Let’s face it; the moving industry update is far overdue, as there is little or no significant update to the industry over the last 50 years. There is no doubt the industry has not been tech-savvy as being experienced in other industries.
Most of the processes are still following an age-old system which is one of the reasons it should be a point of concern to the industry.
Let’s take a look at this – in a society with a customer-driven community where consumers are looking for instant and updated ways of delivering moving services, this starts from getting moving quotes to booking moving companies online and getting the job done without stress.
Unlike a century ago, when the only way to get moving quotes for any move was thought to be nothing but to visit the home physically, in this present century where the world is now a global village, the massive use of smartphones to transact businesses has led to automatic technology advancement in many areas of the world, but the moving industry is an exception.
With over $85.7 billion economic impacts of the industry in 2016, the moving industry is expected to have exploited the available technology in every section of the moving process. The current on-demand trend entails that consumers are looking for a way to access whatever they need at a push of a button.
In the moving business, getting a moving quote, booking a move, making a payment, and completing the entire transaction can be simplified and completed at the tap of a button online.
In the present age, where almost everyone is living a busy life, consumers are looking for a flexible way to get a moving quote, schedule their move to fall during their off-hours, and get it booked within a few minutes or hours in the comfort of their homes.
Can you now see that the moving industry needs an urgent update to meet up the current demand of the consumers?
However, there is no doubt that some companies are doing well in the industry in terms of technology upgrades in the moving industry. Nevertheless, this post aims to look at some points that call for urgent updates in the moving industry to look at the future of booking your move online.
How many times does an average person move in his life? How long does it take to get a moving quote? How long does it take to qualify a moving company and how? How many quotes (estimates) do you need to get in order to choose one? These and many other points will be discussed in this post. Read on to discover them one after the other.
How Many Times Does the Average Person Move in his Life?
The United States is one of the most known mobile countries in the world due to its constant rate of relocating from one place to another. This relocation may be due to one reason or the other.
Some age groups often move more than others. So, answering the question – how many times does the average person move in his life? There are surveys that have facts about this.
According to a current survey, an average American moves 11.4 times in his life. This is a little bit lower than that of between 2012 and 2013 which recorded over 35.9 million people moving with an average of 11.7 times in their lifetime. This relocation is connected to one reason or the other.
According to the US Census Bureau’s 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, most of the moves are linked to housing-related reasons with over 48% of housing cases.
This is followed by 30.3% and 19.4% family- and job-related moves respectively. There are still other reasons why people move from one location to another. Let’s look at these other reasons:
1. Job Relocation
Many people, especially the youth generation, usually relocate because of job demands or in search of greener pasture. Based on the Census Bureau, over 9% of American People move because of new employment or when their jobs demand it.
The nature of some jobs demands that employees move closer to their workplace for convenience, as well as to save time, money, and the stress involved in traveling a long distance every day.
2. From Renting to Owning
Over 90% of people first rent an apartment before they eventually own a house of their own. When people are starting up lives, they rent a place to save up some reasonable amount of money to build or buy a house of their own.
When the time comes, they finally afford a house and move from the rented apartment to their own homes. A number of relocations occurring every year is due to ownership, and this is what everyone prays for. People are eager to move to their house.
3. Changes in the Family Size
At the initial stage, people rent an apartment based on their capacity or the size of the family. After graduation or at earlier marriage when there is no child yet, people do live in a 1-bedroom apartment.
When the family starts growing with kids, the family is prompted to move to a bigger home that can accommodate the entire household members.
Also, it gets to a stage when the kids would want to have their own lives and separate from the family; the family may decide to downsize the home again. Hence, size of the family changes may influence relocation at any point in time.
4. Moving to a Bigger or Better Home
The desire to seek a more comfortable home is normal and often happens whenever one can afford such. About 15% of People were surveyed to leave their old house and relocate to a bigger and better place.
When the time calls for it, one cannot but need to relocate to a place, and this may occur as long as the consumers want to upgrade. When there is a boost in someone’s economy, he or she may decide to upgrade to something bigger or better.
