• Sweden edition
 
Presented by Residensportalen
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

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

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Ebola crisis
Stockholm patient does not have Ebola
Infection clinic at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Stockholm patient does not have Ebola

UPDATED: A patient at a Stockholm hospital was told on Monday morning that he does not have Ebola, after he was forced to spend the night in isolation. READ  

Business & Money
Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts
Photo: TT

Electrolux profit soars after cost-cutting efforts

Swedish electrical appliance maker Electrolux reported its third-quarter net profit soared 42 percent to 933 million kronor ($130 million) thanks to a cost-cutting programme started at the end of last year. READ  

National
School photographer fired for homophobic slur
Photo credit: Shutterstock

School photographer fired for homophobic slur

A photographer at a high school in southern Sweden was sacked after he called one of the students a "fag" during a shoot. READ  

Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
No let-up in search for foreign vessel
Minehunter HMS Koster takes part in the search in the Stockholm archipelago on Sunday. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

No let-up in search for foreign vessel

A hunt for foreign underwater activity near Stockholm entered its fourth day on Monday as Sweden’s armed forces vowed to keep searching “day and night” for what media reports suggest may be a damaged Russian vessel. READ  

Ebola crisis
Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

Patient in isolation after airport Ebola alert

A male passenger who landed at Stockholm's Arlanda airport has been transferred to an isolation unit amid fears he may be suffering from the Ebola virus. But a specialist was keen to play down concerns. READ  

Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
Pictured: 'suspicious object' off Swedish coast
Photo: Swedish Armed Forces

Pictured: 'suspicious object' off Swedish coast

Sweden’s Armed Forces have said it is likely a foreign power is conducting operations in Swedish waters, and have released pictures of a suspicious object seen in the Stockholm Archipelago. READ  

Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
Mystery deepens over reported Russian sub
The HMS Visby combs the Stockholm archipelago on Sunday as the military operation continues. Photo: Marko Säävälä/TT

Mystery deepens over reported Russian sub

Mystery deepened on Sunday over a Swedish military operation triggered by "foreign underwater activity" off the coast of Stockholm, amid an unconfirmed report of a hunt for a damaged Russian submarine. READ  

Stockholm 'Russian sub' alert
Russia: No emergencies involving warships
A military patrol in the Stockholm archipelago during the ongoing submarine hunt on Saturday. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Russia: No emergencies involving warships

Russia's defence ministry has said there are no emergency situations involving any its warships amid reports that a Russian distress call prompted Sweden's hunt for "foreign underwater activity." READ  

National
Cops do boy's homework after burglar call out
Photo: Shutterstock

Cops do boy's homework after burglar call out

An 11-year-old boy in Stockholm ended up getting help with his homework by the police after he rang them up saying he was concerned a burglar was breaking into his house. READ  

Swedish Honeymoon Killing
Dewani honeymoon hitman dies in jail
British businessman Shrien Dewani appears in the high court in Cape Town. Photo: TT

Dewani honeymoon hitman dies in jail

A man convicted of killing British businessman Shrien Dewani's bride has died in a South African prison, officials said Saturday,just days after Dewani himself went on trial for her murder. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Sweden deploys troops over underwater threat
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
National
A Touch of Scandinavia: Reindeer in the kitchen
Blog updates

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 

17 October

Editor’s Blog, Oct 17th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Here’s the whole week of news in just 60 seconds. The most-read story was about a..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Lifestyle
Sweden's The Bridge to become 'more Danish'
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Tech
First womb transplant baby in world born in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 5th
National
What's on in Sweden
National
Sweden rethinks Afghan translators' protection
Society
Interview with Geena Davis: 'I want to be in a Swedish movie'
Gallery
Stefan Löfven through the years
Gallery
People-watching: October 1st
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
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

979
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
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:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN