Temporary Housing: Cost Effectiveness for Clients and Total Support for Assignees
The global pandemic raised a lot of challenges and hurdles in the world of relocation, including temporary accommodation services and the associated cancellation fees. As a Supply Chain Manager at Cartus, my team and I have been working hard with our temporary living network to reduce the financial impact that cancellation fees have had on our clients. We have tried to remain as flexible as possible, going above and beyond to ensure that relocating families—especially those that have had to self-isolate upon arrival—receive the very best support when moving into their temporary accommodation.
Negotiating Cancellation Fees
When COVID-19—and the subsequent lockdowns across the globe—first began, we anticipated an increase in temporary accommodation cancellation fees. Despite the “new normal” in which we have found ourselves, the conditions of lease agreements still apply. When an organization enters into a lease agreement on behalf of their relocating employee, they are committed to paying rent, so waiving cancellation fees isn’t always guaranteed.
Over the past few months, we’ve been working hard with our suppliers to negotiate and waive cancellation fees, where possible, on behalf of our clients. Each negotiation has been approached on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon the particular property type and the nuances of the local market at which the property is located.
I am so proud to reveal that, globally, from April to June 2020, we achieved more than $1 million USD in client savings by working with our temporary accommodation providers to waive cancellation fees (or at least a portion of those fees).
A True Partnership
How did we achieve these cost savings? Our industry-leading supplier network is to thank for our successes. We partner with some of the world’s leading temporary housing providers who have the experience, local market insight, professionalism, and long-standing relationships with their supply chain to meet our clients’ expectations.
Cartus supplier partner, Claire Barrie, Synergy VP EMEA, said of their partnership with Cartus, “Regardless of a global pandemic or not, the importance of strategic partnerships and approach is paramount. Nonetheless, while the impact and disruption of the relocating employees were apparent, Synergy also recognized the potential commercial effects on the organization relocating them. From the outset, Synergy proactively managed and reviewed contract terms for all confirmed moves and began negotiating notice periods to mitigate cancellation charges wherever possible. For those reservations within cancellation periods, Synergy called on its strong supply chain partnerships to reduce or remove fees entirely. In strong collaboration with Cartus, these efforts decreased cancellation fees significantly for Cartus clients.”
Supporting Relocating Families
At Cartus, we understand that monetary savings are just one way to help our clients achieve a successful relocation assignment. Another key factor of relocation—one that has been paramount during this global pandemic—is to ensure each relocating family receives the support they need to settle into their new location quickly and seamlessly.
Most temporary living accommodations offer new arrivals a welcome pack, which differs across each property and location. One family might receive a tea bag and a pen, while another may be gifted luxury goods from the local area. In locations where self-isolation is required, our goal is to ensure (when requested by clients) a standardized essential welcome pack is made available to the relocating family on arrival. This pack includes items such as sanitizing products, basic food items, and toiletries, at no extra cost to either our client or assignee. These packs can now be requested on a case-by-case basis when an assignee is required to quarantine on arrival to the host location under local government travel restrictions.
Additionally, we now offer a grocery delivery service which enables clients to send self-isolating assignees 14 days’ worth of groceries; the cost may differ by location yet provides an extra layer of support to families in quarantine.
For the families that Cartus relocates, these packs are more than a welcoming gesture. They have the potential to act as a lifeline to a family cut off from the outside world for two weeks, often in a location with which they are unfamiliar.