Industry Relocation Trends – U.S. Domestic Home Marketing Assistance

Relocation Fast Fast Logo Web1 Industry Relocation Trends – U.S. Domestic Home Marketing AssistanceHome Marketing Assistance is best described as proactive marketing assistance designed to help the employee market the primary residence by designing a customized marketing strategy and assist with offer negotiations. This assistance may be provided independently or in conjunction with the Homesale Assistance Program.

In addition, Home Marketing Period is the time during which the employee may try to sell the home in the original location. This period may run throughout the appraisal process and/or Appraised Value Offer’s Acceptance Period. Some employers require a mandatory marketing period before the employee is eligible to accept the Appraised Value Offer.

Home Marketing Assistance for many corporate relocation policies can go hand in hand with an employer’s U.S. domestic homesale program. In this aspect, as it can relate to employees being offered an appraised value offer, the goal of offering home marketing assistance is to help reduce the number of inventoried properties. Exclusive of a homesale program, home marketing assistance on its own will enable a transferring employee the opportunity to price their home competitively from the beginning and position the transferring employee to receive the best possible offer during the marketing period.

When a relocating homeowner is prepared to sell their home, the home marketing process begins with two (2) broker opinions. Typically, two (and sometimes three) relocation trained Real Estate Brokers are selected and asked to provide an assessment of the relocating homeowner’s home. Their assessment is then compiled on the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council’s (ERC’s) Broker Market Analysis document and includes:

  • A detailed market analysis to help determine a competitive list price for the home
  • Suggestions on preparing the home for sale
  • A recommended list price and anticipated sales price
  • Information on competing and recently sold properties in the area
  • A potential buyer profile for the property
  • Follow up support and strategy recommendations

Most companies today will require their relocating employees to list the home within a particular percentage (103 – 105%) of the Most Likely Sales Price as determined by the average of the two (2) Broker Market Analyses. In addition, a home marketing period is defined in most client policies. Most companies require a home marketing period between 60 and 180 days.

Statistics:

  • Home marketing assistance has shown an overall upward trend throughout the years; 75% of companies with homesale assistance programs always provide a formal home marketing assistance program and 11% of employers provide a formal home marketing assistance program only to certain employees.
  • 90% of companies provide assistance with purchase closing costs; 23% provide the assistance to all transferees and most limit eligibility for purchase closing costs to those who are homeowners.

Above data collected from Worldwide ERC®’s Relocation Assistance: U.S. Domestic Transferred Employees 2013 survey and a sample of companies with U.S. domestic programs and is therefore not representative of all companies relocating employees.  “Industry Relocation Trends” topic information intended for high level overview. For more detailed information, please contact your Paragon representative.

GenEquity Appoints Executive to Head New CA Location

GenEquity Mortgage, a leading mortgage provider, has appointed an experienced executive to lead the company’s expansion into the Southern California region.

Richard Thomas, Vice President and Regional Sales Manager, will develop and manage the growing retail mortgage lending platform for GenEquity Mortgage in the Western U.S. Thomas will be responsible for building the GenEquity mortgage operations and brand throughout California. The first GenEquity Mortgage location is located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California with plans to open additional branches in the coming years.

“We feel confident that Richard is the type of transformational leader that GenEquity needs to promote smart growth. With his experience and knowledge of the southern California market, GenEquity is strategically positioned to make an impactful entrance into the California mortgage arena,” said Mary Legate, President of GenEquity Mortgage.

Thomas brings a wealth of experience to GenEquity Mortgage including twenty five years in the mortgage banking and retail lending industry. Most recently, he was the Southern California Retail Manager with Freemont Bank and previously held the positions of Regional Vice President with Bank of Commerce Mortgage and President of Milestone Mortgage for ten years.

 GenEquity Appoints Executive to Head New CA Location

Industry Relocation Trends – International Miscellaneous Expense Allowance

Relocation Fast Fast Logo Web1 Industry Relocation Trends – International Miscellaneous Expense Allowance An allowance to cover incidental expenses not otherwise covered by policy (such as purchase of luggage, needed additional clothing, telephone/cable/electronics installations, host location driver’s license and driver training, pet transportation or boarding, baby-sitting fees, etc.).

Almost all organizations provide their employees a miscellaneous expense allowance for incidental expenses that are not specifically covered by other reimbursements. A majority of these companies provide the allowance with no requirements to itemize or document expenses. This approach saves audit time and associated administrative cost.

