Getting your employees from there to here

Why not try a new approach to relocation to Colorado?

More and more companies are choosing to relocate their headquarters or operations to Colorado due to its healthy economy, highly educated workforce, low operational costs and transportation infrastructure.

Colorado is an attractive place for workers to live for a number of reasons, including lifestyle and recreational opportunities. The state offers a more affordable cost of living for workers moving from especially expensive markets such as San Francisco and New York. With more than 101,000 people moving to Colorado between 2014 and 2015 and population growth expected to rise, relocation services helping employees find new homes are in high demand.

Traditionally, the human resources departments of many large companies and corporations contract with third-party service providers to relocate out-of-state employees when they are hired for or transferred to a new position in another state. Sometimes employers arrange for their new hires or transitioning employees to work with these relocation companies to find their new homes. The employer may even pay for a portion of the expense associated with the employee’s home sale. 

In many cases, the third-party companies are national or global so they often partner with local real estate agents to find housing for employees; the local real estate agents, in turn, pay a significant percentage of their commissions to the relocation service providers as a “finder’s fee” or referral.

Not only does this arrangement produce a disincentive for local real estate agents to provide their best service and expertise when much of their earnings will be passed along to the relocation company, but many new residents are often frustrated and dissatisfied with the cumbersome process provided by third-party relocation service providers. Additionally, the firm who hired the relocation company may be on the hook for a portion of the sales commission.

This practice is becoming increasingly common in Colorado as the number of businesses and professional talent moving to Denver and other markets continues to snowball. Why not consider a new solution that is more cost-effective for employers and provides a higher level of satisfaction for employees?

An alternative solution is for employers to partner directly with local real estate agencies to save their companies (and shareholders) money and to satisfy their employees’ housing needs. Local realtors are experts on local market conditions and inventory and can help their clients navigate challenging and competitive markets to identify the best residence for their lifestyles.

Working directly with real estate brokerages that serve local areas ensures that new residents receive quality service in order to find the home and community that best suit their needs. Buying a home is more than choosing a house to live in. It is important that the location and surrounding community are a fit for the employee. Further, each employee’s relocation needs are unique – a senior-level employee moving with a family and young children will likely want to live in a different area than an entry-level employee seeking an active social life.

This arrangement would allow the employee to choose their agent, eliminate duplicative paperwork and potentially save the firm money on the relocation expense that ultimately affects the company’s bottom line.  

As businesses consider partnering with local real estate agencies for relocation services, they should keep in mind that agents should understand the nuances of each community and be able to advise the employees on matters such as quality school districts, tax rates, commute options, neighborhood safety and property maintenance issues.

As we welcome new employees and companies to our state, it is important to continually assess and improve Colorado’s business climate to keep it attractive for new residents and new businesses. Prioritizing relocation solutions and quality housing options for new professional talent is a good place to start!

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