Your assignee has been given the location of their assignment, the paperwork for passports and visas are being processed, so what’s next? Finding a cozy place to call home, of course.
Whether your assignee wants a chic flat in the 11th arrondissement of Paris or a high rise apartment in the heart of Hong Kong, searching for long-term accommodations abroad can be tricky, especially if this is their first assignment. As their global mobility manager, it’s your job to guide them towards housing that will best fit their needs. Here are a few ways to help them find their temporary dream home:
Offer neighborhood suggestions
In many cities, the neighborhood you reside in can make or break your experience. Through the relocation process, you’ve gotten to know your assignee and their needs fairly well, so they may be relying on you to find the neighborhood that’s just right for them. If you know they have two children who will be going to local schools, forego that chic flat in favor of a place close to schools with room for the kids to play and grow. If your assignee is traveling only with their spouse, a more central, trendy neighborhood is in order. In any case, help them find a neighborhood that’s friendly, low-crime and provides easy access to work.
Keep their transportation situation in mind as well. If you know your assignee will rely on the family-friendly Berlin U-Bahn to get around, consider locating them off of a nearby stop to minimize the amount of walking they have to do in the cold winters. If they’ve got a car and are prepared to fahren auf der Autobahn, you have a bit more freedom in relocating them.
Connect them to local resources
Do you know a previous assignee or fellow expat living in the city your assignee is headed? What about a local real estate agent or rental company that works with foreign clients? If you have any of these resources at your disposal, be sure to use them. As you know, moving abroad is stressful, but connecting your assignee with someone who already lives there, or someone who has gone through the same process can help them feel a little more comfortable about the impending transition. Encourage them to check out AlloExpat.com before leaving to connect with an online network of expatriates living and working abroad.
Encourage them to do their own research
It may be that your Berlin assignee seems like a great fit for the Neukölln neighborhood, but once they get there you both realize they’re more of a fit for Prenzlauer Berg. In order to make sure you’re both on the same page in what the assignee wants and needs, enlist them in the housing search and encourage them to do their own research.
Like the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Offer travel guide and website suggestions that can help them begin. You wouldn’t want to move to a new neighborhood based on recommendations alone, right? The more your assignee knows about their new city, the more of an informed decision they can make about the location of their new home. And with 30% of relocations ending in failure, you know how important it is for assignees to like their living accommodations and feel comfortable in the space around them.
Finding a suitable place to for your assignee live may seem difficult enough, but if you direct your them to the right research and resources, they’ll be saying “Kon'nichiwa!” to their new life abroad in no time.
Interested in finding out if your assignee is adjusting well to life abroad? Download our slide share to learn about how language and culture learning supports a successful relocation.