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Corporate Moves: A Guide to Negotiating a Relocation Package

Verified Movers Team Moving Industry Standards

The most common reason that pushes people to move house is changing jobs. Imagine the following situation: you have been looking for your dream job for ages. Finally, you find one, apply and get the job! While that is great news, and it’s super exciting, it worries you more than it should. Why? Well, the employer wants you to move states in order to work for the company. When you live on your own you know the answer is always an easy one – you sit in your car and drive off to the new town. However, when you’ve got a family, then things get a bit more complicated. In order to help you out, your new employer offers help. Now, it’s up to you how you will approach negotiating a relocation package that they will give you.

What is a relocation package?

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, we will first briefly explain what this relocation package is. Also, we will try to explain what types there are and how does it help you. When you’re searching for various moving tips online, you will rarely stumble upon this term. That’s why you’ve got us to help you out! So let’s get started. Technically, a relocation package is a set of funds, resources or agreements from your employer, that are supposed to ease your move. Now you might think “Why should I even consider negotiation a relocation package when the company is nice enough to assist me with the move?”. Well, read on and learn why you should be very careful when signing such a deal.

People sitting at a desk with laptops at a business meeting
When you agree to relocate for your new job, the employer will usually offer assistance in the form of a relocation package.

Types of relocation packages that the employer can offer

Much like with the contract you get from your movers, there are a few things at stake here. As a company that’s worked with hundreds of different moving companies, we are able to tell you what kind of offers do people usually get in these situations. Here are the possibilities:

  • Lump-sum – this is the easiest one when it comes to arranging it. To put it simply, the company gives you a certain amount of money which you can spend however you want. Whether it is hiring a professional moving company, renting a truck to drive yourself, buying plane tickets, it doesn’t matter. The trick here is that you get this amount only once. Make sure you get a moving estimate before you start working with movers, so you know exactly how much money you will need!
  • Reimbursement – your employer willfully (or partially) pay you back the money you used towards the relocation.
  • Direct bill – third party vendors (movers, shipping companies, airlines, real estate firms, etc.) get the money directly from your employer to assist you with the move.
  • Third-party relocation – the employer hires a third party to handle the logistics of your relocation.

Why is negotiating a relocation package important?

All of the abovementioned types of assistance you can get from your employer sound ideal. In any case, you are now glad that the company cares about its employees enough to help them during this stressful period. However, you shouldn’t take anything for granted. While it will keep you and your family from worrying about the state to state moving, it will also give your new employer a staff member more quickly than not. When you begin negotiating a relocation package, you are ensuring a deal that is most suitable for your needs. Here are a few questions you should ask before agreeing to a relocation package:

  • Will it cover assistance for your partner and/or children? Whether it is helping them find a job or a good school district, this should be included.
  • Will the movers help you pack and unpack?
  • Will they provide storage service (if necessary)?
  • How about transportation and lodging costs? (if you’re not using a professional moving company)

Other details you need to determine before agreeing to a deal

Man extending his hand for a handshake
Be aware of your needs for this relocation before you settle for a relocation package.

Of course, before you even start negotiating a relocation package, you should know approximately what you will need to complete your move. For example, your terms for this package will depend on whether the relocation is temporary or long-term. With a temporary relocation, you will require storage service and temporary housing. If this employment is more permanent, then you will need to fly out and scout for a new house or an apartment. Your relocation package should then cover this arrival, such as plane tickets or hotel accommodation. If you’re moving long-distance, then you should see whether the employer is willing to pay for shipping, vehicle transportation or even legal assistance if you’re moving internationally.

Tips on negotiating a relocation package

By this point, you have probably already negotiated something. Be it your job offer or a salary, you know that every deal is flexible. Now, you may not get everything that you want in this package, but you can at least try to adjust it according to your own needs. This is our advice:

  • Read everything before signing, even the fine print – who knows what might be hiding in there!
  • Be clear and firm about your needs with your employer. Try and explain to them how this adjustment will benefit them as well.
  • Stay flexible. The last thing you want is for your employer to think you’re too stubborn before you even started working for them!
  • Have goals in mind and keep to them. If your priority is making sure your family also gets the help, then clarify that with them. Maybe shipping costs don’t need to be covered if that means your end goals are achieved and your family is assisted.

    Close up of a pen and a checkbox on a paper
    Before you agree to the terms of the package, make sure you adjust it to your own needs as much as possible.

All in all, be smart and do proper research before you agree on a relocation package. Ask your employer if you’ve got any questions and get moving!

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