We hope this note finds you, your families, co-workers and friends well. We continue to be fully operational with most of our staff working remote, and you can reach us as you always have. As COVID-19 continues to impact us globally in a multi-faceted manner we want to ensure our clients that Corporate Relocation International (CRI), and its' global supply chain, have activated our business continuity and preparedness plans. First and foremost, the protection and well-being of our employee's and your employees with whom you have entrusted to us remains to be our primary focus.
Our global supply chain has continued to be tremendous during these critical times, and we continue to collaborate with each and every one of them to maintain business as usual where we are able. We are partnering with our supply chain every day as we continue to monitor this dynamic situation. We are constantly monitoring updates globally including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the necessary government agencies in our traffic lanes.
As a result of this ever-changing time, here are some of the guidelines we have implemented and specific service updates:
CRI Staff: Most are working remote with company provided technology to maintain overall security and health safety protocols.
Client Services Support: As always, your operations and client service teams are available to you at all times to answer questions or to address any issues that arise.
In-person Client Business Reviews & Meetings/Travel: On hold until further notice. Our teams continue to hold virtual video meetings to cover the same information that would have otherwise been covered in-person.
Household Goods Moving Services: Service providers are adhering to the following best practices:
Move Coordinators are asking all transferees, no more than 5 days prior to service:
International Removal / Household Goods Services: Currently, the moving process is in most cases delayed or on hold due to government mandated restrictions. We are keeping in close contact with our global supply chain for planning purposes and will advise accordingly.
Real Estate Transactions: With the myriad of "stay at home" orders being placed, the real estate environment continues to change. Thus far, we've not experienced many delays; however, we anticipate that to change as local authorities tighten restrictions. Contract addendums specific to COVID-19 have been introduced around the country, and temporary “virtual” closing practices are in discussion in a number of states.
Real estate agents are following the guidelines of the CDC, WHO and their own local authorities. In the absence of typical practices during these challenging times, agents are leveraging technology to provide services for their clients. This may include virtual tours rather than in-person appointments, use of DocuSign or some form of electronic signatory capability, etc.
Inspections & Appraisals: We are beginning to see delays with turnaround times in scheduling inspections and appraisals. Some local authorities have implemented orders that inspections and appraisals can be done by appointment only and in some cases only allowing two people to be present at the property while they are conducted. In some areas they may not be allowed at all. Inspectors and appraisers are being asked to follow the CDC recommendations for safety precautions and monitor any symptoms closely. If any inspector or appraiser exhibits symptoms or has been in the presence of anyone exhibiting symptoms for COVID-19 they are to follow CDC guidelines and cancel scheduled appointments. Any of these factors will cause turnaround time delays, and we will work through each case closely.
New Home Mortgages: We are seeing and hearing of delays due to extended inspection and appraisal turnaround times. Additionally, some county tax offices having dramatically reduced staff, if open at all, and some homeowner associations do not have the personnel to process requests at this time. We will continue monitoring these situations closely and advise accordingly.
Temporary Living Needs: Bookings continue to be placed in accordance with our clients' protocol for travel and allowable benefit. Companies are making exceptions for extended temporary housing as needed. Maintenance issues and special requests are being handled based upon level of necessity to avoid close contact. Maid service in most areas has been discontinued until further notice for the mutual safety of the employee and providers.
Global Services (Destination Service Providers (area tours, home finding, school search, settling-in services), Cultural & Language Training): The majority of in-person services have been placed on hold temporarily with service suppliers leveraging technology to deliver such services virtually.
Immigration: In conjunction with our global immigration partners and attorneys, we are monitoring the daily immigration updates and changes. Many countries have implemented entry and exist restrictions and quarantine rules. Additionally, immigration authorities have temporarily suspended visa & work permit applications/processing. We are continuously monitoring the latest official information on consular closings and visa application center closings, and we will provide the applicable information to you.
Recurring & Non-Recurring Payments: No change, these are continuing as usual.
As we move through this world of uncertainty together, you can remain certain that you can count on CRI just as you always have. Together we will not only get through these unprecedented times, we will be made stronger and wiser as a result.
On a positive note:
We are thankful for each and every partnership and for the technology that is enabling us all to continue working together. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will be in touch with additional changes/updates. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are more than happy to help in any way that we can.
Jeff Walker, CRP, GMS
President & CEO
Tiffany Crozier, CRP, GMS
VP, Global Operations & Account Services