Some people also relocate when they cannot continue to afford their current rent due to financial issues; hence, they move to a cheaper home based on their capacity. This is usually in the case of renters who live on income, and once there are variations in the income either up or down, this may warrant moving to an affordable one.
So, whenever and whatever the reason of relocations, consumers will always need moving companies to move them. In the process of searching for a reliable mover, many things are involved.
Now, if you are moving for the first time, you would ask, how does it go when it comes to hiring a mover for your move? With emerging technology, hiring a moving company is becoming simpler. You can simply go online and get a moving quote for your move. There you go!
How long does it take to get a Moving Quote?
Moving houses can cost between hundreds and thousands of dollars, especially when you hire a professional moving company. However, the knowledge of the actual cost of your move can help you to prepare your budget and plan a successful relocation.
Many consumers want to know earlier what it will cost them to use any of the services, and they want to know this as early as possible. This is where moving quote or estimate comes up.
People can submit quotes either online or offline based on the urgency of the consumers’ needs. The mover’s quote aims to give you an accurate idea of how much it will cost you to move your home prior to your move. This can be gotten online or over the phone as one of the fastest means now. The question is how long does it take to get a moving quote?
An online quote or over the phone quote shouldn’t be more than 45 minutes if all things being equal – I mean if all the requirements to calculate your move are provided to the online representative. What are these requirements necessary to get a faster and accurate moving quote?
Details Required to Prepare your Quote
Before you can get moving quotes from any moving company, there are some details required by you. As said earlier, if all things being equal, it shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to get a moving quote unless you want an on-site estimate. Whenever you are ready to receive a faster-moving quote, ensure you have prepared the required information to calculate your move. Below are the required details:
- Your move date: The first question a representative will ask you is your anticipated day for your move. This helps the company know if they have been booked for the day or not. Also, they will know if it is a peak period or not. Is it an urgent move? Your move date will determine.
- The size of your home: Another thing online representatives will ask you is the size of your home. Is it a three-bedroom apartment or a single studio apartment? Knowledge of this helps them to predict the volume of your items before asking the following question.
- The amount of furniture involved in the move: Furniture occupies significant space in the truck during a move. You will also be asked to give details of the pieces of furniture in your home to calculate your quote.
- Access tips: The agent will also ask about the ease of accessing your move. Some homes are located in an unpopular location or may not be easily accessible by the moving truck. Ensure you give necessary access tips to the person attending you online.
- Distance: The distance between your current and new home will also be required to calculate your moving quote.
All these questions should be prepared to give to the online representative to help him or her in calculating your moving quote. With these details, it only takes about 45 minutes to get your moving quote ready.
How many Quotes (Estimates) do you need to get in order to Choose One?
When it comes to moving, getting a quote can get one confused, and if care is not taken, it may be time-consuming, especially if it is your first time doing this. Getting a quote or an estimate for your move shouldn’t be a difficult task if you know what you want.
Regardless of the number of quotes submitted by various moving companies, choosing one should be based on your needs and budget.
Getting moving quotes or estimates is now made easy with the technology upgrade of many moving company websites. There are some platforms such iMoving where you can enter your details such as your zip code, inventory list, and other required information to access hundreds of moving quotes in a matter of minutes.
Answering the question – how many quotes (estimates) do you need to get to choose one? For you not to get confused about the entire process of choosing a moving quote, you need to have in-depth knowledge about the different types of quotes as well as understand your needs. This leads us to discuss different types of moving quotes (estimates) for more understanding of the topic.
Types of Moving Estimate
The understanding of the type of quote (estimate) received from moving companies goes a long way in choosing the right one that will guarantee your peace of mind.
Remember, it is essential to avail the online representative or the estimator of the accurate details of your move and inventory to get accurate quotes from movers. Ensure you furnish the estimator all he or she needs to know in regards to the items you plan to move including your furniture and accumulated items over the years that you cannot let go.
