be compensated for claims above $.60/lb. times the weight of any lost or damaged item unless you’ve selected full valuation protection.
  • Read your “Rights and Responsibilities” booklet.

Moving your entire household is a difficult process, but be an informed customer.  Read the Bekins “Rights and Responsibilities” booklet provided by your Bekins representative.  The more you understand, the less stressful the move.  Ask questions, be an educated consumer, and have a great move!

Five Signs that You are Ready to Buy a Home

Found this interested article from our friends at Realtor.com® about tell-tale signs that your are ready to buy a home.  Of course, when you need to move, be sure to contact your local Bekins representative for a free estimate.
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We’ve been doing a lot of talking this week about renting versus buying. How do you know when it is time to make the leap? Realtor® Sophia Delacotte of San Jose, California gives her five statements to test see if you are ready for home ownership:

1. You Have Enough For A Down Payment

You have been saving every month for the past few years and have kept your spending within reason, i.e. you have not felt the need to tap into your ‘home reserve to finance your new TV or your new car. Inevitably, as rivers merge into oceans, you have accumulated a small gold mine, at least to be taken seriously by a lender. The size of the house you can afford will obviously depend on your ability to come up with the required down payment. However, remember to ask your Realtor about options and incentives available to lower your down payment as low as 1% in some cases!

2. Your Credit Score Is Shining

As a result of managing responsibly your spending, paying down all or most your debt every month and in absence of derogatory marks on your credit record, you should be in a position not only to overcome today’s tighter credit requirements but also enjoy a preferred loan rate. The shorter the duration of your loan, the better the rate. If you can afford it, go for the 15-year mortgage rate which has reached new lows just over 3%.

3. You Found Your Realtor

Based on recommendations from your co-workers, your family and neighbors coupled with online searches focused on the Silicon Valley neighborhood of interest to you, you are ready to interview Real Estate Agents whose profile look promising. Remember, find the Realtor before the home. Avoid the multiple pitfalls of home purchase, understand the fine prints of the contract, become aware of the type of homes available on the market (e.g. short sales, foreclosures, REOs, etc) and above all buy in confidence with the help of a Real Estate professional. Remember that as a buyer, enlisting an Agent to represent you is completely free of charge.

4. You Have A Trustworthy Contractor

You should almost inevitably expect that the home you will fall in love with will require an uplift which can vary in scope depending on many factors ranging from the financial status of its previous owners, their willingness to invest in their home to sell, the age of the home, etc. Needless to remind you to enlist the help of a contractor to evaluate the work required to make it ready to move in according to your standards before signing anything or even making an offer. Ask your Realtor who will most likely be in a position to recommend a few contractors they usually work with.

5. Your Partner Is Pestering You

Last but not least, you have come to the self-realization that your partner (and your kids too) are right when he/she/they are making the case about planting roots, being able to remodel according to your wishes, building equity, taking advantage of records low rates and settling down while you can do it. Of course, let us not forget that all above-mentioned reasons pale in comparison with the fact that you are looking to take your love to the next level by fulfilling a common dream.