The coronavirus is having a massive effect on our lives. Just like in in the travel industry, it also affects all the service providers in the moving and relocation industry.

Relocation agencies – waiting for borders to re-open

The main purpose of all relocation agencies is to ensure that new employees from abroad quickly find a new home, whether it’s in Munich, Hamburg or Berlin. They also help newcomers with learning German and finding a suitable school for their children.

Many relocaters say their business has slumped by 75% to 90%.

The reason: employees are no longer allowed to travel to Germany and upcoming projects have been suspended by their companies. And even if employees are allowed to enter the country, they currently cannot get work visas because embassies and consulates are closed. Here, no online services cannot help because applicants have to appear in person.

These offices were already overburdened before the coronavirus crisis, so it's easy to imagine how much worse it will be after they reopen ...

However, registrations are still being processed online at the registration offices that are not open to the public, so domestic German and European moves are possible in urgent cases and when they cannot be postponed. 

Existing contracts are also being processed online. Some relocation agencies can also arrange accommodation by means of virtual apartment viewing.

”Temporary home office" instead of "Temporary living”

Mr. Lodge, Munich's leading agency for temporary accommodation, has noticed that more of its clients are taking advantage of the possibility of a virtual tour or are even deciding to rent a place without a tour.

Of course, entry restrictions and a ban on providing accommodation for tourist purposes have reduced demand for letting agencies, especially from international clients. Mr. Lodge, for example, has seen a 30 percent fall in its business, a relatively moderate decline compared with relocation companies. This is because they are getting more enquiries from the medical and nursing sector, as well as from people who are already in Munich and have previously lived in a hotel, for example, or who have worked outside of Germany as expats and now have had to return to Munich.

Apartment hotels such as Living Hotels also have a varied mix of guests. Despite Covid-19, the chain has kept one apartment hotel open in each of these cities: Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Nuremberg and Vienna. They have good occupation rates and are used by business people who cannot return to their countries, home office workers who need a break from their own four walls, as well as families and world travelers who are not allowed to leave the country or cannot leave, or for people who are looking for accommodation and students.

The Spot apartment hotel in Munich also offers has its studio apartments as fully furnished, private and secure home offices. With all these offers for temporary living, a very fast internet connection is a high priority for customers.

Long-term planning creates security in business development.

The economic development slump will not last forever. International companies opening up in Germany have long-term objectives so a temporary halt does not have such a strong impact but only causes a delay. Companies are also quickly restructuring. The Berlin Partner business development agency, for example, has temporarily switched completely to providing immediate coronavirus aid. Its hotline now has 40 employees working just in this area.

Free NEW IN THE CITY eBooks for future expats.

We as a relocation magazine feel the effect just as much as everyone else.

If no newcomers – especially from abroad – move to the cities, a magazine like NEW IN THE CITY will make less sense in the long run. But as soon as the borders are open again, relocations will certainly increase once more. Moreover, a move from abroad to Germany is not spontaneous, but is planned thoroughly beforehand.

In order that ALL future new citizens, who have only postponed their move, can inform themselves extensively about their new home in advance, we are now making many of our magazines available on our website free of charge.

Enjoy reading them and hopefully see you soon in one of the NEW IN THE CITY cities!