Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ's for:

For Corporate Relocation Coordinators:

Q1. What differentiates TransferEASE services from other relocation companies?

We have a number of unique characteristics that differentiate us in our industry:

  • We are ISO2008:9001 and WBE Women-Owned business certified. ISO certification requires that we regiment and audits processes for consistency and quality, and we are externally audited on an annual basis to ensure we continue to meet ISO standards. As a certified Women-Owned business we stand alone in the Canadian Relocation industry, using our services supports supplier diversity!
  • We believe in flexible, customized solutions for our clients. We modify processes, materials and service delivery to optimize the relocation services experience for your relocation team and relocating employees. When it comes to relocation, one size does not fit all.
  • We believe in the single-point-of-contact model for relocation services. This means that one consultant is the single point of contact for the relocating employee, acting as a guide through all required services. Other relocation organizations may involve more than one person on a file, thus resulting in possible confusion for the transferee on who to speak with.
  • TransferEASE is Canadian Family Owned and Operated. Using our services supports the local economy, our revenues stay in Canada.
Q2. What services does a relocation package include?

The services provided to employees will vary Corporation to Corporation depending on needs and budget. Typical items include: Household good moves, real estate costs, legal fees, temporary accommodations, visa and immigration costs, rental finding assistance, school finding, allowances for expenses during transition such as hotels and meals, and specific information and services at destination to meet employee needs.

Q3. We don't have a relocation policy or need to update our policy. Can TransferEASE help with this?

Yes – we can write a policy for your or update your current policy to reflect modern industry trends and practices. This is typically done at no charge for clients.

One of the biggest advantages of using TransferEASE is the proactive relocation advice that we provide to clients. Your relocation team will be kept up to date with industry trends, legislative changes affecting relocation such as real estate and immigration law and exception reporting which strongly indicates whether your current relocation policy is meeting your own needs. These services are included at no cost for our clients as a part of your account management.

Q4. How quickly can a relocation program be implemented so that a company can utilize TransferEASE services?

Depending on the scope of services, depth and readiness of your relocation policy we can usually implement a relocation program within 2-4 weeks, from initiation to implementation. TransferEASE also can work on a mini-contract basis, which is a contract for a single relocation file. This method is typically a temporary measure while a more permanent solution is developed, but it allows us to begin delivering services immediately for those clients who have pressing needs.

Q5. Our company does moves across Canada, within the U.S., cross-border, and internationally. Can TranferEASE handle the relocations to all these different areas?

Yes, TransferEASE has the capability and network to deliver any relocation service anywhere in Canada, the U.S. or internationally. TransferEASE continually adds and vets suppliers in our network to ensure coverage both geographically and in breadth of services. If we find service gaps, we are quick to react and ensure coverage. If you have any specific questions about our service coverage, we would be happy to answer those for you, just contact us!

Q6. How much does it cost to move an employee?

Talk about doing cost forecasts to tailor what a company is willing to pay. Also maybe give general costs of a typical relocation (home sale/rental) and how TransferEASE can design a policy for each company that fits within their corporate culture and costs.

Q7. We are considering hiring a new employee who lives on the other side of the country. Can you help me forecast the costs associated with the relocation?

Yes, we can prepare a budget and make recommendations on what benefits to offer. Budgets are usually accurate as we do take the specific factors of the relocation in to account such as the value of homes, the size of the household goods shipment, visa and immigration costs and family factors in to account.

Q8. We want to have an employee work in another city on a project that will take 12 – 18 months. What services can TransferEASE provide?

This assignment would be considered a short term assignment and the company can cover his rent for up to a 24 month period and this benefit is not a taxable benefit to the employee. We can search for a furnished apartment, co-ordinate the lease agreement, make the monthly rent payments and facilitate any other services that may be required.

Q9. My employee is taking a secondement for a 2-3 year period out of country. He does not want to sell his home. How can you help us?

We can work with the employee to rent his home. Our expertise covers areas as listing the property, reviewing a lease agreement, managing the property in his absence – filing the correct forms for taxes, collecting the rent and managing tenants, dealing with maintenance issues and regular maintenance such as lawn care service and snow removal.

Q10. We are considering offering a relocation package to an employee. Should we offer a lump sump, cafeteria style program for expense reimbursement?

The benefits to a lump sum allows the employee to decide where he wants to use the allotment and the sum is a taxable benefit with the exception of the first $650. A cafeteria style offers the same flexibility and provided additional benefit in terms of tax treatment.

Q11. What if I have special needs or requirements related to my relocation?

Let us know what they are! We are here to help choose the best people and tailor the process to your needs. That may include suggesting Realtors and Suppliers who specialize in exactly what you require. There may also be some government programs that are available to those with special needs - Our counsellors know what these are and where to find information on them.

HOWEVER – lump sums should not be given to the employee directly as that will trigger income tax implications, which severely decrease the actual benefit of the allowance you have provided to that employee. TransferEASE fees for lump sum management are a fraction of the income tax implications in most cases. Our assistance to the employee with budgeting and management of funds usually makes them go further as well.

Q12. We are considering hiring an employee for a position that there is a limited number of people who can fill this position. What should we offer this employee to entice him to accept the position?

