Weichert Relocation Resources Launches Relocation 'Next Practices' to Improve Workforce Management

May 16, 2008 // Franchising.com // MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. – Besieged by a tumultuous real estate market, global talent crunch and mounting competitive pressures, today's HR and corporate relocation managers will need to look for solutions beyond the status quo to keep their relocation programs on track to meet vital business objectives and leadership development goals.

To assist these progressive organizations and provide strategic guidance, Weichert Relocation Resources Inc. (WRRI), one of the world's leading relocation companies, has developed Next PracticesSM—the next generation of relocation and assignment management solutions, designed to deliver compelling results under all market conditions.

"Our Next Practices are designed to challenge the conventional wisdom that has dominated our industry," said Aram Minnetian, President of WRRI. "Companies need to become serial innovators, relying less on how they've always done things in regard to relocation and assignment management by targeting goals that lie beyond today's best practices. That is the thinking behind our two critical real estate Next Practices—Valuation Management and Portfolio Management—which were designed to help our clients achieve a higher volume and faster rate of home sale closings, while reducing overall home disposition costs."

Valuation Management combines the internal expertise of WRRI's team of certified valuation consultants and the local expertise of its network of third-party appraisers to forecast the most probable sales price for each property; a price that will produce an acceptable sale within a defined marketing period. Signaling a break with tradition and a shift of focus to predictive values, this solution combats the compound effect of inaccurate buyout values and appraisal variances, which are the root of most employee dissatisfaction and the primary cause of higher loss-on-sale and inventory rates.

"Valuation Management challenges traditional industry thinking that says the best way to determine a guaranteed buyout figure is to simply average two appraisals," said Minnetian, one of the chief architects of WRRI's Next Practices. "Instead, we focus on forecasting the anticipated price of each property, and quality score and rank each appraisal across seven criteria to ensure that we have the most reliable buyout value and marketing data."

Portfolio Management is the strategy of making a market and creating demand for employee homes. Aided by WRRI's proprietary Portfolio Management Worksite, real estate agents, in-house portfolio managers and relocating employees work collaboratively to identify the target buyer for each property so that they can develop a dynamic, custom marketing plan to achieve the forecasted sales price in the shortest possible timeframe.

"In the past, appraisers, brokers and other real estate specialists worked in a vacuum; they didn't have the holistic perspective that the home disposition process demands. This is an especially risky approach under today's market conditions," said Minnetian. "With Portfolio Management, we're reinventing the way that relocation real estate is marketed and sold for the foreseeable future."

WRRI's real estate Next Practices have been adopted by some of the most progressive companies in America, and have yielded compelling results. In 2007, WRRI sold 37 percent more homes than it did in 2006, despite record increases in foreclosure rates and restrictive credit guidelines. The company has also witnessed a 25 percent reduction in days on market for portfolio-managed versus non-portfolio-managed properties.

"Many of today's brokers, appraisers, relocation professionals and relocating employees have never experienced a depreciating market. Consequently, the need for our subject matter expertise and innovation has never been stronger," said Minnetian. "Our dedication to proactively reinventing even the most time-honored processes through the use of Next Practices is what helps us transcend our role as a service provider and become a trusted and strategic business partner."

About Weichert Relocation Resources:

Weichert Relocation Resources Inc. (WRRI) delivers innovative Next PracticesSM—the next generation of relocation and assignment management services—that help some of the world's leading companies avoid inventory, increase employee home sales, enhance mobile workforce management and reduce program costs. WRRI is recognized as the growth-oriented industry leader, providing a unique combination of stability, financial expertise and seasoned leadership that has made the company a trusted, proactive partner to clients throughout the world. A progressive, independent company, WRRI is committed to delivering Raving Fan® service; investing in new capabilities, technologies and talent; and bringing unmatched innovations to market, such as the industry's only complete, end-to-end global workforce mobility solution. For more information, visit wrri.com.

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