Of the millions of Americans moving each year, more than 10% of them are relocating for a job. Corporate relocation companies are experts in logistics that can help people move when they’re changing jobs. These companies help people pack, move, store items, and sometimes even work with realtors to help sell a current house or find a new one.
We researched 10 of the biggest corporate relocation companies and chose the top five based on their services offered, locations serviced, and reviews to help you find the one that best suits your corporate relocation needs. Here are our top picks.
The 5 Best Corporate Relocation Companies of 2020
Best Overall: BGRS
Founded in 1998 in Illinois, BGRS (originally Brookfield Global Relocation Services) has 12 regional offices around the world, including locations in Illinois, Singapore, and London. The company is a subsidiary of Relo Group Inc., a publicly traded company on the Tokyo stock exchange.
BGRS specializes in talent mobility solutions for corporate and government clients including the U.S. and Canadian governments. The company provides customized relocation services to 140 countries and counting. We chose BGRS as our best overall corporate relocation company due to its many years in business, its backing by a prominent parent company, and its extensive global outreach.
Each year, BGRS oversees more than 63,000 relocations. It provides end-to-end services, meaning they oversee as much of the relocation as you want and have the team in place to take care of every detail. Between the company and its network of vendors, it manages everything from the logistics of physically moving belongings to currency exchange, visa applications, home sales, and more.
Using BGRS, it usually takes at least a few months to relocate overseas due to the paperwork involved, but domestic moves can be completed much more quickly.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Altair Global Relocation
Founded in 1989 in Frisco, Texas, Altair Global has 11 offices around the world. It is an independent, management-owned company without any parent companies or subsidiaries and prides itself on making quick decisions and giving clients the personal attention of a small company. It focuses on providing one-of-a-kind corporate relocation services and helps its clients settle in after their moves. Altair Global is our runner-up because of its hands-on, boutique approach, technology that shows customers what is being done and what’s left to finish, and the company’s overall transparency.
Altair Global offers domestic and international relocation services and has a vast network of industry suppliers to help with moving, home sales, immigration services, consulting, and technology services, as well as relocation reimbursement tracking. Using Altair, each client gets a portal where they can keep track of each component of their relocation. The company can handle every aspect of the move or just the parts that you don’t feel like dealing with yourself.
The timeframe for a corporate relocation depends on a number of factors, including whether the move is domestic or international, how many people are moving, what visa documents are needed, finding available housing, and so on. Usually, a domestic move can be done in two to four weeks, but an international move usually takes a few months.
The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau but mixed reviews when it comes to customer service. Some customers say the emergency numbers aren’t staffed, though others report getting great service.
Best for Speed: Xonex
Xonex was founded in Delaware more than 25 years ago and is a third-party relocation services company. It focuses on combining customer service and technology to ensure each moving part of a relocation goes smoothly and with minimal interruptions. Each client receives a custom benefit plan that includes a transparent budget and exactly what services it includes.
Xonex is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a Women’s Business Enterprise and is one of the largest third-party relocation service companies in the U.S. Xonex has an international network and handles corporate relocations worldwide. It has suppliers and vendors that are leaders in their field. It also offers an app so customers have 24/7 access to important relocation data.
Xonex offers typical relocation services such as moving, storage, and packing, as well as housing services, including appraisers, mortgage lenders, and real estate brokers. Some of their additional services include expense analysts, IT liaisons, and company culture specialists. You can have Xonex take care of all of your corporate relocation needs or just some of them.
Xonex isn’t rated by the Better Business Bureau and has no customer complaints. Although the speed of a corporate relocation depends on how involved the move is, the distance, and whether there’s a home that needs to be sold, Xonex prides itself on speedy corporate relocations, which is why it was selected as the best corporate relocation company for speed. Its slogan is “Relocation at the speed of life!”
Best Customer Service: Aires
Aires was founded in 1981 as a freight-forwarding company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has since evolved into a global relocation services company with offices throughout the U.S., Mumbai, Hong Kong, and London. The company specializes in going wherever its clients need and has helped with relocations to over 175 countries. Aries has over 3,000 active service providers to help with specific needs.
Aires was chosen as the corporate relocation company with the best customer service because every customer is assigned an individual from the company’s mobility team to be their relocation expert. This level of personal service makes the relocation process a bit easier, as customers have a single point of contact for all their needs.
Aires manages as many parts of your relocation as you want and can also handle international immigration services, reporting services, and international compensation administration services. The company provides all the basics, like moving and storage and housing needs, as well as merger and acquisition support, family counseling, and financial planning. Typically, a domestic move can be done in a couple of months. International moves are a bit more involved and usually take 12 weeks or more to complete.
