Sign in

How ECA can support your assignee housing policy

The housing policies of companies with international assignees can be as varied as the organisations themselves. Larger companies often require a highly structured approach to their accommodation provisions, finely-tuned to an assignee’s job level and family size and applied to a wide selection of locations around the world. Meanwhile, smaller companies may have tighter budgets for housing and be active in only a handful of cities. ECA’s accommodation data has therefore been developed to ensure that organisations of all sizes, across multiple industry sectors, can apply their housing policies with confidence.

I have a large assignee population, how can ECA help me structure my policy?

Large assignee populations will often cover a wide range of job grades, from junior employees on developmental moves all the way up to board level positions. While developmental moves typically apply to single assignees, those at different stages of their career are commonly joined on assignment by their family. Given the variety of assignee profiles in play for large populations, it is important to have clear and reproducible ways of differentiating financial support.

ECA’s City Rental Costs tables are designed to be as versatile as an organisation’s assignee population. Showcasing the range of rental prices that feature in a property’s rental market, these tables group rents into three price tiers of Good, Superior and Best, each of which is further sub-divided into Low, Mid and Upper, to provide nine levels of pricing which can be aligned to different assignment types and employee grades as per your policy.

Costs are published for apartments and houses, with between one and five bedrooms to support further differentiation of your policy according to family size. ECA’s Accommodation Tool enables you to set housing budgets according to family size and seniority level and generate tables and reports of host housing budgets for all locations in your subscription at the touch of a button. Coverage regularly expands into new locations too, with our data now covering over 400 cities worldwide.

My assignee wants to live in a particular neighbourhood. How can I check their allowance is sufficient?

A clear picture of the range of rents that can be commanded across a city is essential in setting appropriate levels of support for assignees. On assignment, people are likely to gravitate towards certain areas or neighbourhoods of a city. Single young professionals may place a higher importance on living centrally, near to nightlife hotspots, whereas those with families may prioritise having a home with a garden that is well located in relation to popular international schools. Rental costs are not uniform throughout a city, with some neighbourhoods being more expensive than others or having different property features. Pushback can sometimes occur if an assignee is basing their home search on a district or type of property that does not tally with your policy.

To help manage these scenarios, ECA provides supplementary tables summarising the costs of individual districts on top of citywide overviews. ECA district guide tables highlight whether a certain area is more exclusive, as well as variations in the property types that are available. It indicates whether neighbourhoods would be more appropriate for larger family sizes or single assignees, for example.

ECA’s Accommodation Tool draws on our in-depth data at both the city and district level so that you can easily identify where there is a mismatch between an assignee’s property expectations and what your policy entitles them to. An assignee’s first conclusion might be that their budget needs to be raised, whereas by using the Accommodation Tool it is often likely that the assignee may need to redirect their search to a different neighbourhood or a different property type.

How can I support my assignees with other housing costs in addition to their rent?

Your assignees’ monthly rent payments may not represent the full scale of their accommodation costs. With a high proportion of employers aiming to provide free host country housing, policies may include costs falling under the umbrella of housing in addition to rent. These include:

  • Taxes
  • Utilities
  • Security
  • Furnishings
  • Service charges

The suggested rental allowances in ECA’s Accommodation Reports reflect the way properties are advertised in their respective markets. In one city the advertised monthly rent may only cover the ‘base rent’ of the property, but in a different city, the monthly amount may include service charges and the cost of some utilities. ECA’s reports contain detailed breakdowns of the costs typically included within monthly rent payments, as well as accurate summaries of the size of these costs. This allows you to customise your accommodation budgets to match the intent of your housing policy.

My organisation’s budget is low, and we are active in developing locations. How can ECA adapt its housing budgets?

The global reach of ECA’s data means that a housing policy can be provided no matter the location. This is valuable to both organisations in the charity sector looking to send their employees to developing locations, as well as large corporations that have many bases of operations around the world. The range of rents contained in ECA’s accommodation products means that organisations with more limited budgets can set cost-effective policies in the confidence that they still provide safe and secure properties in popular expat neighbourhoods.

As well as the comprehensive information contained in our Accommodation Reports and Accommodation Tool, ECA has considerable experience in working alongside clients in multiple industries to help them design and customise their housing policies. This can involve benchmarking an organisation’s current policy against the market, helping to identify where savings can be made or where some aspects of a policy may fall short of best practice. ECA’s detailed understanding of the features and norms of different markets means we can recommend where flexibility might be needed in certain locations to adapt to issues such as security and market volatility.

Like this article? Share it... Twitter Facebook   LinkedIn