Patricia Turek, Director, Client Services Awarded TheMIGroup Individual Excellence in Partnership Award

Bob-Rosing-&-Patricia-TurekDwellworks’ own Patricia Turek, Director- Client Services, was excited to receive the first Individual Excellence in Partnership award at TheMIGroup’s 2014 Worldwide Partner Network® Awards in Edinburgh, Scotland. “It was a great honor to accept this award on behalf of my Dwellworks team,” she remarked. “Just like Dorothy knows there is no place like home, I know there is no team like Dwellworks, and I am proud to represent the team!” This award recognized one individual who provided excellent service to both TheMIGroup and their assignees.  Bob Rosing, President and CEO of Dwellworks, added, “The first thing Patricia said after receiving this award was, ‘Take this back home to the team – that’s who it really belongs to’. It’s this core value of teamwork and focus on meeting our client needs that sets our team – and Patricia – apart.” Congratulations, Patricia!

 

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How do you say, “Hello”?

A recent scientific study suggests that the way we say “hello,” the most common greeting, can have significant ramifications. Phil McAleer, a psychologist at the University of Glasgow, Scotland conducted an experiment recording 300 people saying the word hello. He then held a focus group to rate these voices for things like confidence, dominance and warmth. The focus group overwhelmingly rated the different voices very similarly. Overall, proving just how quickly we judge a person’s character, in this case, on something as simple as saying hello.

“And it doesn’t get much simpler than a simple ‘hello,’ rapidly communication friend or foe – a phenomenon that Phil McAleer has now dubbed ‘The Jerry Maguire Effect.’ Underscoring the old adage that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

 

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Peggy Love, Managing Director, Honored with EuRA Exceptional Service to Relocation Award

Dwellworks’ Peggy Love was honored to receive the EuRA Exceptional Service to Relocation award. Peggy has contributed 20 years of service to international relocation with an emphasis on families and children. EuRA CEO Tad Zurlinden described Peggy as having created one of the most successful DSPs in the U.S. “I am incredibly honored to be recognized for doing what I love and what I am so passionate about,” says Peggy. “My colleagues in the relocation industry are part of my family and it has been an amazing career.” Congratulations, Peggy!

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Dwellworks Selected as Coolest Internship Finalist for 2014 Expys Awards

2013-internsDwellworks is excited to have been selected as one of five finalists in the category of Coolest Internship for The Expys 2014. The Expys awards recognize Northeast Ohio’s commendable internship programs as well as the faces behind them. Jessica Pike, HR representative at Dwellworks, commented, “Our internship program is a unique opportunity that continues to grow; this year’s interns came to us not only from the US but also from the UK and Canada. At Dwellworks, we make our interns feel just as valuable as fulltime associates, and they often tell us that it is the great company culture that makes their experience at Dwellworks so meaningful.”

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Dutch Expatriates Feel Welcome in Cleveland

“At times like these, Holland can seem pretty close, the newcomers say, close enough that Cleveland does not feel so foreign.” Robert L. Smith of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio writes about a local Dutch school, De Nederlandse School Cleveland, focused on preserving the Dutch culture in the United States. This school was organized by Dutch expatriates with the goal of preserving their language, traditions, and customs for their children while fulfilling their international assignment with their employer. This school and other ethnic language schools in Northeast Ohio, not only help provide support to expatriates already in the region, but also help the region look more desirable to expatriates who may be deciding if relocating here is right for them.

Bernardine van Kessel, a Dutch immigrant and director of international business attraction for Team Northeast Ohio, the region’s business attraction agency, states, “That’s not going to make the deal, but it’s what we call a soft selling factor … people like it. They don’t expect to come to Cleveland, Ohio, and find a school in their language. It’s part of our quality of life.”

Click the following link to read the full story, http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2014/02/cleveland_dutch_school_welcome.html

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Close Neighbors: Understanding the Experience of Moving Between the US and Canada

Dwellworks conducted a study in collaboration with The Interchange Institute (a non-profit research and training organization) on US-to-Canada and Canada-to-US transfers, in light of the often noted but rarely studied difficulties during moves between similar cultures. Using interviews and an online survey tool, in-depth information was gathered regarding the practical and emotional challenges facing over 150 relocating employees and the destination services providers hired to help them.

One of the most consistent challenges reported by employees and providers in both US-to-Canada and Canada-to-US moves was the subtle but strong belief that since the countries were so similar, help and attention was not needed. Providers reported frustration that their offers of assistance were often rejected until problems (e.g., car importing, visa delays) were encountered. Employees revealed the root of this pattern in their frequent expression of surprise that moving between these two countries was actually difficult and required much bureaucratic maneuvering. An unspoken message from both Canadians and Americans was that they didn’t really consider this an international move. Many had easily driven back and forth over the border numerous times on business or personal trips and were surprised that this time, for an expatriate move, they suddenly were “importing a car,” with all the paperwork and delays that entailed.

