Relocation Market Update
April 16, 2007
The monthly newsletter for people managing the employee relocation process.
“Reliable Relocation provides a higher level of service for the people we move
and their employers. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide current
information about subjects that affect all of us in the relocation business.”
Paulette E. Moylan, CRP, GMS, President
In This Issue
Technology with Oakwood Meeting the Demands of Travelers and
Recruiting Tours Relocation Professionals with Technology
Highlight on the Indiana
By: T. J. Spencer, Oakwood Worldwide
Real Estate Market
Vice President, Worldwide Relocation Alliances
When your clients ask you to plan a relocation, you probably rarely, if ever,
discuss “Web-enabled applications” as part of the planning process. In fact,
technology may not be a factor at all when your clients transfer a new
employee or provide extended stay accommodations for an existing
Let Reliable Relocation review your employee about to embark on a long-term assignment.
relocation policy and implement the
So when or where does technology become a factor during a relocation?
Reliable Relocation will provide rental While online tools may assist with various moving or relocation aspects, is
assistance nationwide. there a single application that can simplify the process?
Reliable Relocation provides
recruitment tours nationwide. Industry Growth Continues
In 2004, total revenue for the corporate housing industry was $2.5 billion,
Reliable Relocation will find THE Agent and has continued to grow. As the corporate housing industry continues to
Who Makes All the Difference. expand, the demands of those who stay in long-term housing have been
growing as well. Clients and guest need 24/7 access to key information,
check-in, check-out and billing details, as well as customer-centric features,
such as the ability to obtain directions and community information from
local school listings to the location of the nearest dry cleaner.
To remain competitive, temporary housing providers must listen and act on
these customer demands, which include embracing technology and
improving services to meet the changing needs of travelers. As global
travel to countries such as China and India increase, then move-in logistics
become more complex and, therefore, require even more timely and
Contact Us Customized Technology
Corporate housing providers with a diverse clientele that includes both
http://www.reliablerelocation.com large and small companies, as well as the individual traveler, must provide
email@example.com housing solutions that fulfill a wide range of needs. The right technology
Reliable Relocation, Inc.
can serve all these audiences. For a Fortune 500 company, where the
human resources department usually coordinates relocation assignments,
440-546-5660 phone tracking multiple employees, simplifying billing and minimizing the
440-580-4709 fax transaction burden may be the key issues. For the individual traveler,
accessing community information becomes particularly important. And both
the corporate client and the guest need details such as check-in and
check-out times and dates.
Oakwood Worldwide is one company that has developed industry-leading
applications designed to make relocations faster, simpler and easier for
both the individual traveler and relocation professionals.
This summer Oakwood launches myOakwood, technology that serves the
guest. An industry first, myOakwood is a personalized, secured Web site
that Oakwood creates when the guest’s reservation is complete.
This exciting new technology will enhance an Oakwood guest’s stay by
providing timely and pertinent information right at his or her fingertips.
Guests can access the check-in and check-out process, find arrival and
entry instructions, locate easy-to-find listings and descriptions of local
restaurants and entertainment venues, find community information,
make maintenance requests 24/7 online, get driving directions from
anywhere and even access coupons and discounts.
With myOakwood, guests can also view their invoice, make future
reservations and more. When moving to a new city either on
assignment or as part of a permanent move, the ability to have key
information at any time not only eases the stress of relocating, but also
is a great tool to help the relocating employee become familiar with the
new city or town he or she has moved to.
“An initial challenge many of our residents face is familiarizing
themselves with their new location,” says Ric Villarreal, senior vice
president and CIO of Oakwood. “myOakwood is a powerful tool that
helps people feel right at home, since they can track their reservation,
obtain detailed instructions and immediately access local places and
For the relocation specialist, eOakwood is an online tool designed to
help companies track their temporary housing assignments anytime and
anywhere, including researching past reservations and finding each
employee’s current temporary housing location. In addition, eOakwood
provides account updates and adjustments, and the client can receive
and pay invoices online.
With the possible risk of identity theft even greater during the relocation
process, all information on eOakwood is secured and encrypted using
sophisticated technology. Relocation professionals are delighted to now
have an online application developed specifically to their job needs.
Clients are also pleased that the leader in temporary housing goes the
extra mile to improve customers’ job satisfaction and productivity.
“[eOakwood] been wonderful,” states Judy Lupole, who is responsible
for administrative support with Anteon, an Oakwood client. “I don’t have
to wait for invoices.”
eConnectivity is another Oakwood application designed with the relocation
or travel professional in mind. This powerful tool provides a real-time
interface between Oakwood and the client company, and it allows direct
information and process sharing using leading edge technology tools and
eConnectivity simplifies the temporary housing reservation process by
creating a seamless and paperless “closed loop” reservation system. The
end result is to minimize or eliminate duplicate entries, minimize errors and
improve data access and analysis.