The truth is that – the more detail you give, the more accurate your quote will be. It is worthy of mentioning, that your quote will be based on your information to determine the actual number of movers that will be involved in packing and loading and the size of truck required to move such home.
Below are three common types of estimates you should expect:
1. Non-Binding Moving Estimate
A non-binding estimate is a kind of document containing the best of the mover’s guess of what it will cost to move your home. When you call a moving company over the phone and give the representative the details of your move to the best of your ability, the moving company comes up with a quote based on the information provided and submits a document to this effect.
This document is referred to as a non-binding moving estimate. However, you cannot hold your mover to this submission, as the bill may go higher or lower based on the service provided and as well as the actual weight of your belongings at the end of the move.
It is worthy of mentioning, that you should beware of shady movers who are known for enticing consumers with a low non-binding quote and beef up the price after the move.
Hence, if an estimate is too low; think twice. In the case the final price is higher than what is contained in the nonbinding quote, you may be required to pay an additional 10% of the total estimate.
2. Binding Moving Estimate
A binding moving estimate is a better option if all things are equal. The mover is required to honor the cost as contained in his or her estimate in as much as nothing is added to the list. In the same way, the consumer is bound to move only the items contained in the inventory sheet.
3. Binding-not-to-exceed Moving Estimate
A binding-not-to-exceed estimate is also referred to as “price protection” or “guarantee Price.” It is almost the same as a binding estimate. The only exception is that the consumers pay less than the total cost of their items weigh lesser than what is contained in the quote. It is one of the customer-friendly and most popular estimates for long-distance moves.
When you request a quote online, you may receive different offers from reputable companies. From these offers, you are at the liberty of choosing the one that best fits your move.
Hence, going by the question of “how many quotes do you need to get in order to choose one”? It can be concluded that you can get as many as possible. In fact, the higher the number, the better. However, it is advisable to look before you leap. This leads us to share some tips to get the best out of your quote.
Compare Movers Estimates – Getting the Best out of your Quote
The significance of searching and hiring a reputable moving company cannot be overemphasized in helping you to avoid a lot of stress involved in moving homes. However, it seems that their service charges do stop us from making that right choice; hence, we fall victim to low profile movers who may turn our moving joy into a nightmare.
There is no doubt; moving cost varies from mover to mover despite having the moving parameter. But the good news is that you are free to choose anyone for your move.
What you need is to look at the estimate submitted by each moving company and choose one based on quality service deliveries and affordability. This is where your selection skills and negotiating power come into play.
Do you need to get a college degree before performing the task of comparing moving estimates? NO! The basic thing is to understand what each mover submits, the type of services they offer, and what is included in the moving estimate before entering a negotiation with any moving company.
For a seamless negotiation, it is advisable you start with the best three estimates from professional and accredited movers. Sure, when you request a quote online, you may get more than three bids, but you may get confused comparing ten moving estimates at a time. Hence, it is ideal to first handpick about three estimates to go into a deep comparison.
Remember, the aims of comparing moving estimates are to ensure you are getting the best price and also to ensure you are getting a quote that is closer to the final moving cost.
Hence, while the moving quotes are still coming in, address the following aspects to avoid a possible sudden increase in mover’s charges:
- Determine the nature and level of extra services required: Some services may not be required which most movers usually include in their estimates. Quickly liaise with your relocation partner to figure this out, so you can know your focus when you are comparing and negotiating with your movers. The truth is that most of the additional services are negotiable and some can even be avoided. Do you need packing? Do you need cleaning? Must you pack the old furniture to the new home? The moving cost can be lowered after deciding on all these factors.
- Decide who will handle packing and unpacking: Is it you or your moving company that will take care of the cost of packing and unpacking? If you have friends or relatives to help you out, you may not need to pay the extra cost of packing and unpacking usually contained in the mover’s estimates. Or you can as well handle some parts of packing of items and leave some professional tasks, such as disassembling and reassembling of furniture, handling of valuable antiques, heavy appliances, or some specialized items like a pool table, a piano, a heavy gun safe, and much more.
