A Realtors Guide to Moving Companies

The Realtors Guide to Moving Companies

Having been a realtor way, way back in the day – I used to cringe when clients asked me for a referral.  I know what you are thinking – that’s one of the most crucial parts to being a real estate agent – giving people good advice – right?  Wrong!  I had the pleasure of taking my real estate courses by a broker  who scared the bejeezus out of me.  In my dreams – I could hear him chanting his favorite phrase “displace responsibility, remove liability.”  Essentially, explaining to us that referring a service/company/lawyer may find you in a defendant’s chair.  Well, that broker is almost out-of-business now and I have found a new calling.  I have been a part of the moving and storage industry for 15 years now and am excited to write the:

Realtors Guide to Moving:

Realtors Guide to Moving
Realtors Guide to Moving


To Refer or Not to Refer: 

Referring a moving company these days – is actually pretty darn easy.  There are a few moving companies that have really set themselves apart form the mistrusted industry.   Another bonus – their movers will actually sponsor an open house for your broker tour!  You can download a moving comparison sheet here – or send the link to your clients – it has all of the pertinent questions to ask your moving company.


Scenario: Your Clients Need Overnight Storage or Short Term Storage

In the case of a bridge loan or new construction, your buyers may need overnight storage or short term storage.  This is one of the most common moving needs – and storage is tricky.  First off, pods are not recommended.  After a few years, their reputation has taken a serious hit and the amount of people complaining about stolen items is too much to risk.  I suggest finding a mover in your area who  will let you keep your clients items on the truck overnight – it’s called on-board storage – a quick search moving overnight storage should give you a good list to start with.  On-board storage should run about $100-$200/night in the peak months.  Short Term storage will require two separate moves as well as a monthly storage fee.  It is very important to find movers that have clean, secure storage – you can always google map their location to take a closer look.

Scenario: Your Sellers are Moving Out-Of-State

This is your last chance to help your sellers out.  The long distance moving industry is in the middle of a much needed overhaul.  Long gone are the needs to wait up to 14 days for a van line to haul your customer’s belongings across the country.  Private long distance movers are doing this much faster ( about 4 days MA to FL) and are even less expensive.  How you ask?  Private long distance movers don’t load/offload items into multiple storage units/trucks.  They also don’t charge all of the typical van line fees like: fuel surcharge, mileage fee, taxes, tolls, fees for stairs, elevator and the biggest doozy – the shuttle fee.  The shuttle fee is added if a larger 53 ft tractor trailer cannot access your storage facility/house/condo.  Very common in Boston, New York City, Miami, Washington, DC and Los Angeles.

How to Get a Quick, Surprisingly Accurate Moving Estimate

Moving Cost Estimator
Moving Cost Estimator


Here is a quick link to a quick yet accurate moving cost estimate form.  You or your clients plug in the furniture they have and a vitally instant moving price is generated and sent to your email.  This comes from a private company so your information is never shared or distributed.


Ultimate Moving Checklist

By now, if you have ever looked up moving checklists you will find thousands – maybe even millions.  I think Martha Stewart alone has about 100 moving checklists.  This moving checklist has everything your client will need – from who to call to what to pack.  There are links as well to specific packing tips.


Best Closing Gifts

The best closing gifts are always gift certificates and/or experiences in your client’s new town.  And no, not to a home improvement store. Think dining experiences, massage envy, etc.  Another gift that keeps on giving is a subscription to a wine club, craft beer of the month club, etc.  This gift keeps your name and great service constantly coming up.



Not So Quick Tips for Long Distance Moving and Storage

Long Distance Moving and Storage

My top tips for long distance and moving and storage – this is a complete list of what you need to consider during your long distance move that requires storage.  If you don’t need storage – you are in the wrong place – try this

long distance moving and storage
Long Distance Moving and Storage

Long distance moving when you need storage sucks.  Sorry, but anyone who tells you different is most likely an extreme optimist ( do those still exist? ) or fibbing you so they don’t have to help you.  Okay, so now that you understand that LDMandS is a pain, here are some tips to help you get through it:

  1. There is greater chance that your things will be missing/damaged when you need long distance moving and storage in the interim.  Here is why – most movers buy/sell/transfer your move and there are so many hands that touch your shipment.  Let me put it this way – it would be really hard to prove where your things ended up missing/damaged. What can you do to protect your items?  Hire a long distance mover who doesn’t sell/trade/buy shipments. Also the best long distance movers will make sure the same crew that loaded your shipment delivers after storage.
  2. Do your research.  I really hate this cliche – like you don’t already know – check reviews blah blah blah…  Here is the insight I can provide about long distance moving and storage research.  You have to feel comfortable with them.  A nice voice on the phone isn’t the only reason to book with your mover.  And a FYI – BBB, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List are all PAID services.  I suggest finding long distance moving company reviews that are from third -party, verified sites like customer lobby.
  3. Make sure you store your items in the state you are moving to.  A lot of customers store items in their pick-up state they are moving from.  This gives the customer absolutely no leverage if the first move stinks.  Also, the price could change drastically – especially when using containerized storage. Hire long distance movers with flat rate long distance moving fees.
  4. Don’t use containerized storage for long distance moving and storage . First of all, per month storage fees are very high and the units are/can: easy to break into, fall apart, a nice home for insects/rodents, notorious for uncharges, billing issues, and in general horrible customer service.
  5. If you are using long distance moving and storage to move to a new climate say – from NY to FL – you should consider opting for humidity controlled storage unit or FL to NY – heated storage.  This isn’t for everyone… if the most expensive piece of furniture you own is a desk from IKEA – any type of storage should do fine.
  6. Pro-rated storage for your long distance move can save you hundreds.  Most van lines and larger moving operations will charge you for a full month of storage even if you move out on the 5th of the month.
  7. If you are moving long distance and need storage for six months or more – you will need to sign storage documents every six months and if you fail to – your coverage may be voided.  This should be the responsibility of your move to remind you of but it’s always good to be aware.

You can find the best long distance moving and storage operations along the east coast by doing a search for your local Monster Movers.