The advantage of eConnectivity is that Oakwood clients can eliminate
excess manual data inputting, as well gain online bill paying capabilities,
track invoices and monitor residency details, such as move-in and move-
out dates. Since the interface design is customized, clients can also
generate the reports they need with the click of the mouse and eliminate
the need to enter reservation data in multiple locations.
With a range of applications, eConnectivity empowers clients by providing
them with direct access to Oakwood’s own extensive databases, including
the company’s global property profiles and invoice data, without having to
visit an external Web site. Technology has made this possible because
through eConnectivity, all the information is seamlessly integrated into the
client’s own system platform.
The Future: Online Booking
While technology has allowed the corporate housing industry to keep
pace with the needs of travelers, one of the greatest challenges the
industry faces is the ability to offer direct, online booking. Oakwood has
dedicated IT resources to resolve this issue, and the company will be
the first corporate housing provider to offer this service to clients.
While many travelers have enjoyed online hotel booking for some time,
it is a more difficult transition to adapt the technology that hotels use to
reserve corporate apartments. Unlike hotels, corporate apartment
inventory can expand and shift locations, whereas hotels have a set
number of rooms in one location.
Due to the fluctuating inventory of the corporate housing model,
Oakwood created a more robust and customized online reservations
system. Once complete, the new system will allow clients and guests to
reserve an apartment over the Internet in one transaction, rather than
the more traditional method of exchanging paperwork and placing
multiple phone calls to make and confirm a reservation.
“Oakwood’s launch of an online booking system will be a tremendous
step forward in terms of the convenience and ease of selecting a
temporary housing apartment,” Villareal notes. “We are committed to
being the first to market with this technology and look forward to
expanding our services to our customers.”
As this suite of industry-first applications helps relocating parties
transition to their new location, corporate housing facilities can’t forget
the basics, such as providing Wi-Fi or some other type of Internet
access so guests can log onto the Web. And creating a positive
customer service experience may be low tech, but it’s number one to
clients and guests.
The connection between myOakwood, eOakwood and eConnectivity is
that they all enhance the guest’s experience, rather than replace any
existing best practices. Relocation – even if it’s for a temporary
assignment – can be a stressful process, and the ability to have both a
“real” person and an Internet-based interface to address the questions
and concerns of clients and guests can only ensure that their experience
with your company is a positive one.
While the relocation landscape continues to shift and change, there has
never been a greater need to provide guests and residents with
technology-based tools to improve and enhance the relocation process.
Paired with personalized service and solid value, the corporate housing
industry is poised and ready to provide temporary living solutions to a
more complex, mobile workforce and the relocation professionals who
By: Paulette Moylan, CRP, GMS
President, Reliable Relocation
HR handles everything from recruiting to relocation with a handful of
people causing an “overload” for HR and the employees. Take
advantage of programs and services offered by reputable service
providers that enhance services and do not cost the employer
Assist your company in recruiting the best people by providing tours
that sell the destination city lifestyle to your candidates. Provide a
personalized tour that includes:
Phone interview prior to the tour to assess needs and preferences
with a relocation specialist
Profiles of the communities surrounding the workplace
Overview of the housing market in each area
Personalized information for special needs and preferences
Neighborhood shopping, entertainment, and local points of interest
Arrange for school tours if desired
Indiana Real Estate Update
By: Sandra K. Warstler, SCRP, GMS
Sr. Vice President, Relocation F. C. Tucker Co., Inc.
Generally, the Midwest housing market and specifically Indiana’s is
unruffled by the fluctuations of other markets and world events. At
this time, however, the central Indiana market is ruffled, as are many
The average sale price for central Indiana, including Indianapolis
and its 9 contiguous counties, during the first quarter of 2007 is
$145,000 compared to $149,000 one year ago. Lacking any
appreciation and burdened with a “0” down or other flawed
mortgage product, many sellers can’t begin to sell their properties
for what they paid.
Although the number of homes for sale, 17,298 is up from those
for sale in 2006, 16,893, the number sold is off from 2006 by
In February 2006, there was an 8.1-month supply of homes
actively on the market, which dropped in June 2006 during the
strong selling season to 5.8 months. However, the monthly
supply steadily climbed throughout the second half of 2006 until
in first quarter 2007 there was a 10.1-month’s supply. A market
with more than 6 months supply is a buyer’s market. These
conditions differ with price range and specific area under
consideration. For example, homes priced under $500,000 have
a 7-month supply; while over $500,000 have a 21-month supply.
Many of the smaller communities around the state have been
affected equally hard. Terre Haute, for example, is a buyer’s
market. The average sale price dropped from $97,034 to
$93,670 in first quarter of 2007 and the average days on the
market rose from 83 to 94.
The numbers of houses on the market and pent-up buyer frustration
will encourage buyers to test the spring and early summer market
with its buffet of styles and reduced prices. Sellers need to be ready.
It’s no secret that only the houses priced accurately and realistically
and in perfect condition will sell