Companies may calculate the allowance as a percentage of salary to a maximum amount or a flat amount and may even vary the amount of the allowance by criteria such as the employee’s grade level. The Miscellaneous Expense Allowance may also be referred to as Relocation Allowance.

Statistics:

  • 92% of companies provide an allowance to cover incidental expenses regardless of employee status
  • 54% of companies base the allowance on salary
  • 52% of companies provide an allowance at the beginning and at the end of assignment

Above data collected from a sample of companies with international programs and is therefore not representative of all companies relocating employees.  Based on Long-Term Assignment – more than one (1) year and less than five (5) years in duration.  “Industry Relocation Trends” topic information intended for high level overview.  For more detailed information, please contact your Paragon representative.

Industry Relocation Trends – International Hardship Allowance

Relocation Fast Fast Logo1 300x224 Industry Relocation Trends –  International Hardship Allowance A hardship allowance is paid to an assignee as incentive to accept an assignment in a hardship location and/or as compensation for adapting to the difficult environment. The criteria used to determine a hardship location include climate, environmental risk, political instability, security risks, availability of goods and services, cultural isolation, lack of social amenities or medical facilities, heavy pollution, risk of disease, etc.

Determining which locations warrant a hardship allowance can be subjective. Each assignee will assess a location using their personal experiences, background and preferences. Many companies use the services of a third-party, data company, who can evaluate each assignment location objectively, using a scoring system for each hardship criteria. The overall scores for each location are used to develop appropriate hardship allowances.

Living conditions in locations change over time; therefore, the third-party, data companies regularly review the hardship scores. Over time, locations will be added or removed from the recommended hardship allowance list. The hardship allowance is typically calculated as a percentage of annual base salary, provided to the employee through the term of the assignment. Hardship allowances may also be referred to as Danger Pay, Location Premium and Hazard Pay.

Statistics:

  • 64% of companies provide hardship allowance
  • 31% of companies that provide hardship allowance do not cap the amount

Above data collected from a sample of companies with international programs and is therefore not representative of all companies relocating employees. Based on Long-Term Assignment – more than one (1) year and less than five (5) years in duration. “Industry Relocation Trends” topic information intended for high level overview.  For more detailed information, please contact your Paragon representative.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Paragon

Hearts Around the World 150x150 Happy Valentines Day from ParagonDid you know that Valentine’s Day is banned in Saudi Arabia or that the first Valentine’s Day card is believed to have originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.  If not, check out this cool article about Valentine’s Day Traditions Around the World by Euronews.com.  Everyone at Paragon wishes you a very happy Valentine’s Day…may your chocolate be calorie free and your flowers not from the grocery store parking lot!  As a reminder, Paragon’s U.S. offices will be closed in observance of President’s Day on Monday, February 17.

GenEquity Mortgage Named Best Lender

Paragon’s mortgage subsidiary, GenEquity Mortgage,2014 GEM ReadersChoice1 150x150 GenEquity Mortgage Named Best Lender is proud to announce that we have been named the 2014 Reader’s Choice for Best Mortgage Lender in both Allen and Coppell by Star Local Media.  Thank you to all those who took the time to vote for us!  If you or anyone you know is in the market for a mortgage, please give GenEquity a try so that we can prove why we are the best in your neighborhood!

Change is Coming: Navigating the Mortgage Arena

GEM webinar header Change is Coming: Navigating the Mortgage Arena

In November, Steve Crispin, CRP, Vice President of GenEquity Mortgage and Laura Henneberry, SCRP, SGMS, EVP of Morreale Real Estate Services co-presented a webinar entitled “Change is Coming: Navigating the Mortgage Arena.” The informative session included discussions on rules, disclosures, qualified mortgages and revisions to the HUD-1 statement going into effect in 2014. The impact of these changes on relocation was also discussed.

Due to the popularity of the subject matter, an encore presentation was held in December.

If you were unable to attend either session, the slide presentation is available here.

Social Media Playing a Larger Role in Global Job Searches

social media Social Media Playing a Larger Role in Global Job SearchesMore and more often, job seekers are turning to social media to search for global career opportunities. According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, an annual survey from workforce solutions firm Kelly Services, employees are increasingly using social media to network and find potential job opportunities.

