What is Relocation?

Who is an “Expatriate”?

Many Israelis change their residence to other countries as a result of a change in their employment. The English term for this process is “relocation”. Relocation of an employee is not necessarily a promotion in his position or standing and he is transferred to working in another country.

Foreign companies often move their employees to Israel, particularly employees who have an education and experience in special fields which Israeli employees do not have. For example, employment in the oil and gas business, or employment in building the infrastructure for the light rail transit system.Foreign employees are “expatriates” or in short “expats”, in Hebrew the word is translated in “Exiles”, people who are in exile from their place of birth. The word Exile is a strong word which reminds us of the Exile from Zion, and in fact, it is not simple to be an exile in a foreign country, even if the process is carried out through free choice and as a result of a strong wish to succeed in a new place of work.

One of the first tasks of an employee in a new location is to find a suitable residence.

Relocation of residence in Israel

There are companies that specialize in transferring employees to Israel, a difficult and complex task. The starting point is obviously the budget. The budget is fixed in the employee’s employment agreement but that is only one part of the complex puzzle of relocation.

It is important to pay attention to several factors: Where is the workplace where the employee has to visit daily? Does he arrive in Israel alone or with family members? Where will the children go to school? The American School is located in Even Yehuda, whereas the French School is in Jaffa. Does the employee arrive with his household effects? Does he require a completely furnished and fully equipped residence? What will the spouse be doing during her stay in Israel? The employee goes to work and continues his life in the same company with his colleagues, the spouse remains at home and cannot work (the work visa is issued only to the employee). If the employee drives to work in the car, the spouse is not mobile, does not speak Hebrew and is not familiar with the neighborhood and is not connected with the community.

In my work as a real estate broker, specializing in relocating expats, I have found, time and again, the importance of meeting the employee and his family and connecting them to the right property, considering all of the above parameters.

The motto is “Welcome to Israel”

What is Relocation?As a real estate broker, I am one of the first people the employee meets in Israel. I must be pleasant and courteous, give them the feeling they are welcome in Israel and that everything will be alright. During July and August last year, I was working in a war zone and had to project a positive message to those employees who arrived in the summer before the beginning of the school year of their children.

In autumn I come to the meeting with “Crembo”. That is a sweet that welcomes the autumn. The expats are not familiar with that sweet. In summer there is nothing like a cold coffee “Granite Mocha” in a tall glass.

Those small gestures contribute to a good atmosphere and if we locate the right property, the result is two-fold: I have a client who is pleased and the company has an employee who is pleased. It is important to give the client and the family personal attention after closing a transaction as well. For example, the wife of an expat told me she liked quilting blankets in her free time, I found a quilting group in Tel Aviv. That hobby filled her days, she was busy looking for thread, fabrics and patterns and she became the leader of the group as she had know-how and experience with quilting.

I connected another client, who loves the sea, to a sailing club in Tel Aviv where he found people who have a common interest, since they all love the sea. To summarize, in relocating expats in Israel, one must find the most suitable residence and connect them to their residential community so they will feel at home.

We remain in contact

It is important to remain in contact after closing the deal.  I advise my clients in Herzelia Pituach and Kfar Shmaryahu of the open-air concerts in Herzeliya Park. There are dance and music shows the expats can enjoy, without knowing Hebrew. Of course, the Opera house and the concert auditorium in Tel Aviv welcome expats who are music lovers. One of the international activities which cross language barriers and culture is sport. The basketball games of Maccabi Tel Aviv can be a special experience for expatriates that will bring them to fall in love with Israel.