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The best relocation agency in the world

When I talk about the best relocation agency in the world, I do it from the point of view of the trainer who is hired by it. I won’t mention any name 😊

I practice Linguistic Empathy and I expect you to do the same. Please bear with me if my English is not perfect. Read the Italian version here.

As an intercultural coach and trainer one can work in many different areas and directions. As a wanderer for more than thirty years, constantly uprooted, and in contact with ever-changing situations, I have never managed – and basically never wanted – to work within a company as a business coach or trainer. It takes time to find your entry in this kind of context, and my frequent moves did not encourage me to try. 

I have built my work on individual clients both in coaching and intercultural training: expats who need a coach to help them design new professional projects, and relocating managers and their families in need of an entry key to their new culture. Relocation agencies have proven very important for me. It is through them that I reach 40% of my customers. Especially as far as intercultural training is concerned, they are the perfect channel because they provide a full relocation package to companies. 

I got my first client in Peru from a US-based relocation agency. In Jakarta I worked a lot as an intercultural trainer for a good number of agencies, mostly from the United States, England, the Netherlands and Germany.

After a number of years of relationships with this kind of agencies, it has become quite clear to me what works in the process that binds agency, trainer and client, and what makes the relationship difficult. I have no doubt that I have identified, among all those I have worked for, the best relocation agency in the world, and I am here to explain what in my experience distinguishes it from the others.

The selection and training process

There are typically two stages to work with a relocation agency. The first involves selection. If you are hired, you then undergo some training provided by the agency.

Only once in my life was I able to do a live interview, which gave me the chance to start working for the agency straightaway. In all other cases there has often been an endless back and forth. My favorite relocation agency, however, interviewed me – deeply and for the necessary length of time – only once, and then moved on to the training phase, which was thorough, interesting and highly professional. I still thank them for teaching me so much and opening so many doors for me.

In other cases I have had to speak to an endless number of people, some of whom called me without warning, or have had to pass complicated tests – about whose usefulness I am still perplexed.

The first contact

Nobody wants to know the client’s life history in the first place (or even later, for that matter). However, when deciding whether to accept an assignment, it is important to have as much data as possible in your hands. The best relocation agency I am talking about uses a form with as much information as possible, and to which the trainer can easily access to get quite a complete picture of the proposal.

This is not an essential requirement, since the relationship evolves as the training (or coaching) project develops. However, I find it important to know things such as the nationality of the clients, with what role and company they are part of, the family situation, and so on – it helps you start on the right foot.

The freedom in the relationship with the client

Some agencies maintain a strict control on the relationship between their clients and their trainers. This reflects on the freedom the trainer has in relating to the client. It has oftentimes happened to me to know very little of the client I was about to train until I entered his/her office. In other cases, I had to repeatedly talk with the client beforehand, but always under strict control of the agency.

Once all the info provided, my favourite agency simply writes a mail to put the trainer in contact with the client, and then leaves everything in the hand of the trainer, while remaining punctually available in case of need. This way, the trainer feels trusted, and the relationship develops before the training. And in my experience, this is very important.

The training material

All agencies provide the trainer with some kind of material. My favourite relocation agency has a database of absolutely wonderful material. With them, there is no need to spend hours to prepare sophisticated power points because everything is already clearly shown in the manuals and slides they provide. And by the way – though this is true for all agencies I have worked for – they have no problem in letting you add your own material or exercises. This is a big plus.

In one case I got no material whatsoever, but what I had to prepare for the training was repeatedly sifted through and modified. The whole process took many hours, which of course were not paid.

The feed-back

Every agency collects a feed-back about the training from the client. When training was done in presence, most agencies gathered it online after the programme, and did not share it with the trainers. The best relocation agency in the world, on the contrary, trusted the trainer with that process. I had to ask the client to fill up the questionnaire and I sent it to the agency after the training. This has allowed me to collect tenths of feedback from the clients I trained, and for that I will forever grateful to this agency. And by the way, now that training is done online, they still share the feed-back of the client with me.

Rates and payment

We all know this is a delicate point.
All trainers are aware that the agency retains a large share of the revenues generated by the services it provides. And this is normal. They have to cover a series of costs to keep the work going so that we trainers can get our clients.
However, there must be a point of balance and respect in what the agencies offers to their trainers. Besides having the highest rates I have encountered so far, my favourite agency pays the trainer very quickly. With them, there is no need to repeatedly check the bank account and the issue date of the invoice in order to calculate when the deserved payment will arrive. They are so fast, that sometime you don’t even realize your money already sits in your account.

With other agencies I even found myself having to ask about the payment (something I hate, and I am sure I am not the only one) after the agreed payment date had passed.

To sum up, here is why I vote this agency as the best relocation agency in the world:

  • They are fast and efficient
  • They trust the trainer
  • They are always present, even though they leave the trainer free to move and act
  • They demonstrate to perfectly grasp the needs of the trainer
  • They express respect towards the trainer’s work
Claudia Landini
Geneva, Switzerland
May 2021

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