Relocation Assistance: How to Effectively Negotiate Relocation

by Dusty Rhodes on Apr 09, 2021  in 
  • Real Estate
  • SMARTBOX Moving Tips
  • Moving
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You have just landed your dream job and although it’s everything you have ever wanted, it happens to be located across the country. This immediately causes you to start worrying about the cost of moving your family thousands of miles away.


After all, long-distance moves can cost thousands of dollars, not to mention the stress and logistical headache of such a major undertaking. So, before you accept the offer and sign on the dotted line, be sure to ask your potential new employer about relocation assistance.


What is Relocation Assistance?

Oftentimes companies will offer to pay for the moving expenses associated with relocating their employees. This would include hiring a professional moving company to pack, move, and even store the employee’s belongings. While some companies might not be quick to offer relocation right away, many of them want to help you as long as what you are asking for is fair. If your employer does not offer relocation assistance right away, here are a few simple ways to ask for it yourself.


Step 1: Prepare for the Negotiation

If your new employer does not offer to pay for your relocation, you can still negotiate for this perk as part of your overall compensation package. However, you can’t simply walk into a meeting unnamed and unprepared. Before you negotiate, you need to gather some important information to determine the true cost of your relocation expenses. You want to start by gathering quotes from several different companies regarding the following expenses:

  • Truck rental
  • Transportation expenses
  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Packing materials
  • Storage fees



Step 2: Determine What is Fair to Ask For

Once you have gathered all of your quotes and information, you want to be clear about what you plan to ask for. It is important to be mindful of all of the expenses you might incur as a result of this move, so you don’t underestimate the costs associated with your relocation. Unexpected costs and expenses can add unnecessary stress to this already difficult process so it’s best to overestimate your expenses rather than underestimate them.


Step 3: Understand Your Options

Relocation is very expensive so some companies are very careful about how much they are willing to spend. However, a smart employer also understands that it will be a very lucrative return on investment in the long run to bring a high quality employee on board. As a result, employers may look for different ways to handle relocation costs. Many companies will use one of these methods:

Lump Sum: Your employer pays you a one time lump sum to cover moving-related expenses

Reimbursement: You pay your moving expenses upfront and then your employer will reimburse you

Direct Billing: Your employer deals directly with the moving company to pay your expenses

Third-Party:  Your employer outsources relocation services to a third party broker


In addition to packing and moving expenses, you might also require assistance with other things such as rental assistance if you have to break a lease, temporary housing assistance, and travel expenses for food and lodging. Be sure and include these items in your negotiation.


Step 4: Ask for Assistance the Right Way

When it comes time to negotiate for relocation assistance, be mindful of how you frame your request. Simply walking and stating, “This is going to cost me a fortune and I need you to pay for it” might not land you much help. However, reframing your request in a way that is beneficial to both you and your employer could be much more effective. For example, you could say “If you can help me cover the cost of hiring professional movers, I could move my start date up by a month.” This will make the request more enticing for your employer and it shows that you are considering what is best for everyone involved.


In general, most companies have no problem helping out with relocation expenses if they are able. Be sure to do your homework and find out where the company stands on relocation assistance before you ask for it. Also, if you do decide to negotiate for assistance, be sure and have all of your information prepared beforehand. It is also important to ask well in advance, so your employer has ample time to make arrangements.

Dusty Rhodes