- Work out move-related issues: There are some factors that beef up moving costs. Ensure you perfect all these and prepare how you would discuss them with the movers. Be aware of some unexpected fees your moving company may be charging you. This ranges from extra charges of carrying your belongings through staircase, narrow way, lifting items over a long distance from your front door to the moving truck, to preparing packing space for the moving truck.
After the above preamble before the actual comparison, it is now time to look for some key areas of a moving estimate. Do the following to compare different submissions from various movers:
The Company Name itself
Before you go deep into each quotation, have in mind that price depends on the reputation of each company. If you want to use a highly reputable mover, acknowledge that the quote is maybe a little bit higher than upcoming moving companies.
Is the service of an international moving company or a local brand? Is it the best match for your move or are they limited in operation? The brand name may determine what you should expect in the quote.
Apart from Charged Moving Cost, What other Hidden Costs can you incur?
When some movers provide a quote over the phone or online, they won’t come straight to the consumer that there may be some additional cost in the cost of moving their belongings. Check for the following in each of the comparing quotes:
- Packing and Disconnecting Fees
- Fees for extremely heavy items
- Flight Charges
- Charges for inconvenient locations
- Shuttle Fees
If it is not contained in their quotations, put a call across to each of them to confirm all these. Ask which of them is free.
Check their Refund Policy
A good and reliable refund policy sometimes tells much of how reputable the company is. If a company is sure of its service delivery, it will be willing to offer a refund to its customers.
Confirm from each company about their refund policy. If you suddenly cancel or change the moving date, will you be refunded or pay additional fees for changing the date?
How Long does it take to Qualify a Moving Company and How?
If you have never moved before, you would think you only need to grab your keypad and Google “professional mover.” There is no doubt, you will find millions of moving services on the search page, but the question is, are you going to put your hard-earned possessions in the care of just any stranger under the umbrella of a professional moving company? No one prays to fall victim to a moving scam; hence, choosing the right moving company is another task entirely.
Choosing the right mover for your move can be a daunting task but it is achievable if you approach it appropriately. There have been cases of damage and loss of property of consumers, which makes researching the right movers for your move nonnegotiable.
According to the BBB, alleged damaged and lost items, late arrival, un-worked hour charges, and failed promises are some of the most complaints of consumers after relocations.
If you care to know how long it takes to qualify a moving company and how to do it right, there are some tips worthy of sharing to help you. The first step is to request a quote for your move early enough to give you a chance to follow every step involved in qualifying your mover.
Ask the following question from any mover you are considering for the job:
Is the Mover Licensed?
Don’t give your job to just anybody. A reputable mover must have relevant documents that show that the company is legally permitted to operate under the law.
If the company is licensed, it must have its unique license number referred to as a “US DOT number.” This number is usually issued by the United States DOT (Department of Transportation).
However, some moving companies may require an additional license such as a state license to operate in the state; this depends on the state. For instance, in California, it is called a Cal T license. You can always verify any number provided by a mover in the database to confirm its validity.
How Experienced is the Moving Company in the Business?
A reputable company should have a good track record in the business. What is the experience of the mover that can show that they are right for the job? Their experience will determine how long they have been in the moving business and can guarantee quality service delivery.
Is the Company Insured?
Insurance is one of the factors to consider when you are searching for a moving company to handle your move. You can verify the authenticity of the company’s insurance on the same database you used to check its license.
It is not a good idea to consider a moving company that is not insured. You can’t imagine entrusting your belongings to a company that doesn’t guarantee a policy that can back-up any loss or damage.
While no one prays to experience such an ugly situation, it is also normal to think in two ways. After you confirm the company is insured, it is advisable to inquire if your belongings are covered under renters or homeowners policy during your move.
This will tell if you would need supplemental moving insurance as provided by moveinsure.com or Movinginsurance.com.
Do they have any Reviews Online?