Roughly 21,000 people were surveyed from a variety of countries across the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Here are the primary results of the report:

Two in five respondents, or about 41 percent, said they were contacted about an employment position through social media during the last year.

Fourteen percent of those surveyed said they actually secured a job through social media during the last year.

Thirty-nine percent are now more inclined to search for jobs through social media than other more traditional methods, such as newspaper ads and online job boards.

How this impacts employers
Because an increasing number of job seekers are utilizing social media, employers hoping to capture the attention of the most candidates should take advantage of this form of communication. Fortunately, social media can be a great way for companies to make sure a candidate is the right fit. It allows them to connect with job seekers on a closer level and also utilize resources such as online surveys. Ideally, this will help prevent a candidate from getting three months into the job and realizing it isn’t the right fit.

“Social media is rapidly revolutionizing the recruitment process because it broadens the access to an enormous pool of candidates,” said Michael Webster, executive vice president of the Americas region for Kelly Services. “We are also seeing the impact access to ‘smart’ technology has on retention, as the work and personal lives of today’s employees is more commonly blended together. Suddenly employees have the flexibility to engage socially or accomplish work tasks at any given time.”

The Kelly Global Workforce Index found that personal technology plays a significant role in the workplace for many job seekers. More than one-third (35 percent) said the use of personal devices such as smartphones and laptops at work is either “important” or “very important.”

“Employees are more social and more flexible in the way they engage with trusted friends and work colleagues on social media, and, increasingly, they expect to have access to technology in the workplace to enable that,” Webster added.

Results by region
Brazil stood out among the other countries in the Kelly Global Workforce Index results. According to the report, social media and employment are heavily interconnected in the South American nation. In fact, about three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents from Brazil said they were contacted on social media about an employment opportunity during the last year. Furthermore, 44 percent of those surveyed in Brazil reported that they secured a job through social media in the last year. In comparison, this number was only 25 percent in Mexico, 14 percent in Canada and 11 percent in the United States.

Mexico ranked second with regard to people being contacted about jobs via social media. According to the survey, about half (48 percent) of those surveyed in Mexico were contacted, compared to 39 percent in both Canada and the United States.

Kelly Services also found that these results were not skewed heavily to a particular generation, even though one might expect Generation Y to be the most active on social media. For example, of those who secured a job through social media in the last year, 18 percent were Generation Y, 14 percent were Generation X and 12 percent were baby boomers. In this way, the results were not very disparate between age groups.

Message from Paragon CEO Joseph Morabito

Joseph Morabito Message from Paragon CEO Joseph MorabitoAs we close out 2013, our 22nd year in business as Paragon, we must thank our clients for their continued support and suggestions that allow us to continuously improve our company. Without them there would be no Paragon. At the same time, we have achieved the best service results in our company history at 97% Satisfied or Better Than Satisfied, with more than 70% of our customers rating Paragon as Excellent. Clearly, those who work in our operations subsidiaries at Paragon Relocation, Paragon GeoImmigration and GenEquity Mortgage, along with all of our corporate support staff around the world, are the key to our service ratings. We manage a very complex global business and services requiring tremendous coordination between all of our departments, divisions and subsidiaries along with our supplier partners. None of this happens by accident. Dedicated Paragon employees and our supplier partners make the world go around for our clients and customers. To all of you, I say a heart-felt thank you.

Looking ahead to 2014, there are initiatives in place to further improve our Business Alliances and Information Technology Application functions to benefit our clients and customers. More and more of our relocation clients are retaining Paragon to provide comprehensive Global Compensation Services to track worldwide income for expatriates in our system. Shortly, we will announce the opening of new GenEquity Mortgage retail offices in various states to expand our mortgage business. We are also working on plans to enter the real estate business in selected markets in Texas, California and Illinois, with other states to follow. At Paragon, there is no standing still.

As the economy improves, we expect to see more moves from many of our clients. Fortunately, the operations apparatus we have built is fully scalable. We have the technology, back office and employee talent in place around the world to deal with any volume level we may experience. In addition, we always maintain links to experienced Relocation Consultants and International Assignment Consultants, which allows Paragon to staff up quickly in the event of a volume surge.

Paragon is an agile, flexible, global service company. That is one reason for our longevity despite recessions, downturns and other economic factors beyond our control. As we look forward, we will just continue growing the old fashioned way, by doing a great job for our clients and customers.

As we close out 2013, I would like to wish each of you a very safe and happy holiday season.

