Relocation is a big business. Large companies relocate tens of thousands of employees each year, resulting in a similar number of real estate transactions in getting them from one place to another. These companies are generally operating on a timetable, so these transactions start and close quickly and they don’t necessarily fall within the traditional seasonal trends of the industry. Brokerages with a heavy corporate, government or military presence in their service area know that relocation is a huge revenue source year after year. Often you help the referred employee or executive purchase a home and a few years later list it when the employee or executive is transferred again. It’s a great supplemental lead source for a brokerage. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that business?
Know the Requirements
Not just anyone can get into the relocation business. Corporate or government entities have high expectations of the brokerages they work with and it can be a challenge to even get in the door. You have to have the right training and the right contacts to make the cut. It takes perseverance and attention as sales tend to be more time intensive and move quickly. Flexibility and responsiveness is a must. In addition, you need to understand and meet the requirements of each company or government agency and understand any compliance issues to avoid costly mistakes. Certifications like “Certified Relocation Professional”, or “Military Relocation Professional” may be required by the companies you wish to approach, for example. But whatever those requirements are, the payoff of having the continuous lead flow from the relocation business can be tremendous.
Get A Regional Start
One way to start with relocation is to associate with statewide companies or government agencies who are more inclined to work with independent brokerages with a proven knowledge of their local area and a good track record. But just doing statewide corporate referrals limits your relocation lead generation.
Build A National Presence
National corporation/government/military companies however, typically want to work with brokerages who have a coast-to-coast business pipeline. Depending on your market, this can put independent or regional agencies right out of the running for lucrative corporate relo contracts. So how do you get in the door? One way is by affiliating with a company that already has inroads to this business. Take the story of Broker Steve Wilke of Weichert, Realtors – Triumph Group in Ohio, who ran a successful relo business as an independent, but saw more and more of his clients require brokerages with a national presence. After losing several lucrative relocation contracts, Steve was attracted to affiliation with Weichert particularly because of its established relocation division, Weichert Workforce Mobility. After his brokerage became a nationally branded Weichert Affiliate, not only did he get back almost every corporate relo client he lost, but he then gained dozens more with Qualified referrals from Weichert. Some very high profile companies placed executives in the Columbus Ohio area using Steve’s team. While relo work is certainly a possibility for the smart independent broker, this is one area where being part of a national brand entrenched in the business really helps. In addition, if you are new to the relocation business, being part of an organization that is familiar with the requirements can help show you the ropes and become a qualified brokerage for receiving these leads.
Final Thoughts On Adding Relocation to your Brokerage
The relocation business has a unique set of requirements and breaking into it can be tough going as an independent broker, especially when you are competing with national brands who already know the business. A brand like Weichert, with an established relocation division, already has a huge infrastructure of lead referrals and corporate contracts and you have the opportunity to access them as an affiliate. Weichert Workforce Mobility earned the highest net satisfaction score from relocated employees, according to the Twenty-Third Annual Nationwide Relocating Employee Survey conducted by Trippel Research & Survey. It is also the only company to win the “Relocation Management Company of the Year” honors at the Forum For Expatriate Management’s EMMA Awards for three consecutive years.
If relocation is something you’re interested in for your brokerage, Weichert is a great resource to partner with and it’s just one of the many things you can plug into as an affiliate. Call a Weichert team member today at 877-746-2067 or go online to weichertfranchise.com to find out more.