What is the reputation of the company online? Online reviews are another significant tool to choose a reputable mover. Luckily, there are platforms such as iMoving, Moving Feedback, and a lot more, that offer this service.
Consumers do come on these platforms to share their experiences using these moving companies. You can as well check the mover’s rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
What is Included in Their Rates?
From movers’ estimates, you should be able to know what they are offering. Remember, low rates do not always imply the best choice. Take your time to study their rates vividly to bring out the best rates based on the quality of service offered by the mover.
Are fuel costs included in the quote? Is insurance included and what level of insurance? While everyone knows that moving rates vary from season to season and choice of the day you want to move, ask the mover if the company will give you a better rate or discount if you choose to move on a particular day as opposed to weekends.
The key point here is to put value over rate. Don’t settle for low rates when you know the mover is not experienced or cannot guarantee the smoothness of your move.
Does the Mover have Special Consolidation Policies or Delivery Windows?
Consolidation means when items are shipped along with other consumers’ goods. It is one of the methods used to reduce the cost of moving in the industry but has its drawback.
It can affect the delivery schedule, as the truck needs to stop over often to drop off each consumer’s goods. If your move is interstate, confirm from the mover whether the company has delivery windows or exact delivery dates.
These confirmations are important to ensure what you are getting and what you should expect regarding the delivery time. You can’t imagine traveling or spending your first month at your new place without your belongings. You can’t be waiting endlessly for your possession to arrive while you have already put everything in their care.
Does the Moving Company Offer a Free On-Site Estimate?
Generally, a mover is willing to provide a free quote over the phone or by filing an online form. However, you can get accurate rates but a rough estimate over the phone. To know your actual moving costs, an on-site estimate is needed.
This is in the form of a physical inspection of your home to assess the items to be moved. Does the mover offer free on-site estimates? Are they willing to visit your home after talking over the phone? Is there any additional charge if they come?
Now, going back to the question – how long does it take to qualify a moving company? Having gone through the above steps on what to do to select the right moving company, it can be concluded that the earlier you start the process, the better it becomes. If you decide to do all these in 2 days, you may not get the best out of your mover.
However, if you have done this before, it may not take you much time to choose the right one and get the best out of your mover. Typically, if you are doing this for the first time, you should be able to qualify a moving company in 4 – 7 days.
The Future of Booking your Move Online
Over the last few decades, the way of running a business has changed significantly. The moving industry has shown concern in dancing to the tune of the tech-savvy method of giving consumers a remarkable customer experience.
With the current trend of gradual replacement of the traditional method of doing business with a push of a digital button, it shows that the future of booking moves online is right here.
According to a study, booking your move online can reduce your cost by an average of 45%. Apart from the reduced cost of moving, the time consumed during the traditional method of booking can be reduced up to three-quarters less than the actual time spent to book online.
These benefits have been attributed to a competitive and transparent marketplace where every mover is looking for a way to take advantage of the others. Let’s take a look at what online booking really means.
What is an Online Booking?
Online booking is a tool provided on a platform to allow potential customers to enter their details, book, and pay for a service at the click of a button.
Online booking implies that, from the moment a consumer makes the decision to use your service, he or she will be able to choose a date and time, provide all related details about the move, book the service provider, and pay for the service.
Everything is handled online within 2 minutes, reducing the workload on your employees and removing the chance of double bookings.
Looking back at how the moving and storage industry was categorized and their historical difficulties in updating to new methods in-demand, it seems the introduction of new technology is at its low pace.
This slow pace has been linked to the discrepancies between moving companies, locations, and state regulations. However, efforts are still being made to make things easier for both consumers and service providers. How do we mean?
The Current Efforts in Maximizing Technology in the Moving Industry
Gone were the days when movers sat endlessly waiting for consumers to visit or call them with a calendar by their side. With the current introduction of widely accepted technology in the moving industry and several online tools to streamline all the process of booking a move online, consumers are now experiencing stress-free transactions and alleviating moving challenges.
