Happy 4th of July!

July4th shutterstock 100244117 Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July! Have a safe and fun holiday weekend as we honor and celebrate our great Nation and those who have fought for our freedom and who continue to do so.

Paragon’s U.S. offices will be closed Friday, July 4th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHRM Conference 2014

SHRM 300x199 SHRM Conference 2014

Paragon Relocation and Paragon GeoImmigration are in the home stretch of another successful showing
at the 2014 SHRM Conference in Orlando, FL.
There is still time to stop by our booths, 1983 and 1985,
to enter for a chance to win a new iPad Air!

Paragon Relocation Announces Appointment of Abigail Flanagan, Senior Director of Global Relocation Services

AbbeyFlannigan blue bkgrn 252x300 Paragon Relocation Announces Appointment of Abigail Flanagan, Senior Director of Global Relocation ServicesCOPPELL, Texas – June 18, 2014 – Paragon Relocation, a leading provider of global relocation management services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Abigail Flanagan as Senior Director, Global Relocation Services. Flanagan will be based out of London, England and will be responsible for account management in the EMEA region, as well as international supply chain management.

“Abigail’s experience in managing global corporate accounts, as well as her vast knowledge of competitive practices in the international household goods industry will be a valuable resource to our company and our clients,” said Craig Selders, President, Paragon Relocation.

Flanagan has 17 years of experience in the relocation industry and has been responsible for more than 8,000 international moves. She has significant experience in managing large, global corporate accounts in varying industries ranging from aeronautics to media. Prior to joining Paragon, Flanagan worked for Brookfield Global Relocation Services as Director, Global Client Services and at Interdean as an Account Manager.

Flanagan holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in business studies with business law from the University of Stirling and a higher national diploma in business decision analysis from the University of West England. She has also received the Global Mobility Specialist (GMS) designation from Worldwide ERC®.

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 more than 27 years and offers services in 150 countries. For further information, please visit www.paragonrelocation.com.

Preparing for Your Summer Move

Moving Lady marking packed boxes 150x150 Preparing for Your Summer Move

Guest Blog Post
by Oliver Dubester, Director of Global Business Alliances

The summer months are upon us.  For those who are moving, this means that there can be much to accomplish in a short amount of time; however, since it is the busy season for relocation, van lines and other service providers sometimes get overbooked.  In order to best accommodate your move, it is paramount that you provide as much lead time as possible and are flexible with regard to pack and load dates.  In some cases during the summer, volume exceeds capacity.  Paragon has second-tier providers and containerized shipment methods in place, to best avoid any delays in service in the event our first-tier network is unable to accept a move.

With international moves, there are potentially more challenges.  At any given point in time, there can be port or steamship line price increases, delays at ports or even events such as the World Cup in Brazil that can have a significant impact on household goods shipments and schedules.

Additionally, customs documentation, immigration requirements and value inventory logs are extremely important and need to be completed accurately and in a timely manner.  Some of these documents may seem to be a duplication of effort (i.e. customs inventory list versus the household goods inventory list); however, it is important to realize that some countries require multiple documents that have to be completed by the customer.

Careful planning and sufficient lead time will result in a stress-free shipping experience during the busy moving season.  Paragon is here to help and be your advocate to ensure that your household goods arrive on time.

Industry Relocation Trends – U.S. Domestic Homesale Incentives

Relocation Fast Fast Logo Web Industry Relocation Trends – U.S. Domestic Homesale IncentivesHomesale incentives are typically, any payment of monies and/or valuable consideration or services performed to encourage the sale of a specific property. Some examples of homesale incentives include: cash incentives or bonuses to transferring employees who are able to locate a potential buyer for their home, or a repair and improvement allowances (to be used for refurbishment, staging or general cleanup).

Today, companies are choosing to offer homesale incentives on an as needed basis or include a provision in their policy documents. This is offered in an effort to encourage a sale of the employee’s home through a homesale program (Amended Value or Buyer Value Option, for example) and to reduce homes being taken into inventory by the company.

Two common homesale incentive methods are to offer a percentage of the company or outside buyer’s offer with a dollar maximum ($10,000 for example) and another method is to offer a percentage of the home’s sale price without a dollar maximum. For both methods, the average percentage offered is 2%.

Statistics:

  • 69% of employers with third-party or corporate-based homesale programs offer cash incentives to employees who find a buyer for their home during the self-marketing period
  • 38% of companies that offer a bonus/cash homesale incentive offer a percent of the company or outside buyer offer with a dollar maximum
  • 19% of companies that offer a bonus/cash homesale incentive offer a percent of the home’s sale price with no dollar maximum

Above data collected from Worldwide ERC®’s Relocation Assistance: U.S. Domestic Transferred Employees 2013 survey, Worldwide ERC®’s Mobility articles 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.