In addition to the usual benefits such as tax planning and depending on the level of the employee, we can recommend appropriate incentives for the position. ie a bonus, memberships to social and sports clubs, limo car service. Relocation benefits, like any other benefit of employment, are a product of supply and demand in the employment market. The more talented, qualified or uniquely skilled an employee is usually the greater the effort they require to persuade. TransferEASE can help you to build a policy to address these top-tier people and has some great “bells and whistles” offerings to help you land them.

For Relocating Employees:

Q1. What if my new job starts and my home still hasn’t sold?

That is okay. We will help you arrange your temporary living at destination, property management at origin and anything else you need and we will buy your house from you for a guaranteed price we establish early on into working with you.

Q2. How do you establish my guaranteed home sale price?

Depending on your corporation’s policy, we order market assessments from the realtor and appraisers. The methodology for establishing the guarantee price is determined by your corporation, but typically is the mid-point between the appraiser’s opinion of values, provided that those opinions are within a certain percentage of each other, which is know as the “tolerance”. When the appraisals are received by our consultant, it is thoroughly audited to ensure all information is accurate and adjustments are reasonable. Once the appraisals are audited and are found to be in tolerance, the guarantee value is established.

Q3. In guaranteed home sale programs, why is it that the employer and employee have to be represented by the same lawyer?

It provides maximum efficiency, reduces duplicate work and lowers overall legal costs. Most lawyers are also not familiar with the process of the company purchasing your home and selling it to the buyer. We want to ensure the buyout procedure goes smoothly.

Q4. When the company purchased my home, do I have to have it cleaned after it is vacant and can I leave paint cans and pool chemicals?

Your home must be left in a good marketing condition. Most companies provide a settlement allowance to their relocation employees and this can be used to hire a cleaning service. It is best to have all items removed from the home however an exception may be made for paint cans etc.

Q5. I have been told that the appraiser selected to appraise my property in order to establish the guarantee value must do relocation style appraisals. What is the difference between a relocation appraisal and the appraisal my mortgage company did when I purchased the home?

A relocation appraisal determines a value for your property at a future date, usually 90 – 120 days. A bank appraisal determines the value on the day the purchase is made. Relocation appraisals are also much more detailed with more thorough comparison methodology for determining a market value – this is very important to ensure that the price that you’re offered is reflective of the home’s real value.

Q6. I don’t agree with the appraised value of my home or the guarantee value that I have been offered, what can I do to ensure I get more for my property?

The process for establishing a guarantee value is as objective as we can make it, and involves at least 2 or 3 opinions of value from independent professional appraisers and realtors which have to be close enough to each other to be within tolerance (tolerance is a set percentage that represents the maximum variance between appraisals to establish a guarantee value, it’s a safety mechanism we build in to be sure that appraisers are arriving at similar values independently of each other). The opinions of value/appraisals are audited to ensure accuracy in the information and that all assumptions and adjustments are reasonable.

However, the appraisal process is not perfect – it uses historical data to predict future value…a little like trying to hit a moving target with only knowing where that target has been in the past. It works very well when that target doesn’t move much (markets that are stable for long periods of time) and when that target moves consistently in the same direction at the same pace (markets that appreciate or depreciate at the same rate year after year). It doesn’t work quite as well when the target moves erratically (markets that change quickly). The guarantee value is still the result of the objective audit and evaluation of professional appraisals by a professional relocation consultant – the culmination of a great deal of research, experience and critical thinking

So, what can you do about a value that you don’t like? The Guarantee Value is only a safety net – if you’re confident that your home is worth more than that value there is always the option to go without it by declining the guarantee and marketing the home without it, but is there any harm in having that safety net in place? If your home sells for more than the guarantee, you get the higher value that you were after (subject to the program offerings of your employer), but if it sells at or below that guarantee price you will be glad to have the safety net in place.

Things that help get the highest value for a property: completion of all the little projects that could draw negative attention, a clean and uncluttered home during showings, tidy yards with cut grass and nice upgrades such as kitchens, bathrooms, floors and paint. The key is to remove any objections that a buyer might have….don’t let them say “I like the property, but….”.

Q7. I don’t know anyone or anything about the city I am being transferred to. How can you help me?

If you plan to rent, we can connect you with a Community Specialist who will work with you to give you an orientation of the city, find a rental property and assist with settling in services. If you plan to purchase, we will refer you to a realtor who understands the needs of a relocating employee, provide a tour of the city and help you get acquainted. We also have great information packages available that can be tailored to your needs if you prefer to do your own reading.

Q8. Does my spouse and other family members have to move with me or it is possible they can join me at a later time?

It is common for the employee to move forward earlier than the family as the position start date is often in advance of the home being sold and is not a convenient time to take children out of schools.

Q9. My child is currently in an International Baccalaureate Program – will the destination city offer an IB program?

We can research schools in the area that provide that type of program. In addition we can research an number of concerns that may make a difference in whether the employee accepts the relocation ie spousal assistance, private schools, day care centers, provide information on elder care, recreational and sport programs.

Looking for more information? Contact TransferEASE today!