Your Guide to Relocation Acronyms and Buzzwords

versa relocation buzzwords

Do you know the difference between a BVO and an AVS relocation home sale program?  And what’s the deal with BPOs?  Are they the same thing as a BMA?  Whether you are a relocation industry veteran or a newbie, there is a lot of terminology to remember, and sometimes it can be difficult to keep it all straight.

That’s why we have created our “Guide to Relocation Acronyms and Buzzwords.”  We hope that it will be a handy reference for you to use today, and something that you can refer to for many years to come.  It includes some of the most commonly used terms in the relocation industry.


Assignee:  An employee who is living and working at the request of their employer on a temporary basis (usually longer than 3 months) in a country other than their home country of employment origin.

BMA: (Broker’s Market Analysis) Developed by Worldwide ERC, the Broker’s Market Analysis and Strategy Report is a form used by real estate brokers and agents that enables them to conduct a diligent analysis of a subject property’s condition and future marketability. Based on the analysis, the broker is to estimate the property’s most likely sales price.

BPO: (Broker’s Price Opinion) It is the estimated value of a property as determined by a real estate broker or agent based on the characteristics of that property.

BVO: (Buyer Value Option) This is a home sale program that allows the employee to list and market the home until an offer is received on the property. Then, the Relocation Management Company (RMC) purchases the property from the employee based on the sales contract amount, and then sells the property to the ultimate buyer. There are two distinct sales that take place for the property with the BVO program.

COLA: (Cost Of Living Allowance) This is an allowance or payment differential paid to an employee.  It is intended to address the differences in purchasing power when an employee is moving to a higher cost-of-living area to cover those higher expenses for a specified time period.

Core Flex Relocation Policy:  It is a relocation policy that includes relocation benefits that are needed by all transferring employees, as well as flexible components that can be added based on an employee’s specific needs.

CRP: (Certified Relocation Professional) This is a competency-based designation that was developed by Worldwide ERC. Recipients of the CRP designation are recognized for demonstrating a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practices of U.S. employee relocation across all facets of the industry, and for their dedication to continued education in this specialized field.

Cultural Training: Also known as intercultural training and cross-cultural training, it is a training program that is intended to narrow the communication gap between employees and clients when working within a multinational/multicultural organization.

Direct Reimbursement Program: This is a home sale program in which the employee is responsible for the sale of his or her home, and is then reimbursed for the costs associated with that sale.

Destination Services:  This is assistance provided to an employee and family in their new location. It is designed to assist with a host of services that typically include: temporary housing assistance, securing permanent housing, school assistance, area orientation tours, driver’s license, social security, banking, etc.

DSP: (Destination Services Provider) This is the service provider who provides the Destination Services. They are sometimes referred to as a Destination Agent.

EE: (Employee) This is typically used in reference to a transferring employee.

Expat: (Expatriate) This a person who lives outside of his or her native country.

GMS: (Global Mobility Specialist) This is an industry designation offered by Worldwide ERC. It was designed to provide relocation professionals with a deep understanding of global workforce mobility issues.

GMS-T: This is an industry designation offered by Worldwide ERC that is focused on strategic talent mobility. Relocation industry professionals who have already earned their GMS designation can elevate it to GMS-T upon the successful completion of the Strategic Talent program.

Gross-up:  This is a company-provided tax allowance that is added to an employee’s reportable wages.  It is meant to offset in part or in whole the tax burden of specific payments made to the employee for certain taxable, nondeductible reimbursement or allowances.

HHG: (Household Goods) This refers to the transportation and shipment of an employee’s household goods and personal belongings from their current location to their new location.

Homefinding Trip: This is a trip to the location where an employee is being transferred, that allows them to search for a home or apartment in advance of their move.

Inpat: (Inpatriate) An employee of a multinational company who is from a foreign country, but is transferred from a foreign subsidiary to the corporation’s headquarters.

 Inventory Property:  This typically refers to a property that has been acquired by an RMC, and has been taken into their inventory prior to the selling of the property to the ultimate buyer.

Lump Sum: This is a relocation package in which the employer gives a set amount of money to an employee to assist with their relocation costs.

MEA: (Miscellaneous Expense Allowance) This is an allowance paid to the employee by their employer, which is meant to cover miscellaneous out-of-pocket expenses that are not otherwise covered by their relocation policy.

Per Diem: This is a daily rate that an employer will pay to a relocating employee to cover certain out-of-pocket expenses and other incidentals, such as meals, hotels, etc.

Property Management: This is a service often utilized by an employee who is going on an assignment, and wishes to have their home maintained and well-looked after while they are away. The services provided by a property management company typically include procurement of a tenant, collection of security deposits and rental checks, coordination of regular home maintenance (such as yard and pool services), and overseeing any repairs or issues that might arise and need attention while the homeowner is away.

Relocation Appraisal:  This type of appraisal is used to determine an anticipated sales price of a relocating employee’s property.

Repat: (Repatriation): The return of an employee to their home country at the conclusion of an employment-based assignment in another country.

RMC: (Relocation Management Company) These are companies that provide a full array of relocation services for companies and corporations that relocate their employees domestically and/or internationally.

Rotational Assignment:  This is a temporary assignment across national borders in which an employee works for a specified number of days in the host country, and then comes back to their home country for a specified number of days.

SCRP: (Senior Certified Relocation Professional) This is a designation for relocation professionals who have already earned their CRP designation from Worldwide ERC and have taken further steps in their professional development.

SGMS: (Senior Global Mobility Specialist) This is a designation for relocation professionals who have already earned their GMS designation from Worldwide ERC and have taken further steps in their professional development.

Short-term Assignment:  This is a temporary assignment of an employee that is typically projected to last for more than three months, but less than a year.

Temporary Housing: Also referred to as corporate housing, it is the short-term living arrangement for an employee. This can be based on the need for short-term housing only, or is often utilized prior to the employee securing permanent housing. Accommodations are typically a fully furnished apartment with a short lease term.

Tenancy Management: This is a service that provides lease support to the employee and the employer throughout an employee’s lease term. Tenancy management services typically include assistance with lease negotiations and renewals, management and coordination of any repair or maintenance issues, as well as acting as a liaison between the tenant and the landlord.


Do you have more questions? No worries! Please contact VERSA anytime. We are always here to assist you and your organization.

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