The process of relocation can no doubt be stressful, but when a relocation service does its job correctly, the negative impacts on you and your family can be significantly mitigated. We’ve found that complete relocation, including the transfer of your family’s most cherished and familiar goods, can go a long way to making the adjustment to your new surroundings smoother and more pleasant.
Any relocation firm worth its salt will do everything possible to ensure the comfort of your move, no matter the duration of your stay. And for relocation within the US (and in certain cases, even international relocation,) the transfer of your vehicle to a new home can make a positive difference in how you and your family adjust.
We recommend that you keep a checklist of what services you most value from relocation companies. Here’s a sample of what your list might look like:
Completeness – Does your relocation firm provide a full service, including housing accommodations, schooling arrangements, and anything else you might consider necessary to make your new house a home? Consolidating all of these services through one agent will makes the transition from one city to another almost seamless.
Accuracy – If you’re paying for your own relocation, it is necessary to have an accurate quote. Do not rely on quotes that you receive over the phone only! The only way for a relocation or moving quote to be accurate is to have a mover manually exactly what you plan on taking with you.
Transportation – If you’re relocating to a city like Chicago, you may not necessary need to ship your car. But if you’re moving to a more rural area, it’s important that you receive adequate transport. Again, keeping as many of your familiar possessions as possible makes a big difference.
The process of moving can undoubtedly take a toll on you and your family if it is not handled in a professional, thorough manner. This makes it all the more important you choose from the best relocation companies available to you. If you do make the right choice, we guarantee you that it will make a big difference. Demanding that agents live up to your expectations help to keep relocation services competitive.
Wendy Cole of Realtor Magazine wrote an interesting article about senior citizen relocation and senior move managers. Below are some excerpts and some of our comments.
Planning and pulling off a move can be stressful. It takes months of planning and organizing to get ready to a transition into a new home. What can be even more stressful is moving your parents or your parent’s in-law. That’s where the NASMM steps in.
The National Association of Senior Move Management was founded in 2002 in Arlington Virginia and their goal is to facilitate transition relocation for older adults. Their services are vast, and include social workers, professional organizers, and engineers.
Their work is essentially listed in their title. The goal is to aid you, or a parent in moving senior citizens to new homes. When planning a senior move, there are seemingly endless checks to cross off the list of things to do. A senior move manager is a great way to relieve stress on everyone involved, and help simplify the process for you and your busy schedule. A common misconception about this process however is the cost. According to NASMM’s executive director Mary Kay Buysse, the entire process is no more than $2,500. For the time and stress that is saved in the process, $2500 isn’t so bad.
Our Rubloff intern, Ross Nemzin (firstname.lastname@example.org) recently sat down with the President of Relocation Management Resources (“RMR”), Bob Carbonell, to learn more about his company. Simply put, RMR acts as a custom management outsource for household goods moving services. These services are utilized by several categories of client:
• “Lump Sum” corporate transferees
• Affinity program members
• Real Estate Company partners
• Full service relocation management companies
Whether the client is a corporate transferee or an individual wanting a luxury real estate focus toward their move , RMR can provide the expertise needed to make a seamless transition from one home to another. RMR has a network of many of the finest specialized domestic and international moving agents to ensure their clients receive the highest quality moving services.
Several key points were revealed in the discussion that differentiate RMR’s moving service from that received when working directly with movers and other management groups:
• RMR completely separates the move management from the mover. The company inserts itself between the client and the moving company as an expert management resource and advocate – taking over all forms of communication and move orchestration—neither the individual moving or, when applicable, the employer, realtor or management company ever speaks to the moving company.
• For individual transferees, RMR provides custom service constraints and performance parameters such as those experienced by a corporate executive under a company umbrella . On their own, individuals do not have as much clout as corporations do to influence the system in order to receive the most cost effective moving plan with the highest level of quality. If they use RMR, however, they now have the built-in luxury of a corporate-level managed service.
• The sole focus of RMR’s business is to satisfy the client’s needs at the best possible cost. RMR presents its clients with multiple moving plans in an easily understood manner which allows the client to clearly see all of their options.
• A written documentation of all steps of the move is kept and then processed through a very complex audit to ensure that the client is billed correctly.
• RMR assures that clients will receive top quality moving, accurate billing, and fantastic customer service at a market competitive price.
This unique service that RMR provides is something that no other move management company in the country does and distinguishes RMR from its competition. Whether your need is Chicago Relocation or worldwide relocation, for more information, visit RMR.
