• Sweden's news in English
 
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

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
Pirate Bay founder to appeal domain ruling
The Swedish state owns two Pirate Bay domain names after a court ruling. Photo: Marc Femenia/SCANPIX

Pirate Bay founder to appeal domain ruling

One of the Swedish Pirate Bay founders will appeal a court ruling to let the state seize two domains used by the controversial file-sharing site, his lawyer has told a Swedish daily. READ  

Sweden's bid to speed foreigners into work
Many foreign professionals struggle to find work in Sweden. Photo: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se

Sweden's bid to speed foreigners into work

A new fast-track scheme's been proposed to help foreign skilled workers find employment more quickly in Sweden. The plans, which were presented by the Swedish government on Monday, could come into effect within a year. READ  

Russian veterans in Nazi attack on Swedish Ikea
An Ikea store in Moscow, Russia. Photo: AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

Russian veterans in Nazi attack on Swedish Ikea

A group of Moscow veterans has lashed out at Ikea, accusing the Swedish furniture giant of deliberately destroying war memorials in a move to help Nazi ideology take hold in Russia. READ  

Brexit
Brits in Sweden will get to vote in EU referendum
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged that Britain will hold a referendum on the EU. Photo: AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis

Brits in Sweden will get to vote in EU referendum

British nationals who have been living in Sweden for less than 15 years will be allowed to vote in the EU referendum, while most citizens from other EU countries who are living in the UK will have no say on whether the nation in the European Union, the British government has announced. READ  

Royal Wedding
Avicii confirms DJ set at Sweden's royal wedding
Avicii performing in Stockholm in 2014. Photo: TT

Avicii confirms DJ set at Sweden's royal wedding

Sweden's most famous DJ has confirmed he is set to play at the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist next month after befriending King Carl XVI Gustaf's son in Ibiza last year. READ  

Hero neighbour rescues young boy in window fall
The town Västervik in Småland where the fall occurred. Photo: Västervik.com

Hero neighbour rescues young boy in window fall

A six-year-old boy who fell out of a third floor apartment’s window in Västervik in southern Sweden was saved by a neighbour. READ  

Sweden hosts giant global 'war' air challenge
An aircraft preparing for the challenge. Photo: Försvarsmakten (Swedish Armed Forces)

Sweden hosts giant global 'war' air challenge

The Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 2015) is taking place in northern Sweden with more than 3600 military staff from nine countries practising how they might work together during war. READ  

Eurovision 2015
Eurovision winner Måns celebrates with pizza
Måns Zelmerlöw is greeted by happy fans at Arlanda airport. Photo: TT

Eurovision winner Måns celebrates with pizza

UPDATED: Sweden's Eurovision 2015 winner arrived back in Stockholm on Sunday where he was met by delirious crowds, before spending the evening with a pizza and his pet dog. READ  

My Swedish Career
'Stockholm is the prettiest city in Europe'
Joshua Goddard has visited all of Europe's countries. Photo: Private

'Stockholm is the prettiest city in Europe'

In this week's My Swedish Career feature, we meet a Kiwi teacher who relocated to Stockholm and became a semi-professional globetrotter. The Local speaks to Joshua Goddard just after he completed his grand tour of Europe. READ  

Swedish woman shot dead at Istanbul club
Istanbul photo: Shutterstock

Swedish woman shot dead at Istanbul club

UPDATED: The shooter suspected of having killed a Swedish woman outside a night club in Turkey on Saturday night is still at large, Istanbul police have said. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw through the years
Gallery
People-watching: May 22nd-23rd
National
Why are Sweden's beaches among the worst in Europe?
National
VIDEO: Can you get your tongue around Sweden's word for 'nurse'?
National
How two million Swedes are designing a 'house of clicks'
Blog updates

24 May

 (Joel Sherwood) »

"Real American men don’t watch Eurovision. New video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQk5dUhGt-w ..." READ »

 

22 May

Editor’s blog, May 22nd (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Stockholm, The hot topic in Europe this week is whether or not the UK will..." READ »

 
 
 
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Sponsored Article
Kristin Amparo: 'Swedes are afraid to be proud'
National
Five facts you need to know about Sweden's Eurovision entry
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Sponsored Article
What it's like to be a student in Malmö
National
Why do one in three Swedes want to join Nato?
Sponsored Article
'No one tells expats about unemployment benefits'
Features
What to do in Stockholm this summer
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
Gallery
People-watching: May 20th
National
How Sweden and Saudi Arabia got back on speaking term after row
Gallery
Property of the week: Västra hamnen, Malmö
Sponsored Article
'There is no such thing as Swedish values'
National
Why is support for the Sweden Democrats at a record high?
Sponsored Article
ConnectSweden: Examining Sweden's place in the world
Gallery
People-watching: May 15th - 17th
National
VIDEO: Swedish man's roar scares off charging bear
National
'Gang conflict' linked to latest Gothenburg attack
National
RECIPE: How to make Panna cotta with cloudberry jam
Sponsored Article
'Educated immigrants get stuck in limbo in Sweden'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Your May sun snaps
National
Sweden backs migrant sharing plan
National
Swedish boozing on the rise
National
Why Sweden's deputy PM was forced to apologize for Auschwitz analogy
National
End of the road for Julian Assange's arrest appeal?
Features
Booked to go to one of Sweden's sizzling music festivals yet?
National
Is Avicii set to play at Sweden's royal wedding?
National
Meet the Swedish boy who used to be a girl
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Princess Estelle through the years
National
Why is obesity ballooning in Sweden?
National
VIDEO: The bizarre Swedish nurses song that's gone viral
National
Ecuador stray dog Arthur in Swedish charity race
National
UK expert: 'Sweden's current military state is alarming'
National
Elfdalian: a real language spoken in central Sweden in 2015
National
Is King's love for house tracks behind new military music?
Gallery
Property of the week: Hjortnäs, Leksand
National
Sex-crazed grouse terrorizes Swedes
National
IN PICTURES: Sweden's King Carl XVI turns 69
National
Dolphins spotted in Baltic
Gallery
People-watching: May 1st-3rd
Sponsored Article
'Never waste a good crisis'
National
Road trippers flock to 'The Bridge'
National
Why are Swedish supermarkets banning paracetamol pills?
Gallery
People watching: April 29th
National
"In many ways Swedes and Americans are kindred spirits"
Politics
Did you know four Swedish party leaders are women?
National
Swedish rescue team stuck on way to Nepal quake zone
Swedish Hasbeens
Sponsored Article
Is the world wrong to connect Sweden with sex?
Sponsored Article
'Impossible' to run Skanska without Bromma Airport
Sponsored Article
Want to study in Sweden? Read why Stockholm is the best choice
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
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

3,326
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