Aries receives very positive reviews online, with customers reporting that it goes the extra mile and provides great personal attention through its mobility team. It also has some negative comments relating to how long it takes for belongings to be delivered and some cases of unresponsiveness. Aries has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited since 1993.
Best for Additional Services: Cartus
Cartus was founded in 1955 in Wilton, Connecticut, as a small startup providing relocation services to customers in the U.S. It now has over 2,900 employees and provides corporate relocation services domestically and internationally. Cartus is part of the publicly traded Realogy Holdings Corp., which is a respected name in the industry.
Besides moving and housing services, Cartus offers an array of additional services. These include language and cultural classes, property management, career transition, educational counseling, spouse employment support, insurance services, management training, and auto sourcing. It also has its own real estate broker network to get your current home more exposure so it is sold quicker. All of these valuable add-ons are why we chose Cartus as the best corporate relocation company for additional services.
Similar to the other corporate relocation companies, Cartus can handle all of your basic and not-so-basic domestic and international relocation needs, or they can tailor a package that includes just the services you're looking for. Because the company is part of a larger company and has connections to so many vendors, it moves quickly, but domestic moves still typically take a couple of months to complete, while international moves take longer.
Cartus has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau but isn’t accredited. It has one negative review but it’s not related to the company’s relocation services.
What Are Corporate Relocation Companies?
Corporate relocation companies provide the tools and relationships that help with job-related moves. People use them to save time and have a more efficient and seamless move. For example, if you get promoted and have to move across the country—or even around the world—your employer will most likely hire a corporate relocation company to assist you with the process. Using a relocation company allows you to reduce the time and stress of not only starting a new job in a new city, but also of calling movers, storage companies, apartment managers, real estate agents, and others.
What Do Corporate Relocation Companies Do?
Here are some common things that corporate relocation services do:
- Packing, moving, and storage services with licensed and bonded movers
- Home sales with contract to purchase your current home or use a realtor to sell or rent
- Temporary housing lined up at your destination and then help finding permanent housing
- Unpacking items at your new place
- Providing a list of vendors such as utility companies, local schools, groceries, etc.
- Immigration services for the whole family
- Help setting up new bank accounts and currency exchange
- Transportation for you and our family to the new destination
- Vehicle shipping
- Pet services
Some companies offer add-on services such as language and cultural immersion classes if necessary, a local liaison to help you settle into your new neighborhood, career transition consulting services, and group management programs for group moves and mergers.
Corporate relocation companies can do as little or as much as you need them to do. The best companies typically cover every aspect of relocation including things you’d probably never think about, such as pet services, school registrations, and setting up foreign bank accounts. Once a client hires a corporate relocation company, the client typically deals with a representative of the company for questions and signatures but otherwise has to do very little.
What Is the Cost of Using a Corporate Relocation Company?
Corporate relocations are typically paid for in one of two ways: An employer uses a corporate relocation company and covers all associated costs, or the employer gives the employee a relocation assistance package that includes upfront payment or reimbursement after a move.
Unlike other companies such as property management companies, there aren’t usually ranges of costs available for corporate relocation companies. Rather, pricing is entirely custom to an individual move and what exactly is involved. A move to a neighboring state for an apartment renter is vastly different than a move across the ocean for a family of four with a home to sell. A typical move that just requires movers, storage fees, and packing may only cost a few thousand dollars, whereas the average corporate relocation costs an employer over $90,000 if a home sale is involved.
Is Using a Corporate Relocation Company Worth It?
Corporate relocation companies are usually worth the cost, especially since they’re either paid for or reimbursed by an employer. But, even without a relocation package, hiring a relocation company can save you lots of time and stress. After all, it’s very difficult and time-consuming to pack up all of your belongings, sort what goes with you and what goes to storage, physically transport items, load and unload them, all while working and caring for a family.
In addition to the most basic parts of a move, you’ll also need to find temporary and then permanent housing at your new destination and, if you’re moving internationally, immigration services and possible language and cultural integration. Corporate relocation companies provide value in saving time by taking care of all of the logistics and having an organized network of suppliers and vendors, so you only have to deal with one person, rather than a dozen.
How We Chose the Best Corporate Relocation Companies
We looked at 10 corporate relocation companies to find the best. We evaluated providers based on length of time in business, company reputation, services offered, locations where they offer these services, and customer reviews. Based on these criteria, we identified the best relocation companies based on your individual needs.
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