GenEquity Mortgage Nominated for Best Mortgage Lender

logo GenEquity Mortgage Nominated for Best Mortgage LenderGenEquity Mortgage is excited to be nominated as Best Mortgage Lender in both Allen and Coppell!  Now, we need your vote to make us the Winner!  Go to the link below to enter your vote.  You may choose either then Allen American or the Coppell Gazette or preferably BOTH!

http://starlocalmedia.com/extras/readers_choice_ballot/

Click through to the 8th screen and under Mortgage Lender, choose GenEquity Mortgage.  Be sure to click through to the final screen to submit your ballot.

Thank you for your continued support of GenEquity!

Happy Thanksgiving from Paragon

Happy Thanksgiving1 Happy Thanksgiving from Paragon Everyone at Paragon wishes you a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday!  As a reminder, all U.S. offices of Paragon will be closed on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29.  Enjoy this wonderful time of year as we all take time to give thanks for our many blessings.

Elaine Martin to Moderate Immigration Sessions at Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium

PGI ElaineMartin blue bkgrn sm 207x300 Elaine Martin to Moderate Immigration Sessions at Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce SymposiumParagon is pleased to announce that Elaine Martin, Managing Director of Immigration Services for Paragon GeoImmigration, is organizing an immigration-specific track at the Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium.  Martin is organizing the sessions with Daniela Lima, Practice Director/LatAm Regional Migration Manager, at Berry Appleman & Leiden, LLP, Brazil.

Due to overwhelming interest in immigration topics at prior symposia, Worldwide ERC is offering a series of eight 30-minute immigration sessions for the first time.  These presentations will explain the procedures, challenges and solutions regarding immigration in key countries such as the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. The sessions are on Thursday, October 24 and Friday, October 25, 2013.

As an expert in the field of immigration, Martin was invited to join the Program Planning committee for the 2013 Global Workforce Symposium. The committee met in Washington D.C. to develop the program content, and then each committee member took ownership of one session for the Symposium. Martin and Lima were given the task of organizing the eight immigration sessions.

Martin will serve as moderator for five of the presentations with Daniela Lima moderating the other three.

“It’s an honor to be asked by Worldwide ERC to be a part of these sessions and serve as organizer and moderator,” Martin said. “We are excited about having a venue dedicated to sharing immigration information.”

The Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium will be held October 23-25, 2013, in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Visit Paragon at booths 318 and 320.

About Paragon Relocation

Paragon Relocation is the premier partner of choice in the global relocation management industry providing innovative programs, value-added support, superior customer service and thought leadership to our clients and the families we relocate. Our mission is to provide an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time.  Paragon Relocation has been providing relocation services for 26 years and offers services in 150 countries. For further information, please visit www.paragonrelocation.com.

Corporate Social Responsibility – The Paragon Way

Corporate Social Responsibility 150x150 Corporate Social Responsibility – The Paragon WayIt seems that the world is experiencing an era of more conscientious capitalism through the implementation of formal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.  The triple bottom line – People, Planet and Profits – is becoming an essential element for many companies around the world, including Paragon.

We believe CSR is a focal point worldwide for business best practices and the core of daily operations for employees. Along with Paragon, many companies associated with us are involved in charitable work, whether it is supporting environmental issues, health and welfare, social good will, or global awareness.  Many charitable efforts by companies are performed in a variety of ways and the overall advantages are abundant, including operating more efficiently; however, the true value received is that of social good will – we believe that setting a good example is the greatest benefit.  By setting an example for our employees, clients and outside suppliers, Paragon has benefited in ways beyond profits, including creating a more positive, collaborative work environment where our values are truly integrated into our business philosophy.

Volunteer initiatives can give employees an even deeper sense of purpose and motivation to do the best work possible in and outside of the office.  Employees who are allowed to choose causes to support and are provided several options for giving back to their communities tend to be happier and more productive in their jobs.  Paragon helps support our employees’ charitable ventures by providing a company match for charities of our employees’ choosing.

At Paragon, we strive to do our part in achieving a healthier and more conscientious world.  Corporate Social Responsibility is an extension of the way we have and will continue to do business.

The following is a short list of the charities Paragon has supported:  Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club, Casa Teresa, Disaster Relief Efforts for Natural Disasters, Habitat for Humanity, Harvest Food Drive, International Rescue Committee, International Response Fund, Lupus Foundation, North Texas Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Toys for Tots, National Charity League, World Vision, World Wildlife Fund.