Paragon Global Resources Announces Promotion of Deborah Beech to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

DebbieBeach blue bkgrn 252x300 Paragon Global Resources Announces Promotion of Deborah Beech to Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerCOPPELL, Texas – June 12, 2014 – Paragon Global Resources, a leading provider of global relocation management, immigration and mortgage services, is pleased to announce the promotion of Deborah Beech to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  Beech joined Paragon in December, 2013 as the Senior Director, Finance and Accounting. Her new responsibilities include overseeing the financial and administrative support services for Paragon and its subsidiaries including Paragon Relocation, Paragon GeoImmigration and GenEquity Mortgage.

“We are excited to welcome Deborah into our senior leadership team as she takes over the great responsibility of being our Chief Financial Officer.  Her talent and knowledge will no doubt make her an excellent addition to the Paragon senior team,” said Joseph Morabito, President and CEO, Paragon Global Resources.

Prior to joining Paragon, Beech worked as the Controller for First Team Real Estate and American Sterling Bank. She has also held senior financial positions at Prudential Financial and United HealthCare Corporation. Beech began her career at KPMG in Private Business Advisory Services.

Beech is a Certified Public Accountant, has a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA from the University of Texas.

About Paragon Global Resources

Paragon Global Resources has grown into a global firm as the holding company that owns Paragon Relocation, Paragon GeoImmigration, GenEquity Mortgage, Paragon Real Estate Resources and PGR Home Caregivers. Today, with offices and affiliates in numerous countries, Paragon provides comprehensive global relocation, human resource, immigration, mortgage, and real estate services, as well as home care services for senior citizens in the United States. The common thread in all of these businesses is outstanding, innovative services for our clients and customers. Paragon Global Resources is a trusted partner to many large and small organizations around the world. For further information, please visit www.paragongri.com.

Paragon U.S. Offices Closed for Memorial Day

shutterstock 192891791 Memorial Day 2014 e1400880333166 Paragon U.S. Offices Closed for Memorial DayAs we head into the holiday weekend, we take the time to remember the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the country we are blessed to call home.

Thank you to our military and those who sacrificed and continue to serve our country. Paragon’s U.S. offices will be closed Monday, May 26.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Industry Relocation Trends – International Preview Trip

Relocation Fast Fast Logo Web2 Industry Relocation Trends   International Preview TripThe International Preview Trip or Pre-assignment Trip is a trip to the assignment location for the employee and their spouse/partner to assist in deciding whether to accept the assignment, and to select housing and schools. A typical trip is up to a maximum of seven days.

For an International Assignment, the majority of companies today offer their assignees a preview trip. Most companies offer this trip to the employee and spouse/partner. The time frame (days and nights) provided for the trip can vary. Most companies will provide for a preview trip in the range of 5-10 days; with U.S. headquartered companies tending to allow for the longer trips.

A preview trip may be offered to an assignee prior to acceptance or after acceptance of the assignment. Typical reimbursable items for the preview trip would include: air travel, meals, ground transportation, and hotel. Destination services (area orientation, home finding and school search, for example) would also be authorized to assist the assignee with familiarizing with the area, securing a rental and viewing schooling options, if applicable. In addition, some companies may choose to provide for reimbursement of pet boarding and child care expenses for the duration of the preview trip.

Statistics:

  • 60% of companies allow for a preview trip for the assignee and spouse
  • 17% of companies allow for a preview trip for the assignee, spouse and children
  • 9% of companies provide for a preview trip for the assignee only
  • 58% of companies provide for a preview trip that is 5 to 10 days; 40% provide for a preview trip that is less than 5 days

Above data collected from a sample of companies with international programs, a KPMG survey on Global Assignment Policies and Practices, and from Worldwide ERC® 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.

Paragon Relocation’s Staff Participates in Clean Coppell Event

DSC 02521 150x150 Paragon Relocation’s Staff Participates in Clean Coppell Event

In celebration of Earth Day, employees from Paragon Relocation’s headquarters in Coppell, Texas participated in Clean Coppell, Keep Coppell Beautiful’s annual city-wide cleanup event.

For the fourth year, employees picked up litter at a designated area, collecting more than nine bags of debris from the roadside.  The Clean Coppell project is just one of Paragon’s planned environmental initiatives and coincides with the recent appointment of a sustainability champion at Paragon.  John Green, Director of Corporate Services, was recently tasked with driving the sustainability program for environmentally-friendly management of resources, products and processes at Paragon.

“It is wonderful to give back to the community in this manner.  With a renewed focus on sustainability issues, Paragon is dedicated to advancing environmental awareness in everything we do,” said Craig Selders, President, Paragon Relocation (pictured left with staff member Brian Morabito).

Clean Coppell is held annually in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup and Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off events. Volunteers are invited to do their part by completing a litter cleanup, creek cleanup or by participating in the Coppell Nature Park’s workday or completing another beautification or improvement project of their choosing.

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.