Apparently our recent blogging about referral fees and relocation companies have sparked some interest in the press; Inman News is doing a 3 part feature titled "Inside look at change in relocation industry", Unfortunately it's tucked away behind the members only screen so I believe you have to be a subscriber to read it.
Since I wrote and was interviewed for this part I feel fairly secure in quoting myself from the article. ;-)
Rising relocation fees are not the only concern to real estate agents and brokers -- there is also an ongoing problem with so-called "after-the-fact" requests for relocation-related fees.
"One of my huge gripes, (shared by) lots of my fellow Realtors as well, is a relocation company that sort of 'parachutes' into a transaction after you already have a buyer or seller under contract, often just before (and sometimes even after) a closing and demands a referral fee for the privilege of working with 'their' client," said Jim Lee, a real estate agent for Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville, Tenn."
HEY! HEY! HO! HO! Relo Co.s have got to go! made it into the article and may have even been the impetus that got the whole series started.
I feel very strongly that this following statement is a direct result of several of our state REALTOR® organizations attacking this problem legislatively and sponsoring "after the fact referral fee" laws prohibiting this practice.
"Cris Collie, executive vice president at Worldwide ERC, said, "We've been very successful in minimizing that (after-the-fact referral fee) practice. We have pledges from all of the relocation companies that are a part of the organization that that the practice won't be followed. A contract is a contract.""
Tennessee was one of the first to enact this type of legislation and still has one of the strongest laws prohibiting the practice.
part 2 of the article talks about the softening real estate markets in some areas and the negative impact they are having on some corporate relocations.
And part 3 is an inside look at changes within the relocation industry.
Looks like it's still pretty expensive to move an employee from Point A to point B: "The average cost to move an employee is $70,000, he noted, which "is still a lot less expensive than it is to hire and train someone.""
And a moving company corporate migration survey; interesting stuff here.