Forbes Announces the 2013 List of Best U.S. States for Business

U.S. StatesForbes Announces the 2013 List of Best U.S. States for Business

According to a recent article at Forbes.com, although the U.S. economy continues to limp along, some states are primed for growth thanks to pro-business regulatory environments, educated workforces and reasonable business costs.  The state of Virginia is at the top of Forbes’ eighth annual list of the Best States for Business.  Every year, the study uses the following six important factors to evaluate and select the top states for businesses: costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. The Forbes 2013 Top 10 U.S. States for Business are:

#1 Virginia

2012 Rank: 2 / Gross State Product: $446 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 1.0% / Governor: Bob McDonnell

#2 North Dakota

2012 Rank: 3 / Gross State Product: $46 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 7.9% / Governor: Jack Dalrymple

#3 Utah

2012 Rank: 3 / Gross State Product: $130 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 2.0% / Governor: Gary Herbert

#4 North Carolina

2012 Rank: 4 / Gross State Product: $456 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 0.7% / Governor: Pat McCrory

#5 Colorado

2012 Rank: 5 / Gross State Product: $274 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 1.0% / Governor: John Hickenlooper

#6 Nebraska

2012 Rank: 6 / Gross State Product: $100 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 1.6% / Governor: Dave Heineman

#7 Texas

2012 Rank: 7 / Gross State Product: $1.4 trillion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 2.5% / Governor: Rick Perry

#8 Minnesota

2012 Rank: 20 / Gross State Product: $295 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 1.2% / Governor: Mark Dayton

#9 Washington

2012 Rank: 11 / Gross State Product: $376 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: 1.2% / Governor: Jay Inslee

#10 Georgia

2012 Rank: 8 / Gross State Product: $434 billion / 5-Year Annual GSP Growth: -0.2% / Governor: Nathan Deal

To view the Forbes article in its entirety, please click here.  To see the list rounding out the top 25 states for business, click here.

FEM in Vegas, Baby!

Im Speaking 300x300 GMS Americas BUTTON 150x150 FEM in Vegas, Baby!Paragon will be exhibiting at Booth D5 during the Forum for Expatriate Management’s Global Mobility Summit, October 3-4, 2013.  Additionally, hear Elaine Martin, Managing Director of Paragon GeoImmigration, speak on the Immigration Panel: Global Compliance Trends, October 3 from 3:35-4:20 in Grand Ballroom AB of the JW Marriott Hotel in fabulous Las Vegas.

About Paragon GeoImmigration

Through our worldwide network, Paragon GeoImmigration provides seamless management of all your global immigration needs.  We know the complexities of global employee mobility and understand the importance of immigration services in the overall success of each assignment.  Put your trust in Paragon GeoImmigration for a simple, smooth and stress-free process.  Learn more at www.paragongeoimmigration.com.

Selders to Mentor at Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium

CraigSelders blue bkgrn sm2 237x300 Selders to Mentor at Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce SymposiumCOPPELL, Texas – October 1, 2013Paragon is excited to announce that Craig Selders, president of Paragon Relocation, has been invited to return as a mentor to young professionals at the Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium on Thursday, October 24, 2013.

Back by popular demand, the Young Professionals Under 40 (YP40) progressive mentoring sessions are 20-minute roundtable discussions specifically designed to cover topics of interest to young professionals by providing guidance from high-profile professionals with decades of experience in the global mobility industry. The sessions provide participants with the opportunity to meet in a small group format with up to four mentors during the course of the event.

“As always, I am honored to be invited to participate in conversations with the next generation of industry leaders,” Selders said. “These sessions create dynamic dialogues about current industry trends, management and leadership.”

In addition, Joseph Morabito, Paragon’s CEO, will speak during the Global Thought Leaders session on Friday, Oct. 25.

The Worldwide ERC® Global Workforce Symposium will be held October 23-25, 2013, in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Visit Paragon at booths 318 and 320.

About Paragon Relocation

Paragon Relocation is the premier partner of choice in the global relocation management industry providing innovative programs, value-added support, superior customer service and thought leadership to our clients and the families we relocate. Our mission is to provide an extraordinary customer experience, one family at a time.  Paragon Relocation has been providing relocation services for 26 years and offers services in 150 countries. For further information, please visit www.paragonrelocation.com.