You can generate instant multiple price quotes, check and provide honest moving reviews, qualify a moving company that best fits for your move, and book the mover at the same spot.
This online booking system has taken the hassle out of the way, and consumers can now book their favorite moving companies in a matter of minutes. However, consumer insights into the effectiveness of the processes have been limited in one way or the other.
Nevertheless, with what we are seeing nowadays, it shows that the future of the moving industry is bright. Let’s take a look at this initiative.
Booking your Move on iMoving.com
Booking your move online on iMoving.com is as simple as this:
Step one: Select what you are moving
Step two: Select what bedrooms you have
Step three: Select the items you have in each bedroom. Select all your items to be moved by marking them one by one and entering the number of each. It means you ought to have taken inventory of all your items in the home.
Step four: Select how many boxes you will need to use
Step five: Select where you are moving from and to and when
Step Six: Choose your moving company
Step Seven: Pay and book your reservation
From here, after entering all your credit card details, the customer clicks on the “Pay Now” and your move is booked. Is this not easy enough?
Frequently Asked Questions
Most professional movers would suggest that you begin the process of selecting a mover roughly six to eight weeks before your proposed move date. Starting early not only improves your chances of booking a mover for the date and time that best suits your circumstances but also gives you time to shop around.
Submit online quote requests with several movers and assess their responses before you contact one or two of them over the phone. Then you can set up in-person visits, where a professional from the moving company assesses your living space and provides you with a binding quote.
If you are moving during the off-peak season (mid-September to mid-May), you can start four weeks before your move date, as movers are less busy.
Movers use a bill of lading to determine the contents of a shipment for a short or long-distance move. The bill is an itemized list of every box and a larger item that is being loaded onto the moving truck.
Ensure you read through the bill of lading before you sign off on the movers transporting your goods. If you notice any items missing from the bill, make sure the supervisor adds them in your presence.
Yes, it is possible for movers to load up some of your possessions and shift them to a storage unit. It is a request you should make early in the process, as the movers will have to make adjustments to comply with your wishes.
The process may cost you extra money, but it will make your move a lot more convenient. Such a step is helpful for people who are shifting from a bigger home to a smaller living space in another city. Rather than having all your possessions sent to the new address, you can request that some boxes go to storage.
The most reputable movers are fully insured for every move. But they do offer different packages to customers. For instance, a mover may offer “released value” and “full protection” insurance options.
Released value puts a dollar value for each pound of your possessions that are lost or suffer damage. If the value is $1 per pound, and the movers damage a sofa that is 40 pounds, you would receive $40 as the insurance payment.
A more comprehensive plan would be full protection, which covers the full replacement value of the items that are lost or damaged. It may cost a little extra, but it is the best solution for nearly everyone who uses a moving company for local or long distance moves.
If you are only booking a loading and unloading service, you should ensure all your items are packed and ready to go.
Even if you are requesting a packing service, some rearranging of your possessions is helpful. Throw out anything you are not planning on taking to your new address.
Try to arrange your possessions in sections so the movers can quickly pack them in boxes and transport them to the moving truck. If the movers have to go through your drawers and cabinets before packing your items, the whole process will take a lot longer.
No, you cannot ask movers to transport cars or motorcycles on a moving truck intended for household or office possessions. Vehicle relocation is a separate transaction.
Even if the mover offers to relocate your truck, car, or motorcycle, they will do that through other means. You may ask them to load bicycles onto the moving truck, but not motorcycles or cars.
Consequent upon the above, it can be deduced that using online booking systems can reduce the cost of moving between 30 and 45 percent on average. Talking about the timeliness, the process of searching for a mover, obtaining a quote (estimate), comparing long distance movers’ quotes, checking movers’ reviews, qualifying moving companies, and booking your move can be shortened from weeks to less than 10 to 20 minutes.
You can sit right in the comfort of your home using your mobile phone and book your move online without stepping out of your comfort zone. The future is looking promising with the current trend in the industry. What is your stake in current advancements in the moving industry? Drop your comment below!
Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.