January 2018 GPA Board Meeting Highlights

Published: Apr 12, 2018

NEI’s Global Partner Alliance is guided by an Advisory Board that includes the senior leadership team from NEI and selected service partners from multiple industries. The mission is to identify and discuss best practices, recommendations, and resources in delivering world-class relocation management and consulting services.

Every quarter, the Board convenes to address topical issues and trends.  Our first meeting in January included a special focus on the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  It, and other topics included:

  • Wire fraud; in fiscal year 2017, nearly $1 billion ($969 million) was “diverted or attempted to be diverted” from real estate purchase transactions and wired to “criminally controlled” accounts. That figure is up explosively from fiscal 2016, when the FBI counted $19 million in wire transfer frauds affecting homebuyers
  • Volatile interest rate market; mortgage experts predict mortgage interest rates to rise to 4.4% in 2018; refinancing expected to drop significantly
  • Appraiser shortages continue to be an issue in the U.S.
  • “Reshoring” of companies moving business back to the U.S. due to the tax cuts and a more favorable business climate
  • Group move activity is on the upswing.
  • Second home purchases will likely be impacted by the new tax law with the mortgage interest deduction reduced from $1 million to $750,000 as well as the $10,000 cap on property, state, and local income taxes
  • London market is seeing an increase in Business Travelers; competition and pricing for rental properties high
  • Impact of Brexit continues but seeing an increase in manufacturing, IT, and food production in the UK
  • Lengthy process of visa and immigration, and the regulatory environment; the immigration process can take up to nine months to complete
  • Overall cost containment was key among issues discussed and seen as an ongoing initiative
  • International household goods forwarders continue to be challenged with limited reliable networks, rising costs and balancing service expectations, especially true in LATAM
  • Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR - data privacy initiative of the EU) for companies around the world – interpretation of the regulation is the current challenge for companies
  • Technology continues to increase in importance to help ease the stress for employees in the move process and present opportunities to make it more efficient for the employee, family, company, NEI and service partners
  • Importance of the “Employee Experience” throughout the move with the goal of employee remaining satisfied and productive; competition for talent constantly increasing, and the importance for clients to continually review their benefit package with NEI (more to come on this topic at our June Talent Agility Symposium)

As always, your NEI Team is here to discuss and advise on the issues that impact your business specifically.