Picture yourself receiving a seven day house hunting trip to your new location and a Canadian destination service. You are offered the rental home finding services of a Canadian destination services company… for one day. Yes, that is for 1/7th of your time in the new city.
There are a few things going against your ability to evaluate the value of the service properly in this context.
- You have six more days! It is very difficult for you to actually believe that you could not continue to look on your own for the time you have remaining and find something. And if you do find something in those six days or upon your return, then you will devalue the one day Canadian destinatino service in your mind. This is even though there was legitimate value in the service. It quickly exposed you to the marketplace and what it had to offer at what price. It quickly and efficiently got you around the new city to learn about new neighbourhoods and the properties and amenities they have to offer (it wasn’t just a cab ride). But still, it is hard to believe you can’t do more with the rest of your house hunting trip and that is the first reason you cannot psychologically get behind your one day rental home find.
- It’s just one day! It is a big new city with many different districts and neighbourhoods. You can only see so many properties in one day. You have only just started to make sense of the city geographically – all the different neighbourhoods haven’t begun to knit together in your mind. Furthermore, getting around that city was slow. You may not have even seen too many properties. Psychologically it is very difficult to believe that you have seen all that there is to see in the new city in one day. All Points Relocation Canada has written before about low vacancy rental markets. Please find CMHC’s vacancy rates here. Technically in a low vacancy market, you may have actually seen all that there is to see, but you have great difficulty in believing it. The miracle of a second day of rental home finding is that everything you learned in the first day starts to make more sense – “oh yeah, I remember, this neighbourhood, I remember the price points, I remember how it is close to that other neighbourhood.” However, as long as the service is one day, this miracle does not happen and you are likely to be left with the feeling that there is much more out there for you to see and learn,
- You have a more difficult time bonding with your destination services counsellor. One of the unspoken values of a 2 day rental home find is that you build a relationship with your destination services counsellor and therefore rapport and trust. It is hard to trust that you have seen the entire marketplace or that you got “all the goods” on the different neighbourhoods when you only have one day with that person.
A lot of money is spent on a relocation, and in recent years, it has become a bit of a trend to reduce Canadian destination services from two days of rental home finding to one day of rental home finding. It is definitely far from all companies and may not even be a majority of companies, but it is a trend. With all that money spent on relocation, reducing a Canadian destination service by a day, may be saving the company approximately 1-4% on that total relocation cost. Don’t get me wrong; there are some transferees who succeed with a one day rental home find service, but there are a lot more who do not thrive in this environment. They are left with all the psychological baggage described above. Sure, they can look up properties on the internet, but this is detached from a true understanding of the city and a sage guide who can help them put each property and the general marketplace in perspective.
So, if I were to make one plea, I would ask that companies review their practices and ensure that employees have two days of rental home find service. Satisfaction with the service, and more importantly satisfaction with the home increase when this is the case. And when satisfaction with the home increases, so does satisfaction with the job and satisfaction with the entire notion of relocating in the first place.