Name: Muriel Martin
Position: Founding Partner
Company: MM Global Realty
MM Global Realty, Founding Partner (United States): 2013 – Present
Co-Chair, Global Business Taskforce, Colorado Association of Realtors - 2018- present
Brokers Guild – Cherry Creek, Real Estate Broker (United States): 2002 – Present
Triton Development, Executive Assistant (United States): 1994 – 2001
World Affairs Council of St Louis, Administrative Director (United States): 1993 – 1994
A: Every day and any day, I can wake up and have a new client contact us for a relocation project, it’s exiting! Not two are the same so we learn, adapt and grow with each one. First, we communicate to define the scope of the project, the wants and needs and timeline, then we make a plan and start activating our resources. Our clients are usually physically with us for 30 days: we tell them we are their personal “concierge” in their new town.
A: What a personal satisfaction when our relocation project is done right! I am a mom of 3 kids and my nurturing nature shows: our clients were nurtured, groomed, prepared to leave the nest with lots of information and confidence, to start their life “solo” in their new country.
We are happy and proud once they are set up in their housing, the children are signed up in the most fitting schools, the primary worker has a good grasp of the cultural differences in a work environment thanks to the completion of a few sessions with our Coach, the spouse is connected with groups/membership of choice (photography, sports team etc..) and the individual or whole family is now inserted in the social networks we found or created for them. And then they bloom on their own. As a bonus, some of them actually become Friends!
A: We do not manage Visas but if there is an issue in the relocation process, it’s usually with that; requirements, delays, conditions etc. are always changing and we can get nervous in some situations. The instability has got stronger in the recent months.
A: More corporations prefer giving an “envelope” for relocation needs instead of setting their employee up with professionals like us. It’s easier for the company and often, the funds given are an attractive proposition for the employee. However, I truly believe it’s a short-sighted decision on each part.
With the web and online resources, some expats think “I can do that on my own, no need to spend our funds for a consultant”. Yes, they could find a house to rent, a car to buy, find English classes; but they usually underestimate the cultural differences and the need for local support during the adaptation period, especially for the rest of their family (spouse and kids). And we all know, if the whole family is not happy, the relocation is compromised and can negatively affect the employee’s productivity and even terminate the assignment.
A: I really enjoy networking with my peers and creating professional relationships I can activate all over the world. I encourage my peers to meet and associate themselves with local professionals. I believe the “human side” or “soft relocation” is what make the biggest difference, not just the logistics.
A: Ouch, tough question! Our activity is ever changing, so we need to be present, knowledgeable and adaptable. HRs, employees and relocation companies. We are all working together, so we have to be connected and engage in conversations to advance our practice.
A: Trying harder to improve the awareness, then understanding, hopefully respect and appreciation, and finally integration of cultural differences for global workers. I like “boots on the ground” local and experienced knowledge, with human contact. We are a smaller company; we don’t have tons of clients so we do have time to dedicate to each.
On the recruiting side, a better “database” maybe, a single place or platform where all the professionals can present their talents, share and brainstorm. This would be ideal but not sure that will ever happen. Presently, there is an unmanageable number of associations and LinkedIn groups of professionals.
A: There are couple of issues we are following closely:
- our use and relationship with advancing technology: how can we make it work better for us and for our clients?
- the legislation on visas and worldwide taxes.