Business of Well-being

Establishing and Sustaining a Culture of Corporate Wellness by Alleviating the Stress of Moving

Corporate wellness is a noble and necessary undertaking, which involves recognizing - and alleviating - the key sources of stress, which can impact job performance, undermine morale, result in increased sick days and defeat the very purpose of a collective enterprise or specific endeavor: To succeed, as a team, on behalf of ideals like innovation, camaraderie, efficiency, savings and a true sense of ownership among all workers.

Nowhere is that duty more important, for employers and employees alike, than in the way a company assists newly hired professionals who need help selling a distressed property. In this case, as a franchisee of HomeVestors-Dallas, I know of what I write and speak because the anxiety of moving - the emotional and physical toll such an event entails - is often in the same category as divorce and the death of a loved one, according to most studies.

Easing or eliminating that stress should be a corporate priority, so a person can begin a new job - and a new life - the peace of mind they deserve. And yet, for a soon-to-be executive at a company in a different city or state, there is the issue of first selling an existing home - a distressed property - which requires the guidance of an experienced investor, a professional with the resources and brand recognition necessary to help a person move out - and move on - to a better chapter of stability and relief.

My advice, which I offer (again) as an investor and franchisee with HomeVestors-Dallas, is to broaden the definition of corporate wellness by expanding the number of experts who play a positive role in this field. Bear in mind, too, that failure to sell a distressed home makes it difficult if not impossible for an employee to balance a current mortgage and shoulder rental payments on a new apartment.

There inlays the need for companies and investors to work together, so that home is no longer a financial albatross or a daily distraction -- a metaphorical cancer, destroying a person's private will and public ambition. Indeed, without that assistance, companies risk weakening their attempts at promoting corporate wellness and may worsen an already difficult situation: An environment where uncertainty, anxiety and depression predominate, preventing workers from fulfilling their assignments, compromising their health and diverting them from their individual goals or collective aspirations.

In other words, these factors are no way to run a business and no means of establishing a true sense of corporate wellness. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem. The answer, which involves the counsel of expert investors and the support of companies that have a sincere interest in, can permit employees to move on - and up - as they no longer have to deal with the financial enslavement of owning a distressed property.

And, just as companies have their own list of movers and relocation experts (to help workers and their families find suitable schools, doctors and civic groups), these same businesses - for the health and peace of mind of their employees - need to add accomplished investors, buyers of distressed properties, to this database.

I write these words from experience, where, too often and despite the best (albeit limited) efforts of traditional, residential real estate brokers, distressed homes languish on the market -- thus denying people the chance of leaving a particular city and starting their lives (and jobs) with a clean slate, elsewhere, in an area  far removed from their current situation.

Also, recognize that the stress of owning a home in general can be significant: It involves maintenance, mortgage payments, property taxes, the cost of utilities, potentially costly repairs (from natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes) and the economic and emotional volatility associated with an erratic marketplace.

Compound that situation with having a distressed property, in a suburb enmeshed in dire circumstances, and the repercussions - on a person's psychological health and preparedness to begin a new job - are nearly immeasurable. One thing is, however, certain: Corporate wellness will suffer, period.

In my native city of Dallas-Fort Worth, where I am privy to data, that dissects properties on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood, street-by-street basis. I can use that intelligence to spot trends, identify warning signs (of excessive speculation or other distortions) and deliver quick turnaround to sellers -- the very people who want to begin a new job, join a new venture and, as stated previously, start a new life.With the right calculations, I can determine the cost of renovating that home, converting it into a rental property or selling it for a profit -- thereby stabilizing the local market, stanching the proverbial bleeding, and potentially increasing the value of nearby listings.

For the seller - for that new worker, as well as that person's employer - two priorities should be at the forefront of this discussion. First, there should be recognition that a stress-free worker has the ability to be an ideal worker; he or she enjoys a fresh level of resolve and strength, which fosters creativity and collaboration, for the good of the company as a whole.

In such a climate, innovation can thrive, leadership may flourish and excellence - in mind, body and spirit - can be, in the best sense of the word, contagious. Secondly, companies have a moral duty to facilitate this process. For, only by appreciating the entirety of corporate wellness - its many facets and variables, both positive and negative - can a company understand the severity of the economy and its effect on workers.

That price can foster a vicious cycle of financial distress, which begets personal despair, which destroys any true brand of corporate wellness. While even the most distinguished investors may not be able to purchase every home or rescue every employee, we can - and will continue to - help, wherever and whenever we have the opportunity to do so.

Our request to companies - my plea to all businesses that share a stake in this matter - is to involve us in the promotion of corporate wellness. However, we have no pill, tablet or shot to proffer, and in the absence of a prescription pad or professional medical diagnosis, we can nonetheless issue five words of profound psychological significance and personal relief: We are here to enable and empower those who want our guidance.

The responsibility now belongs to companies - those havens of corporate wellness and reform - to include us in their go-to list of resources. By removing one of the greatest causes of anxiety (for employees) - owning, maintaining and making payments on a distressed property - we can contribute to the tranquil, productive and optimistic-minded birth of workplace, where corporate wellness is permanent and powerful. Let us make this mission a reality.

About the Author:

Kevin Guz is a distinguished real estate investor and commentator. A HomeVestors-Dallas franchisee, he can be reached at or 972-532-8051.

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