Housing for International Assignees:  Keeping it Simple!

    May 16, 2018 @ 01:49 PM / by Mike Wincott

    Calgary through the lens as seen during AIRINC'S onsite survey of Calgary, Canada.  Photo taken by AIRINC Surveyor Oscar Rasson

    Embrace the conversation!

    In almost every conversation I have with a prospective client, the same topic comes up time and again: Housing. It is one of the costliest, most visible, and most emotive elements in any assignment package. And why wouldn’t it be? Assignees’ needs and preferences about housing while on international assignment vary based on numerous factors, including family, income, and their accommodation and lifestyle at home. Once you overlay company policy, local office feedback, business requirements, and industry norms, it quickly becomes very challenging to apply consistent standards to your international housing programme.

    A unique perspective on international housing

    That’s where AIRINC steps in. Our approach to housing is unique because it blends our unparalleled wealth of market data with your specific perspective on assignee housing. By understanding your industry context, compensation position (median, upper/lower quartile etc.), and degree of differentiation by seniority / family status, we create a multi-dimensional housing matrix that represents your unique housing requirements. This company-specific matrix is superimposed over the market data for each city. The result: housing budgets that consistently deliver equivalent standards of housing both across locations and on a time-to-time basis.

    By aligning budgets to housing standards and setting the right budget, assignees then have the freedom to make trade-offs just as they do at home: do they want a smaller property in a popular area, or to live further out but with more space or a different level of quality? Avoiding the rigidity of bedroom counts and instead focusing on budgets empowers the assignee to make informed choices with greater flexibility and an enhanced employee experience.

    Budgets developed in this way can be much more specific to the individual circumstances of the assignee. Combined with greater market data granularity, budgets can be tailored to the particular position each assignee occupies on the housing matrix. This avoids the use of broad categories of assignees, which may be superficially simplistic but almost inevitably settle at the highest common denominator – driving savings for the business.

    If you would like to learn more about AIRINC’s unique approach to assignment housing, please see where the button below leads:

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    Did you miss our recent housing infographic? See it now! 


    Topics: Expatriate Housing, Insights and Experience

    Mike Wincott

    Written by Mike Wincott

    Mike Wincott: Senior Director Client Solutions, EMEA Mike joined AIRINC in 2014 and leads our advisory services practice in EMEA. Mike works with global organisations to devise mobility programmes which support overall company strategy, with a particular focus on mobility compensation, operational and policy solutions. Before joining AIRINC, Mike spent 15 years at Deloitte, the last four of which he was the Partner leading Deloitte’s Global Mobility Compensation Services (GMCS) practice in Europe. Having been an expatriate himself, Mike and his family localised in Belgium in 2007. Mike started his career as a tax advisor with Arthur Andersen after gaining a BSc (Hons) in Business Administration from Bath University. He is an alumnus of IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.