Home Purchase, Mortgage Programs, and Inflation – Part 2 08.19.2022 | Jennifer Connell

As the US economy grapples with inflation levels not seen since 1982, we’re all thinking a little harder about the financial choices we make, personally and professionally. And some of these choices sting harder than others — farewell for now, aged cheddar cheese, my old and now very expensive friend.

In the first part of this blog post, I broke down how rising costs – due to inflation, a booming housing market, and soaring mortgage rates – are impacting mobility budgets and the mobile employee experience. Now we’re sharing some of the savvy responses embraced by other companies to do more with less. The best news: these solutions can help you overcome affordability challenges while ensuring that your program remains competitive and attractive!

A great place to start is by borrowing inspiration from organizations that have traditionally operated in high-cost areas. Recently, Weichert held two roundtables in California – in the Bay Area and in Irvine, Southern California – to discuss experiences and successes in moving talent within high-cost areas. In addition to corporate mobility managers, we brought in SMEs from AIRINC (Jordan Blue, Director of Product Management & Innovation), Relocity (Elisa Hickey, Director of Operations), and area real estate brokers Stephen Slater (Intero Real Estate Services) and Chris Lechner (Weichert GlobalPoint).

These discussions focused primarily on how to improve (or protect) the employee experience for those navigating these fiercely competitive, high-cost real estate markets. Some of the most notable strategies gleaned included:

  • Empower Talent Acquisition to provide additional mobility support and resources.
  • Offer pre-decision assistance to inform the employee about affordability options and manage expectations.
  • Enhance destination services (even an additional day makes a difference for a family struggling to secure housing when there are limited options within their budget).
  • Provide tax consultation so the employee understands the short-term financial impact.
  • Consider financial consultation that gives the employee a long-term picture that includes their earning potential over 5-10 years.
  • Provide flexibility for renters to become homeowners and vice versa, opening up more housing options.
  • Communication is key. Begin conversations early with candidates and educate internal stakeholders that may need to be brought into the discussion on certain situations.
  • Leverage the power of storytelling: word of mouth will reinforce the company’s position to support employees and overcome some of the reluctance to move to high-cost areas.
On-the-ground Experts Make a Difference.

In overcoming the high cost of housing, real estate broker Chris, emphasized his role to not only find the right house, but also present the opportunities in the new location, which may reflect the lifestyle, weather, access to great schools or professional opportunities for the accompanying partner.

Explore Tools That Can Help Tackle Affordability Challenges.  

Investing the time into researching user-friendly, cost-projection tools for assignees can manage expectations and help assignees overcome sticker shock in locations with affordability concerns.

AIRINC recently developed a Home Purchase Differential tool that calculates and provides an up-front lump sum that employees can use to secure a larger down payment with more affordable monthly payments. The “know before you go” comparisons are helping candidates in the pre-decision process, and helps clients to more accurately gauge the level of assistance that employees will need within high-cost locations.
Jordan Blue Director of Product Management & Innovation, AIRINC

*Learn more about AIRINC’s tool here. 

Wait, there’s even more. Stay tuned for the third and final installment of this blog post, where we’ll share even more recommendations and best practices for navigating sticky, high-cost housing markets.

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Written by Jennifer Connell


Jennifer Connell, SCRP, SGMS-T, is Vice President of Weichert’s Advisory Services group. She has over 25 years of experience in the workforce mobility and employee benefits industries and is a recipient of Worldwide ERC’s Distinguished Service Award. She has spoken on workforce mobility topics at industry conferences throughout North America and written for mobility- and HR-themed blogs and magazines worldwide.

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