• 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

The Local · 24 Apr 2014, 18:00

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
COP21 Paris
Sweden pledges more to fight climate change
Sweden's Prime Minster Stefan Löfven (right) and France's President Francois Hollande at the summit. Photo: Christophe Ena/TT/AP

Sweden pledges more to fight climate change

2 minutes ago

UPDATED: Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised a further 250 million kronor to fight global warming at the COP21 climate summit in Paris, a gathering seen by many as the last chance to reach a deal aimed at limiting global warming.

Swedish prosecutor: 'Movies show men killing'
A pixellated screen grab from the film shown in court. Image: Säpo /TT

Swedish prosecutor: 'Movies show men killing'

52 minutes ago

The prosecutor in the trial of two Gothenburg men who have been charged with terrorist offences in Syria has asked for life imprisonment for the duo after reviewing video evidence.

Storm Gorm
Huge clear up after Storm Gorm hits Sweden
A house destroyed by the storm in Helsingborg, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Huge clear up after Storm Gorm hits Sweden

1 hour ago

UPDATED: Some schools remain closed and tens of thousands of people are still without electricity after a storm ripped through southern and western Sweden on Sunday night.

'Show of strength' from Swedish economy
Increased house-building activity has been a key growth factor. Photo: Lars Pehrson: SvD/TT

'Show of strength' from Swedish economy

2 hours ago

Sweden's economy is growing faster than expected and is now at an historically high level, according to figures from national number crunching body Statistics Sweden.

Eurovision 2016
Nordic Noir star pens Eurovision hope
Camilla Läckberg has finally succeeded in her aim to have a song in Melodifestivalen. Photo" Henrik Montgomery / TT

Nordic Noir star pens Eurovision hope

2 hours ago

Best-selling Swedish author Camilla Läckberg has co-written one of the of the 28 entries for Melodifestivalen 2016, the competition designed to choose Sweden’s entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Storm Gorm's trail of destruction in Sweden
The Öresund bridge, which links southern Sweden to Denmark, was closed last night because of high winds. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Storm Gorm's trail of destruction in Sweden

4 hours ago

Storm Gorm swept through southern Sweden on Sunday night, recording wind speeds of up to 32 metres per second. Here are some of the most dramatic photos to emerge from the chaos.

Nordic Noir
The Bridge ends as talk of fourth season starts
Sofia Helin, who plays The Bridge's main character Saga Norén, at the season three premiere. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

The Bridge ends as talk of fourth season starts

5 hours ago

Swedish public broadcaster SVT has said it is in discussion with production companies and writers about a fourth series of The Bridge, after the third season reached a dramatic conclusion over the weekend.

Refugee crisis
Sweden to give millions to Turkey refugee deal
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visiting refugees in Malmö last week. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Sweden to give millions to Turkey refugee deal

6 hours ago

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey.

My Swedish Career
'More Brits should move over to Sweden'
Photo: Private

'More Brits should move over to Sweden'

6 hours ago

Lorna Richardson, 42, recently moved from the UK to Umeå in northern Sweden, where she's started some unusual research involving both historic finds and the latest technologies.

Refugee crisis
Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter
Buses arrive at Malmömässan to deliver refugees. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter

1 day ago

Refugees sheltering in Malmö's 2013 Eurovision venue are begging to leave, with one describing it as a "prison" with "inhuman conditions", while Swedish nurses working there have been pulled out because of the health risks.

People-watching: November 28th-29th
Sponsored Article
The quickest route to UK Eurobonus destinations
Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
POLL: Swedes back new asylum rules
Sponsored Article
After Paris: 'The war is not only against Isis'
Blog updates

27 November

Editor’s blog, November 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, A decision by Sweden this week to impose new – much stricter than before –..." READ »


25 November

So What Does An Ambassador Do? (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I know that my mum is super proud that I’m an Ambassador. But if you asked..." READ »

Five weirdest Christmas attacks on Sweden's famous straw goat
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm solved a startup’s housing crisis
Five myths about Sweden's refugees
Sponsored Article
Swedish researchers find Ice Age 'missing link'
How did this missing Swedish cat turn up in southern France?
Sponsored Article
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
Sponsored Article
Beaches, bikes, and buds: studying in Malmö
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
Sponsored Article
Sweden must combat extremist 'mirage'
People-watching: November 25th
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
What do Swedes want for Christmas?
Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: the new epicentre of global leadership
GUIDE: How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Mystery ice circle in Swedish river
IN PICTURES: New royal winter snaps of Sweden's Princess Estelle
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Stockholm film festival's top movies
Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
‘Food choices in Sweden destroy forests in Asia’
People-watching: November 20th-22nd
Swedish King calls for bathtub ban
Analysis & Opinion
Why you should care about Sweden raising its terror threat level
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Stockholm's best international bars
Is this the best warning sign ever?
Why are more Swedes getting fat?
Sweden's tribute to Paris victims
What is Sweden's sexiest name?
VIDEO: Madonna's emotional tribute to Paris victims at Stockholm gig
Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs
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: