Did you know Royal Shell Real Estate has a Relocation Department? Moving to a new city and starting a new job can be nerve-wracking. But what if you didn’t have to do it alone? Whether you are moving from Naples to Fort Myers, Minnesota to Sanibel, Germany to Cape Coral, or anywhere in between, we can help make your move easier and a lot less stressful. Escape the cold up north and enjoy the tranquil nature of the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and live in paradise full-time. The possibilities are endless.
Royal Shell’s Relocation Department can assist clients with moving to various parts of Southwest Florida, Ocala, Florida, Western North Carolina, or anywhere else. Royal Shell’s Relocation Department can also help real estate agents with referrals. This blog post will introduce you to our talented and passionate team. There are many reasons why we make it easy and you make it home. This is just one of them.
Karen Danner has been with Royal Shell since May 2019. She is our Director of Business Development and Relocation. Danner’s background is in real estate and she’s been focusing on relocation since 2006.
Southwest Florida’s season is January through March, and that’s when our department is at its peak.
“Referrals are strong pretty much all year long,” Danner said. “There can be hundreds of active files at a time because of the broad range of places we work with in Southwest Florida. We have a big footprint here. We work in Ocala, Florida and Western North Carolina. And then we can work anywhere in between.”
Danner recently sat down with us and answered a few questions about the Royal Shell Relocation Department and the relocation process including how it works for clients and how real estate agents can benefit.
What is the Difference Between Referrals and Relocation?
KD: There are referrals and relocation. Relocating is a term people use when they are moving. It is also used when an employee receives an employment offer to work in another location. This type of move is a “relocation move” and can be subject to taxation. The process that we follow to assist these employees is very structured and must be handled by trained agents and relocation directors, to avoid expensive mistakes.
Referrals are a way for agents to assist their clients and family when moving outside of their own market. The agent places the referral through the Relocation Department, who contacts a relocation director in the new location. That relo director assigns the best real estate agent in the specific community, and the assigned agent contacts the referring agent for additional information. Then the assigned agent contacts the client with a lot of background information to assist.
Communication is important to our clients and to this process so we all remain engaged until the closing. Conducting referrals this way increases our service to the client and allows us to resolve any problems. We make a great service team: two agents and two Relocation Directors to assist.
What is Your Favorite Part About Relocation?
KD: What I like the most about relocation is helping people meet their objectives. Sometimes people are looking to buy a house within six days because they have one short trip, or they’re looking to buy a house over a six-month period. Or they’re looking for a needle in a haystack. We hear that term often. Or they’re looking for a good connection with an agent who’s going to provide them with exceptional service. I like being able to match that person with an agent because that always lends itself to a successful transaction.
What is the Relocation Process Like?
KD: There is never a specific process and it changes every year, so it depends on corporate need. The process typically is that you’re working for a company, or you apply to work for a company, and they give you the offer of the position in a different place than where you live. They’ll either provide you with relocation benefits or they’ll provide you with cash to make that move. Sometimes those benefits can be carte blanche, where they come in and buy your house for whatever it’s appraised at today. Then, they sell your house in the old location and they assist you with buying your house in the new location. Or it can be a credit card with $5,000 on it. That would be a more typical benefit. Or it can be a moving location package for a college student or a graduate who’s moving to a new state.
We work with a lot of different types of people at all different levels: first-time homebuyers all the way to C-level and presidents of companies. And we’re able to accommodate them because of the variety of agents we network with from across the country.
If you're thinking about making the move to the Sunshine State, here are some things to consider when moving to Southwest Florida.
Is This Just for Professionals or Can Anyone Use the Program?
KD: Anyone can use the program, even if you’re not in a formal relocation program with a corporation, or you’re not given all the benefits. You can still call in and say that you want to be in the relocation program. We can network with you and get you an agent where you’re selling your home, wherever it is in the country or the world, and help you buy a home here, or vice versa.
We can help you on both sides of the transaction. We manage the entire process; I would find an agent on this side in the Southwest Florida area to assist you. That would be one of our agents whether it’s to buy or sell. And then I would contact a relo director somewhere else in the country that would do the same thing. Throughout the process, whether it’s two weeks or two years, we’ll stay in contact—the four of us—the two agents and the two relo directors—so everything is managed and so there’s no misunderstanding. It’s really important to stay in touch with everyone. It eliminates a lot of frustration and it allows the mover to take care of other issues with moving and starting another position.
Do Most of Your Clients Move from Within Florida, the U.S. or from Around the World?
KD: I would say it’s a pretty good mix. Because we have such a large presence in Fort Myers, my network partners with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, who are all over the country and all over the world know us as being No. 1 in Fort Myers so we do get a lot of clients buying and selling in the Fort Myers area. We also work in Naples and get a lot of people who move from Naples to Fort Myers or vice-versa. Even our agents rely on the Relocation Department because it’s out of their footprint. For example, a Naples agent wouldn’t sell in Sanibel because they don’t know that market. They’ll send a referral through my department so we can get an agent on Sanibel and manage the process for them. It’s really a great way for them to earn referral income, increase their business, and also know their clients are being handled well on the other side.
What Services are Available Before, During and After the Move?
KD: We provide them with information about the communities. We provide them with area tours. If you’ve never been to Southwest Florida, you don’t know if you want to live in Sanibel, Marco Island or maybe Bonita or Naples. And it’s not always by price range. If you have a pretty decent price range you can fit into a lot of different communities. And being happy where you live is all about finding the best fit.
We have agents in place who know our communities and then we connect them with the clients to show them what those communities are like. Sanibel is clearly much different than Fort Myers. Fort Myers is much different than Naples. And not everyone fits into that community, but they do fit into one of them. A subdivision that has golf might not be the best for the client because they don’t want to golf. Maybe they want to play tennis. Or maybe they only want to do social. They love the tiki bar, but they don’t care so much about golf. So, picking the right agent is really critical.
Do People Tend to Already Have an Idea About Where They Want to Live?
KD: Often, they’ve done quite a bit of research and they know the community they want to live in. We have so many rentals and it’s a culture of seasonal rentals. So, many people know where they want to live because they’ve rented here for the past five years. They’ve explored the area and it’s where they’ve gone as a kid. Or their whole family is in that community, so that’s where they want to live also. Or they’ve got rental objectives. “I’m going to buy this unit, but I’m only going to be here for five months, so I’ve got to rent it out and find a place that makes sense for an investment.” That kind of thing.
How Does Royal Shell’s Affiliation with Real Estate Companies of the World® Help with the Relocation Process?
KD: Because it’s a global network, we have access to the group of top-producing brokers. We can’t be in it unless we’re top producing brokers. In fact, we have to be in the top 10 of all independent brokers. So, there are some qualifications you’ve got to meet. And that serves us well because when I place a referral out I know it’s going to be handled by a top company.
They also provide the training and the format. Having the relo director format is really important. It really makes the difference in having a relocation director versus placing that referral directly to an agent. If they want to just choose an agent from Omaha, Nebraska, from a website, they have to figure out if that agent is still in business. Maybe they’re taking six months off because they’re not well, maybe their daughter is getting married, maybe they’re traveling this year. We don’t know that by looking at a web page. The relocation directors stay in touch with the managers and agents so we know who the best agent is to assign to our relocating clients.
We’re working with agents who are the best. And we have a follow-up program as well. That format and process of working with the relocation director and relocation department lends itself to a 56%+ conversion rate, and the National Association of Realtors reports a less than 1% conversion rate when you do an agent-to-agent direct referral. So, the relocation referral process is tremendous and when you’ve got the potential of earning $5,000, let’s do it right. Let’s place it through the relo department and make sure it’s done right so the agent earns their referral fee.
Can You Tell Me About Military On The Move?
KD: The Military on the Move program provides benefits to our veterans and we can extend that so it’s for all of our service providers, teachers, firefighters, EMS and police. It allows them an opportunity to get cash back at their closing. It’s a marketing tool for our agents and it allows us to serve our military and community service providers with benefits for cash back at closing. It’s our way of saying thank you.
Are There Any Misconceptions About Relocation You Want to Clarify?
KD: Some top producing agents think this is a way for us to increase our referrals and give them back less so that corporate makes more money. A couple of things need to be mentioned. One is that you’ve got accountability. When you bring a referral to the relo department, you increase the opportunity for that transaction to close. When we send a referral out, we have an agreement signed and assure a referral fee will be paid at closing. Many agents from outside the network will agree to work with your client but, without the paperwork we put in place, may not pay at closing.
Our network works! We share over 30,000 referrals with a 56% conversion rate at $6 billion in sales volume every year. Many of those referrals are coming in for our agents to transact.
Royal Shell Real Estate Can Help You Relocate
If you’re thinking about relocating to Southwest Florida, Ocala, Florida, Western North Carolina or anywhere around the world, you are not alone. We can help. Our Royal Shell Relocation Department can assist clients and employees with their moves and handle special nuances so the process is less stressful and more enjoyable. We can also help real estate agents with referrals. Contact us today to get started!
What Makes Royal Shell’s Relocation Department Stand Out?
- We enjoy building relationships and believe that’s the foundation of a successful partnership
- We have years of experience and we know the Southwest Florida, Ocala, Florida, and Western North Carolina areas well
- We will give you individual attention whether you are an individual, family or corporation moving hundreds of employees
- We are part of global networks of top producing agents and brokers from around the world
- We can recommend service providers
- We offer benefits through Military on the Move, which assists veterans and community service providers including teachers, firefighters, EMS and police officers