We have contacted one of the most reputable and serious-in-business Mum and Dad, to get some thoughts about the problems that relocating people involves.
Companies that plan to relocate professionals abroad, such as delegates or sales representatives, tend to have the wrong impression that a relocation service is expensive or is not suitable for a small- or medium-sized business.
When a company decides to relocate a professional to another city or country, what usually happens is that the HR manager, or the officer in charge of the relocating task, books a room in a hotel with a view to renting a flat or house soon after. Then, it often happens that the relocated professional spends more than a month living in a hotel room. Once the move is done, the weeks go on and the expat does not have the time to search for appropriate accommodation. To hire a specialized service not only saves money for the company but it also helps the person who is moving and, definitely, it makes the relocation abroad more professional.
With a professional and dedicated service, the expat will set up much sooner in the new location, he will save time searching for his new home and the company will pay less in hotel bills. Also, on many occasions, the company ends up paying estate agent fees for renting a flat.
We know particular cases of professionals that decided to move abroad without any support. They have found themselves with problems when renting a flat. Nowadays, the number of flats to rent is high in Madrid but landlords are restricting demand by applying payment guarantees and requesting documentation to be provided by tenants: payslips, job contract, bank credit letters, and many others.
Regarding location, many foreign companies and expats do not have a clear idea about the main difference between other areas of the city. It increases the risk of choosing the wrong area in which to live. For instance, some people believe that to live in a central area of Madrid means to live in Gran Via or Sol. Other people have some doubts about how secure it is to live in Alcobendas, San Sebastián, etc… because these are located out of the city centre.
In the case of newly-arrived professionals to Spain, it could be quite difficult to find permanent places to live and they are tending to find short-stay accommodations which become very expensive.
Another typical case is Spanish professionals that are relocated abroad for work reasons and they need to leave their houses in good hands. We are in charge of renting or selling their properties for the period that they are abroad. In many cases we act as landlords.
Removal is another problematic point. Maybe the company is in charge of the removal cost – which is usually very expensive. Generally, it is not a good idea to move the personal belongings as well, if we put factor in the cost of the removals and the cost of the furniture and items. Timing is always a problem and paperwork becomes extremely complicated. Finally, the expat arrives to his new destination and the furniture and other items are still on their way, having not even arrived at the city.
Expats in Madrid tend to get involved with groups of people from the same country of origin. The language barrier is also very important as is the culture. So, it is of high value to be able to get help and the advice of professionals able to speak English.
By Daniel Talavera of The Spanish Brick