Bob Carbonell, president RMR moving services, discusses private transferee moving services and the role they play in today’s business plan for companies providing movement of household goods.
Bob’s industry certifications include: Certified Moving Consultant (CMC), Certified Relocation Professional (CRP), Global Mobility Specialist (GMS), Certified Professional Mover (CPM); in addition, Bob received Tariff Specialist & Claims Specialist Training Certificates from The American Moving & Storage Association.
Comments from my friend and colleague Ben Ivory, Sr. VP for Graebel:
More than 40 million Americans move each year and the summer moving season is right around the corner. Whether you’re relocating down the street or across the country, it’s important to select a reputable moving company before the decision comes back to haunt you.
Incompetent, deceptive and unlicensed movers are out there. Thousands of people each year fall prey to theft, extensive hidden costs, and bait-and-switch tactics. But, you can protect yourself by spending time researching your movers and asking the right questions.
“Selecting a mover shouldn’t be a 15-minute decision,” explains Ben Ivory, Senior Vice President for Graebel in Chicago“You’re looking for someone you can trust with your family heirlooms, the items you’ve spent years collecting and the belongings that make up a big part of your life.”
Since 1950, the Graebel Companies have relocated more than one million people, and as the largest privately-owned relocation company, Graebel offers these tips to help consumers avoid getting burned.
Learn from others – get references.
Start your search for moving companies by asking friends, family, and neighbors, even your real estate broker for references. Look for companies that have been in business for a number of years, as longevity shows they know how to treat customers. Ask the moving company for references – and actually call them.
Know your mover’s background.
Use reliable third-party sources like the Better Business Bureau, Department of Transportation, and American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and the Illinois Movers and Warehousemens Association to check your mover’s background and complaint history. If you’re moving from one state to another, confirm your mover is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and has a DOT number – it’s the law.
Ask yourself if they look the part.
You’re looking to hire a moving professional – make sure they are just that. Web sites and collateral should provide licensing, offer valuable moving tips, spell-out possible warranties, describe if crews are background checked and trained to perform duties, and supply a local physical address. Materials should look professional, not random, sloppy photocopies, and, never choose a mover solely on a web site.
“Consumers need to take caution when using the Internet to find a moving company,” said AMSA President Linda Bauer Darr. “Just because a mover has a web site, it doesn’t mean they are licensed or insured; just that they paid for the site. The web site may look like a million bucks, but it may end up steering you toward a mover who is out to cheat you.”
Get more than one estimate.
Never select a mover on price alone. By gathering three written estimates, you can identify unrealistically low prices that could mean extra charges later. Compare estimates and all other services for a thorough picture of your total costs, and always require a physical in-home estimate.
“Seeing firsthand the size and quantity of your belongings is the only way to effectively estimate costs,” explains Graebel’s Ben Ivory. “Also, movers are legally required to deliver your goods for no more than 10-percent above a non-binding estimate unless the consumer changes the scope of services after the estimate was provided.”
Weigh your decision carefully.
Movers should estimate costs based on several factors, with weight ranking high. Before your goods are packed onto the truck, request a weight ticket of the empty or partially-full (if you’re sharing a load) truck. Once your goods are onboard, obtain a “heavy” weight – before the addition of fuel or any other goods. Subtract the light from the heavy weight. This process ensures you’re paying only for the actual weight of your goods.
Safeguard yourself from damage and loss.
Your goods are not covered by your mover’s liability insurance. Movers are only liable to pay 60 cents/pound for damaged or lost goods, unless you opt for more coverage. You may choose to pay for full replacement protection through your mover or purchase insurance from a third-party then carefully read coverage terms. Check with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance as you may be eligible for protection through them.
If storage is necessary, visit the mover’s warehouse beforehand to ensure facilities are in good condition or exist. This see-for-yourself step can also help avoid doing business with a rogue mover.
Pay attention to deposits.
If your mover requires an upfront deposit or pre-payment in cash, stop the move.
Demand answers to important questions.
Always ask about additional fees and get answers in writing. Additional labor, shuttle trucks, stairs, parking challenges, and other accommodations may increase your estimates. Never let your mover leave before you receive a written copy of your contract, inventory, any possible guarantees, and warrantees. You should also ask for your driver’s full name, driver’s license id, truck number, and cell phone for easy contact during the move.
Set your expectations.
Federal law requires movers to provide you with a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” when an interstate move is involved. Read the entire booklet as it explains what to expect from your mover and what you need to do to ensure a smooth move.
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