• Sweden's news in English
 

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Published: 24 Apr 2014 18:00 GMT+02:00

The changing nature of the global jobs market has had a profound effect on the corporate relocation industry at the same time.

Sweden, which has always had a tightly regulated residential letting market, has seen the more traditional expat base change in recent years, and as a result companies have found themselves dealing with different situations in terms of property and policy.

The old system of the breadwinner getting a placement abroad and bringing the family over with them has steadily shifted in more recent times.

“Starting in 2012 on a smaller scale and more so in 2013, we noticed there were less families coming in, but a lot more being relocated from Sweden and renting out their houses,” said Sarah Foxen-Stjernswärd, of the letting agency Residensportalen.

DON'T MISS: The Swedish rental market (and new rules) made simple

This previously unseen scenario meant that for the first time, expats could negotiate on properties, with a larger market and plenty to choose from.

Houses would no longer leave the market in just one day, like in the past, and the demand for furnished apartments was growing in cities like Stockholm (pictured below).

“It was like a whole new world,” added Foxen-Stjernswärd.

Reasons for the change

The reasons for the shift in policy are numerous, but most often boil down to finance. For a company to relocate a family, it has traditionally involved them picking up the bill for an expensive move, often the rental of a new house and other incentives such as fee paying schools for children.

Looking to save on cost, companies began moving people for shorter time periods, often for less than a year and this different demographic changed both the demand and supply of housing.

Globalization too has played a role, with employees often from Asia increasingly filling roles that would have previously gone to other more highly paid workers.

Meanwhile, many international corporations have changed their mobility practices as well. Before it was commonplace that local HR worked with local relocation consultants that assisted their employees.

Today, it has shifted to companies buying such services on a global level with one worldwide partner that has global policies that impact the expats locally. The difficulty for companies like Residensportalen, is that it is hard to foresee trends

“We have a delayed reaction, but we do have a lot of metrics in place so that can see things fairly quickly,” said Foxen-Stjernswärd.

“We’ve been doing it for 10 years, so we can see pretty early if something’s not quite right with the supply of housing and new registrations, so we’re pretty quick to react to the data, but we can’t control it,” she added.

What Residensportalen offer

Her company, which was founded in 2003 under the name LET, rebranded in 2012 as Residensportalen to better reflect their presence on a national level, has diversified and adapted to suit a changing market and embraced new technology to better respond to new market conditions.

“We saw the changes in the financial markets around 2008/2009 and designed our business model as it is today,” said Foxen-Stjernswärd.

“Before that we only worked with companies, much of it with upscale housing. We realized we needed to shift our business model to adapt to the real world, so we designed a system that allowed companies that don’t have these plush relocation packages any more to find housing for their employees at a much lower cost,” she added.

This system matches suitable tenants to landlords in an online environment. The employee creates a search profile and gets e-mail alerts when something suitable becomes available.

“Basically we became a virtual relocation agent, as opposed to the old school policy of having someone escort you around at much greater cost,” said Foxen-Stjernswärd.

Reflecting the new system and model, Residensportalen was born.

The future: Remote viewings and Google Glasses

The possibilities do not end there. The company will be a beta explorer showing properties with recently acquired Google Glasses (below), and showings can be done virtually while the property searcher can view potential homes from the comfort of their desk continents away.

“Perhaps this is the future of mobility, enabling relocation choices while remaining immobile,” Foxen-Stjernswärd added .

Whether the current trend in mobility and relocation packages continues or not though, keeping up with the changes is vital for companies like Residensportalen.

Expats are more often offered local packages these days, which means specialists are dealing with clients on a more individual basis, while a change in the rental laws in Sweden has also had a marked affect in the marketplace.

“We see more people renting to private individuals, which is positive, because there has been an increase in supply. This evens the playing field a bit, especially for those who have come here and don’t have a company to pay for them,” said Foxen-Stjernswärd.

PHOTO GALLERY: Top five tips - looking to rent in Sweden

Meanwhile, other sectors too will have to adapt to cater for the changing market. With fewer families travelling to Sweden, international schools will see a fall in demand for places, while other service providers like container shippers and removal firms will also see an impact on their business.

One thing is certain though. The global financial picture will always have a knock on effect on corporate relocation policy, and how Residensportalen and others in the market adapt to keep up with those changes, using all the technology available to them, is likely to determine their ultimate success.

