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TheStreet Open House

Mercer Launches New Expatriate Housing Portal For Mobility Managers

Stocks in this article: MMC

Mercer has launched Mercer Mobilize Housing Solution™, giving mobility managers a self-service portal where they can access a current, up-to-date, detailed view of expatriate housing costs. This greater transparency will empower managers to be confident that they are providing fair and cost-effective housing allowances. It will also help them to better frame expatriate expectations and reduce exceptions when relocating staff abroad.

Mercer Mobilize Housing Solution provides regularly updated housing data and market availability, maps and information across more than 320 cities worldwide. Mercer surveys these local housing markets at least twice annually, with more frequent updates when markets are volatile to ensure that data is current and reflects changes in market conditions.

Mobility managers can examine and filter information with ease, getting an in-depth view of expatriate housing markets around the world. According to Barb Marder, Leader of Mercer’s Global Mobility business, “With a few clicks of a button, a mobility manager in Paris can assess housing prices, availability, and local facilities in Shanghai or Sydney as easily as they can in Strasbourg or Saint Tropez in France.”

The new interactive platform features:

  • Interactive Mapping Technology: Users can see maps, street-level photographs, and local information detailing where expatriate neighborhoods and schools are in relation to the local company office.
  • Flexible Data: Mobility managers can easily configure data by a variety of factors like including/excluding specific neighborhoods so that the housing data reflects their specific needs, for example, by choosing the neighborhoods close to the company office where the company’s expatriates tend to reside. Rental cost is recalculated instantaneously to reflect neighborhood selection.
  • Sample Real Listings: Actual listings, posted at the time of Mercer’s surveys, help visualize what type of housing a budget provides. Details like amenities, utility costs, and size are available, and users can even see street-level photos to examine the surrounding area.
  • Reverse Lookup: Users can see what a given budget will provide across a range of neighborhoods and unit types, helping expatriates understand potential tradeoffs. For example, a certain amount might let a person rent a 2-bedroom apartment in the city center or a 3-bedroom house in the suburbs.
  • Varied Reporting Formats: The intuitive user interface allows for output of various levels of detail and different formats, making it easy to share information customized for each stakeholder, from senior management to the assignee.

“Determining the location and cost of housing can be a protracted process for anyone,” continued Ms. Marder, “let alone for those arranging it from another country. Employers trying to set fair, cost-effective expatriate accommodation allowances need information that gives them an accurate view of the local housing markets so they can make informed budgeting decisions.

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