A Creative Housing Solution During a Tricky Repatriation

Published: 04 June 2019
Lisa Marie DeSanto
Every relocation programme is unique, requiring close attention to all details to ensure our clients’ satisfaction and our mutual success. Some moves, however, stand out as particularly challenging. During these situations, our employees take great pride in providing innovative, caring and customised solutions to our clients and their employees. The following is one of many of these stories. 

When Nancy was about to repatriate from Shanghai, her household goods needed to be packed and shipped two weeks before she and her family would be flying back to the United States. Without bedding, utensils and other necessities, they certainly couldn’t live in the house that they had called home for the last four years, but since their lease agreement was in full effect until the end of the month, her employer was hesitant to pay a duplicate housing expense for temporary accommodation that would amount to 13,600 Renminbi (RMB). As Nancy was about to find out, being an employee of a SIRVA client has distinct advantages when it comes to finding solutions to relocation challenges.

SIRVA’s destination service managers have seen just about every complication that can occur during a repatriation, and May Jia is no exception. She knew she needed to find a creative solution that would provide Nancy and her family with everything they needed to live comfortably during a two week period – while not presenting an unreasonable cost to her employer. Her vast experience and knowledge of the industry, along with strong relationships with a wide network of vendors allowed her to address both Nancy’s needs and the concerns of her employer.

First, May arranged for the leasing of bedding and household items. The cost of the items (3,701 RMB) represented a savings of almost 10,000 RMB for the client, but the arrangement also had benefits for Nancy; the ability to stay in their familiar environment provided an easier transition for her family, which meant Nancy could focus more fully on her job during the last days of her assignment.

Finally, in an effort to avoid delays and deal with any last minute surprises, Nancy wanted to turn the keys to her home over to the landlord two days before her return flight. While this was a responsible decision May, again, was faced with a challenge: How could she provide a residence to the family for two days without incurring further cost to the client? Thanks to her focused knowledge of the full spectrum of housing statuses amongst the client’s assignee population, May was able to find the perfect solution. Another employee was set to depart his serviced apartment – days before Nancy’s flight and two weeks before his lease was due to expire. May realised that Nancy and her family could easily stay at this soon to be vacant apartment for the last two days of their stay, at no additional cost. After providing a written notice to the landlord of this serviced apartment, Nancy and her family had a furnished and fully stocked place to stay between relinquishing her Shanghai home and returning to her country of birth.

The Face Behind the Story:

May Jia, Destination Services Manager

sitefinity_mayjiaMay joined SIRVA in 2013 after several years in the relocation industry as a senior consultant, tenancy management & immigration. Currently she serves as a destination service manager for SIRVA Relocation, Shanghai. Her responsibilities include overseeing various accounts in a wide variety of global industries, from automotive manufacturing and banking to mining and electronics.

May holds a Master’s degree in language & linguistics from Shanghai University of Finance & Economics. She enjoys travelling to places where she can appreciate natural landscapes and scenery, reading novels or anything about history, and spending time with her daughter and extended family.