By: Sam Hoey | CRP, GMS

September 10, 2020

Several corporate relocation factors may influence a decision to move to a new location. There are some standard reasons, such as being closer to customers and markets. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few new factors are rising in importance. For example, locations outside of major cities appear to be gaining traction for a number of employees. Whereas there had been a trend for people to want to live in larger cities like New York City prior to the pandemic, now that trend appears to have reversed:

  • Westchester County, NY: July 2020 new home contracts double the usual number
  • Greenwich, CT: 72% increase in new home contracts

This trend is repeating in other US cities including Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. While it is accelerating with the pandemic, the trend was already coalescing. Millennials in particular were seen as shifting to the suburbs back in 2018. Reports detail that millennial buyers seek:

  • More space
  • Lots of bathrooms
  • Safe neighborhoods
  • Ample parking
  • Shorter commutes

U.S. Census data analysis shows the following:

Americans moving to urban areas33%28%
Americans moving to suburban areas46%54%

What are the Top 7 Corporate Relocation Factors?

For most corporations, relocation decisions are made for several reasons. Thorough planning processes may yield both short term and long term objectives. Companies should review all of the important factors pertinent to their decision. Sometimes these major factors have been known to the company, especially if they need to grow through talent acquisition.

Top 7 Corporate Relocation Factors

  1. Companies seeing a trend of employees departing large cities will inevitably face declining workforces. Therefore a potential relocation to suburban areas might be in order. Many companies seek to be near a large pool of talented employees.
  1. The ability to be in a location that offers attractive housing, low commuting times, and favorable amenities is a positive factor for companies. Even though some work may be done remotely, there may be occasions to bring employees together in a safe manner. Suburban locations may still require longer commuting times. If a company relocates to the suburbs near employees, that is one more benefit to drawing nearby talent for job openings.

Homeownership and Quality of Life are Important Corporate Relocation Factors for Employees

  1. Homeownership is something that many employees seek. When markets offer record low interest rates, the case for buying versus renting is clear. Employers should encourage employees and transferees to buy instead of rent. There are many benefits that accrue to both the employee and the employer in the case of homeownership. Homeownership is often more easily attainable in suburban locations.
  1. Quality of life issues cover many areas and may be important to spouses and families. For example, the ability for a spouse to find a job in a new location might determine the success of a relocation. In our Case Study on Educational Institution Relocation Programs, GMS found that our client was losing new hires after year or so. Researching the issues, we helped the client understand that lack of employment opportunities for spouses was the major factor impacting the decision process. Therefore clients should include the considerations of families and spouses as a corporate relocation factor.

Moving from Older to Newer Facilities is a Corporate Relocation Factor

  1. Many companies located in older facilities face formidable market competition. Nimble market newcomers are often flush with the latest technologies. Upgrading facilities and equipment is a very important corporate relocation factor. Companies currently operating in outdated facilities may be at a competitive disadvantage. It is important for companies to consider their technology needs as they look at their corporate relocation factors.
  1. The ability to reach new clients and increase market exposure in a new location can help a company reach corporate objectives. Some corporate headquarters moves are made to gain easy access to capital and financial decision makers. Many large companies have facilities in several locations to gain unique advantages. This also allows them to leverage several pools of talent and local expertise.
  1. Cost and tax considerations may be a factor in some corporate relocations. Many companies take the cost of a location into account as they seek to assure continued success as they respond to rising costs and increasing competition.

Once a company planning to relocate reaches a decision, there are many points to consider. As it plans for a corporate relocation, a company should consider each point. As a result, this will ensure the company is fully aware of potential issues. They should have specific plans and ensure preparations are sufficient to ensure a smooth relocation experience. Often this also provides an excellent opportunity for positive Public Relations (PR) efforts that can highlight the corporate relocation’s benefits.

Top 5 Points a Company Looking at Corporate Relocation Factors Should Consider

  1. Assign a project team to plan the relocation and develop the relocation budget.
  2. Develop appropriate contingency plans and protocols to account for issues such as adverse weather, communications, and operations.
  3. Plan for backup systems to counteract any disruptions to customer service or employee communications during the relocation.
  4. Connectivity, security, adequacy of backups, and ability to restore technology systems should be reviewed to ensure full compliance with corporation needs, customer requirements, and business continuity plans.
  5. Ensure employees, customer, vendors, and others receive information about the move. Often this is a good opportunity for positive Public Relations (PR) efforts that can highlight the corporate relocation factors and the benefits of the move.

What Should a Company Planning to Relocate do?

A company planning to relocate should identify all of the corporate relocation factors leading to the decision. Also, the company should consider all of the Top 5 Points that may impact the relocation. Companies contemplating a corporate relocation should work with a qualified Relocation Management Company (RMC) that has knowledge and expertise in all of the planning and processes involved with a corporate relocation.

Corporate relocation experts provide valuable insight and can help a company’s corporate relocation process run smoothly with minimal disruptions. Engaging a Relocation Management Company early in the process will ensure a company has a knowledgeable partner that can guide them through all phases. RMCs help companies understand the important corporate relocation factors impacting their decision. They will also arrange all aspects of the company’s relocation to ensure a smooth process.


GMS’ team of corporate relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients develop plans and processes to ensure a successful and efficient corporate relocation. As a result, our team can help your company understand the corporate relocation factors that should be considered. We can also help your company understand how to proceed with a corporate relocation that will keep your company operating at full capacity before, during, and after the relocation.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a “.com.” The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Contact our experts online to discuss corporate relocation factors facing your company, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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Senior Vice President, Global Account Management Sam joined Global Mobility Solutions in 1996 and has a unique perspective with her 25 years of industry experience. Samantha offers her clients relocation expertise and a commitment to excellence in her. Her proficiency in orchestrating the BVO and GPO Programs, as well as relocation policy design and implementation, are invaluable assets to the accounts she manages. Her experience in administering Pre-Decision Relocation services to enhance the recruiting process further demonstrates her unique abilities to service her clients. Samantha’s diverse experience, leadership, and outstanding communication skills enable her to manage the relocation process for her clients with finesse and polished professionalism.

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