Differences in fundamentally important aspects of daily living – notably healthcare, banking, education, and amount of choice – required much explanation from providers and adjustment on the part of employees moving in both directions. Superficial similarities between the countries (e.g., language, dress, building style, food) clearly camouflage important differences in daily life that can be taxing for newcomers who arrive without sufficient information.

US and Canadian employees also reported different social values and communication styles in the two countries. Americans in Canada reported perceiving more negative reactions – saying they felt they were often perceived as pushy, rude and arrogant – compared to Canadians in the US – who felt that Canadians were generally perceived as nice, friendly hockey fans. Canadians in the US especially appreciated the career opportunities their move provided them; Americans in Canada especially appreciated the chance to raise their children in Canada. The more differences employees perceived – in practical and social ways – the less smooth was their transition and the less satisfactory was their overall experience.

Providers can successfully help their employees navigate the surprising challenges of moving to a “close neighbor” by educating them early in the relocation cycle about the legal, practical, and cultural differences they will encounter.

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Dwellworks Partners with Educacion para el Desarollo for Mexico Charity Event

With donations from Dwellworks associates and consultants, our Mexico office purchased toys and candies for 88 children (ages 2-12) for a poor community in the State of Mexico on December 7th. This event was coordinated with the local group Educacion para el Desarollo (Education for Development), which works to create schools and educational programs for young children and their families. Most of our Mexico team helped with buying the toys, preparing packages and delivering them. The Dwellworks Mexico team is planning to follow up with this association and partner for other philanthropy events during 2014.

Education for Development Event

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Future of the U.S. Rental Market

With the U.S. national apartment vacancy rate expected to remain low moving into 2014, much discussion surrounds the need for more policies catering to transferring employees choosing to rent rather than buy. Michelle Sandlin, Relocation Professional and Correspondent for the Houston Chronicle, presents this issue in her article On the Move: Future of U.S. Rental Market Concerns Relo Professionals.

The need to implement relocation policies for renters was the focus of a panel discussion at the Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium in Dallas this past October. According to 2012 statistics released by Worldwide ERC, 62% of transferees are choosing to rent. Typically, the cost of moving a renter is far less than the cost of moving a buyer, but companies have fewer policies for renters. Challenges renters face today include low inventory and increasing rental prices, along with employer focus on cost containment and diversifying assignment types and durations.

Many rental markets in the majority of US cities are healthy, but often difficult to navigate. Transferees often have very little negotiation room when it comes to lease terms. Companies may need to reevaluate or create rental policies to respond to this market trend.

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Dwellworks Attends 2013 Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium

 Dwellworks was excited to attend the Fall Worldwide ERC Global Workforce Symposium during the week of October 20. We gained important industry insight by attending several educational sessions and through conversations with fellow attendees. The Dwellworks team was honored to receive the following awards: Mobile App Booth2

  • BP Vendor of the Year, Western Hemisphere
  • Cartus Commitment to Excellence Gold – Property Management
  • Cartus Commitment to Excellence Silver – Appraisal
  • Cartus Commitment to Excellence Silver – Destination Services (UK)
  • Cartus Commitment to Excellence Silver – Destination Services (US)
  • Lexicon World of Quality Supplier Excellence Award – Destination Services

 We were also proud to sponsor the Symposium’s mobile app. We’d like to thank all of our clients and new friends that we met during the conference!

 

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The Balancing Act of Apartment Supply and Demand

According to figures released October 1 by real estate research firm, Reis, Inc., the US national apartment vacancy rate fell to 4.2% in Q3 from 4.3% in Q2. Collecting data in 79 US markets, Reis reported this was the lowest vacancy rate since Q3 2001 when the rate dropped to 3.9%.  While rents have risen accordingly, the increases have not been as high as expected.  In Q3, the national average market rent escalated .9% to $1,121.00.  Not surprisingly, rents in the San Francisco and San Jose markets jumped at a higher rate of 2.2%.  New construction expected to continue in Q4 and into 2014 may serve to raise the vacancy rate and slow down the increases in monthly rental rates.

Hot markets such as Austin, Dallas, Seattle and Denver will continue to see low vacancy rates despite new construction projects.  Conversely, aggressive new building projects may leave other cities with a glut of properties and some developers are proactively slowing down the construction pace. While the absorption of new apartment inventory has been better than anticipated and funding from public and private sources flush, the lower than expected rental rate increases have investors putting on the brakes.

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