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Residensportalen

* Residensportalen website in English

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Full refuges reject five battered women a day
File photo: TT

Full refuges reject five battered women a day

Women's shelters in Sweden remain under pressure with a new report indicating that five women a day were turned away in 2014 due to over-crowding. READ  

Two remanded for Gothenburg gang murder
Photo: TT

Two remanded for Gothenburg gang murder

Two young men have been remanded into custody on suspicion of the murder of a 55-year-old man in Gothenburg on Wednesday. READ  

'Unattractive' Swedes offered total makeover
Swedes in need of a total makeover? Photo: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se

'Unattractive' Swedes offered total makeover

Sweden's least attractive people live in Motala, according to a dating website, but that is soon to change. READ  

Sweden set for brief burst of spring sunshine
Photo: TT

Sweden set for brief burst of spring sunshine

April is a notoriously whimsical weather month and is set to take a turn for the better in Sweden as spring sunshine is set to make a return to many parts of the country . READ  

Swedish teens in hurry to leave home
A housing queue protest in Stockholm in April 2015. Photo: TT

Swedish teens in hurry to leave home

Swedish youngsters leave home earlier their European counterparts, surprising housing researchers. READ  

Swedish study explains coffee cancer link
Cutting cancer, one cup at a time. Photo: TT

Swedish study explains coffee cancer link

Swedish researchers have explained why drinking coffee is thought to lower the risk of contracting breast and other cancers. READ  

Zlatan's French rant ban reduced to three matches
Sweden's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Zlatan's French rant ban reduced to three matches

Controversial Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic's ban for his foul-mouthed rant at a referee in which he blasted France as a “shit country” has been reduced from four matches to three, French newspaper Le Parisien reported on Friday. READ  

Syria: ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders Scandinavian
President Assad. Photo: TT

Syria: ‘most dangerous’ Isis leaders Scandinavian

President Bashar al-Assad has thanked Sweden for taking in record numbers of refugees during the war, but warned about a growing danger from ‘Scandinavian’ Islamist extremists in his country. READ  

New Swedes picked for airport Hall of Fame
Fashion blogger Kenza Zouiten is one of the new faces. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

New Swedes picked for airport Hall of Fame

The new faces that are going to represent Sweden at the Stockholm Hall of Fame at Arlanda airport have been revealed. The gallery of famous Swedes is meant to reflect the country's contemporary icons, but this is its first update in almost nine years. READ  

Swedish Robocop star in Wikileaks email scandal
Joel Kinnaman, left, and his co-star Abblie Cornish in Robocop. Photo: AP Photo/Sony/Columbia Pictures/Kerry Hayes

Swedish Robocop star in Wikileaks email scandal

Sweden's hottest Hollywood star Joel Kinnaman is the latest name to emerge from a Wikileaks' publication of over 170,000 internal Sony Pictures emails stolen in a massive hacker attack last year, alongside one of the Pirate Bay founders and information about the fourth book in the famous Swedish Millennium series. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
What you can buy in Sweden for the price of a London shed
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
"You may only do something once, but do it 100%"
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sexiness?
National
Swedes launch first donut into space
Blog updates

17 April

Editor’s blog, April 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, After several days of social media buzz about an upcoming announcement from Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus,..." READ »

 

15 April

Gång, timme, tid & dags (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! In this article I will talk about “gång”, “timmar”, “dags” and “tid”, because they all translate..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Is Sweden returning to 1990s social democratic welfare politics?
National
Mamma Mia! Abba entertainment venue set to open in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching: April 15th
National
Why Sweden is top place in the world for expats to raise children
National
Swedish 'submarine' was civilian boat
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
National
Why has a US town got pulled into a Swedish spelling row?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hovås, Gothenburg
National
What does Zlatan think of his ban?
Sponsored Article
Does far-north Sweden have to punch above its weight?
National
Swedish teenagers help rebuild Breivik massacre island
National
Would you live in a steel box?
National
How an act of kindness by one Syrian immigrant went viral
Gallery
People-watching: April 8th
National
Swedish bids for Billboard fame
National
Swedish monkeys denied Saudi visas
National
Sunny spring weather predicted
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
National
Half of Swedes want begging ban
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
National
Why are expats less likely to settle down with Swedes?
Sport
What does Sweden think of Zlatan's recent outburst?
Society
Get to grips with Sweden's most bizarre Easter traditions
Gallery
People-watching: April 1st
National
The Local's best April Fools' gags
National
US spy agency to feature in new 'Stieg Larsson' book sequel
National
Beaver bite at Swedish bus stop
Gallery
Property of the week: Åreda
National
How this Syrian travelled to Sweden
Was Swedish TV host too harsh on nationalist leader Åkesson?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Scandinavian airlines change cockpit rules after Germanwings crash
National
Sweden remembers Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer
Politics
Why petrol prices are going up
Gallery
People-watching: March 28th
Stieg Larsson's partner blasts Millennium trilogy sequel
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,367
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se