There’s a lot going on inside the housing market these days. The shipping and container business is even more chaotic. Shipping rates are near record highs and there is a persistent and chronic housing shortage in Western Europe. These developments can have a big impact on moving expats around the world. To make the process easier, many mobility coordinators and property managers are choosing to rent furniture instead of shipping household goods or buying new. What makes furniture rental for expats so attractive? In this blog, we list 7 important advantages.
If an expat is going to be working abroad, especially for several years, it may seem logical and straightforward to have a relocator ship your furniture to your final destination. But have you considered the amount of CO2 emissions that transport produces? Globally, the transportation sector is one of the highest polluting sectors. Shipping household goods overseas or overland can be very energy intensive. It’s not just the time the container spends onboard, it’s the trans-shipping and freight forwarding as well. And the further the distance, the higher the emissions. The emissions produced moving expats from North America to Western Europe are at least 5 times higher than moving someone from England.
In the age of doing sustainable business, that’s a bit of a non-starter. If you rent furniture at your destination, all you need is to have it transported from the rental company to your new home. This saves a significant amount of emissions and helps reduce the CO2 footprint of your company. In this way, furniture rental fits perfectly into your sustainability policy.
Remember the container ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal? That newsworthy event was just one of many examples of major delays in an industry already plagued by container shortages, skyrocketing fuel costs and logjams at ports and distribution centers around the world. Nieuwsblad Transport wrote in March 2021 that the reliability of sailing schedules in container liner shipping had reached a new low in January. In the first month of that year, only 34.9% of ships were still sailing on time. Additionally, it’s not unheard of for containers to get misplaced or lost. In such cases, expats can end up waiting months for their furniture to get delivered.
Companies often choose to rent furniture to bridge the waiting period. Rental furniture can be delivered basically on demand these days, so you’ll know exactly when to expect it. Choosing to rent furniture can help make sure expats arrive at their home away from home on time and without worry. Why delay an assignment or project because of shipping delays?
In the overheated housing market, prices for rental properties are skyrocketing. According to Jasper de Groot, director of Pararius, this clearly shows that there are fewer properties available. “Rental prices fell when there were hardly any expats coming to Amsterdam. Now that they’re back, you see that the shortage immediately dissolves and rents go up again.”
Although renting furnished homes is slowly becoming more common, the supply is not enough to meet the high demand from expats. That’s made it much harder to find suitable housing. You have a much better chance of success renting an unfurnished home or apartment. Renting unfurnished homes gives you a wider range of options and locations to choose from. It also means you’re more likely to find housing faster.
Were you able to find a furnished apartment for your expat? Then it remains to be seen whether the apartment is equipped to meet his or her needs. For an expat with children you might need to convert a study into a children’s room or maybe vice versa. This can get expensive quickly, which is a real shame for a temporary stay.
It’s important that expats feel at home in their new place. Renting furniture means your expats get to think about the type of furniture they want. It gives them a chance to think about what materials, colors and shapes they want for their home furnishings. By renting furniture, you can match the package directly to the needs of your expats.
You know that feeling? You’re busy, you’ve planned the whole week and then something breaks down at home. The washing machine doesn’t work. You don’t know why, and you’re not sure what to do about it. There’s nothing else for it: you end up visiting the laundry mat all week while the problem gets sorted out. And getting a washing machine fixed or replaced isn’t easy or cheap.
That’s exactly the advantage of the sitting, sleeping and cooking guarantee that you get when you rent furniture. With this guarantee, you’re always assured a first rate interior with working appliances. So the washing machine is broken? No problem, the furniture rental company will fix it in no time and both the expat and your mobility manager won’t have to worry about it.
Besides shipping furniture or renting furnished houses, another option is buying the furniture yourself. There are some disadvantages to this as well. Parties like IKEA deliver and install the furniture, but that’s about it. Tasks like putting together whole furniture packages, taking furniture to location, finishing and styling all come down to your mobility manager. And that’s a time-consuming job.
Paul Grommel, mobility manager at DPR, has done this himself in the past. “I spent three to four and a half working days per house doing that. There must be another way, I thought at the time.” The solution is, of course, renting furniture. From that moment on, Paul opted for a furniture rental company. He admits that by now he can’t live without it.Not only is this hugely time saving, but it can take a lot of the thinking out of it. Renting a complete furniture package means you don’t have to worry about remembering the colander, the extra table lamp, or the hand towels.
If you buy the furniture for expat homes yourself, the costs can run into the thousands in no time. It can mean time spent shopping for furniture, arranging multiple deliveries from multiple vendors, time spent assembling the furniture etc. And at the end of the project or assignment, you’re left with a bunch of furniture and household products that either need selling or throwing away. This can be time consuming, costly and it’s not sustainable at all. It also makes forecasting costs more difficult. If you rent furniture, you pay a monthly fee and the price generally includes delivery, installation and pick up as well. Having this insight into your costs makes it easier to stay within budget.
Renting furniture has some clear and definite advantages. The time and cost savings can be material. It’s also more sustainable for the environment. At Keypro, we’re happy to help you furnish your expats home away from home. Want to know more? Read about how it works on our information page regarding expat furniture rental, and check out our expat housing package. Contact us at 085 – 00 22 110 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. We are happy to help!