By: Ann Knapp | CRP, GMS, CMC

December 17, 2019

Many companies can benefit by adding affinity programs to their relocation policy. Relocation offers ample opportunities for transferees and new hires to use services. As a result, a robust relocation policy with well-structured affinity programs may provide a revenue stream to help offset administrative costs. Also transferees and new hires may benefit from special programs and discounts offered through these programs.

What are Affinity Programs?

Affinity programs are a structured partnership between businesses that promotes use of a service or purchase of an item. The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives notes that these programs must provide value and specific price advantages for members in order to be successful.

A typical affinity program may follow the following steps:

  1. Employer enters into an agreement with a business partner
  2. Employer then offers the services to their employees
  3. Employees gain a benefit from using the services (such as discounts on products and services)
  4. Profits attributed to the employee’s use of the service are shared between the employer and the business partner

Employees gain value when they receive exclusive discounts and services in return for their participation. They also gain expert, hands-on guidance of experienced support staff from the business partner. Staff members are ready to help guide affinity program recipients through the process of selecting, ordering, and tracking the various services they desire.

Employers gain from affinity programs in several areas:

  • Revenue stream from profit share
  • Increased employee satisfaction
  • Enhanced goodwill through offering valued services
  • Association with a trusted business partner
  • Seen as an employer of choice among job seekers

What are Typical Affinity Programs in Relocation?

Typical affinity programs in relocation might include profit sharing based on transferee and new hire use of services offered by a Relocation Management Company (RMC). Services that may be eligible might include household goods moves, home selling/buying, mortgages, housing, or travel. These programs can be structured in many ways to meet employer’s needs as well as provide clear and defined value for employees.

Example: Traditional Temporary Housing

For example, transferees may be offered the option of using traditional temporary housing while they search for a home in their new location. If the transferee chooses to use this option, the employer will gain in the form of a profit share.

Importantly, the employer will also gain from having the transferee use housing that meets specific requirements for maintenance, cleanliness, amenities, and security. Transferees are more likely to have a positive experience when they use traditional temporary housing, as opposed to other housing options. This in turn will increase employee satisfaction with their relocation experience.

Many other housing options might initially seem attractive and offer a lower cost, but they may not meet cleanliness standards, and may carry hidden costs and unexpected issues for the transferee.

What Should Employers do About Affinity Programs?

Employers interested in learning more about affinity programs in relocation should work with a Relocation Management Company that has knowledge and expertise with these programs. An experienced RMC can help employers design their relocation policy to provide value for employees while returning many benefits to employers.

GMS offers clients its exclusive MyRelocation® Affinity Program. Through this program, eligible clients are able to gain many valuable benefits for their companies and their employees, where available.


GMS’ team of domestic relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients develop value-added benefits as part of their relocation policies. Our team can help your company determine how to define affinity programs that provide positive returns and valuable benefits for employees.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a .com. The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Global Mobility Solutions is proud to be named and ranked #1 Overall, and #1 in Quality of Service by HRO Today’s 2019 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Contact our experts online to learn more about how to define affinity programs in your company’s relocation policy, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

Request your complimentary relocation policy review

Director, Transportation Services Ann has over 20 years of leadership experience in the moving and relocation industries. She is a council member for the International Association of Movers (IAM) Leadership Alliance. As a 2nd generation mover, Ann has worked in all areas of the industry from survey scheduling to claims settlement which has provided her with a well-rounded understanding of the ins & outs of moving. Ann is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Transportation Team, the GMS Transportation Network, managing contracts, policy advisement, and monitoring quality.

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