For some people, moving is more time consuming than it’s worth, even if they hire a mover to do virtually everything. However, when you need to move, you need to move. If you are short on time, perhaps you should consider hiring a professional moving consultant.
Preparing for a move is time-consuming. You have to hire the mover, which should mean that you are making the time to research, make phone calls and invite the three finalists to your home to give you a written estimate before eventually hiring one.
For the super-busy, all of that can be narrowed down to one phone call if you hire a moving consultant.
Moving consultants come in a few varieties. The most common work for a single mover. There is an optional federal certification process for moving consultants through the American Moving and Storage Association, but very few are independent. The certification does ensure some credibility and very few fly-by-night companies bother.
The second type of moving consultant works with several moving companies and they are paid a commission by the moving companies. Certification is not a legal requirement, and it is better to choose someone who has the certification than someone who doesn’t. Despite the fact that they are paid by movers, reputable moving consultants will only work with reputable movers. Despite the fact that moving consultants are paid a commission on your move, they can save you money. More on that in a bit.
The third type of moving consultant is paid directly by the customer – you. This type of consultant might cost you a bit more, but their only loyalty will be to you. Besides, a good moving consultant will save you money.
The fourth type of moving consultant works for a corporation who relocates employees.
Moving consultants should be expert at mover speak. They know what hidden charges to look for and they know where prices can be cut. They also know that certain situations allow room for negotiation, such as flexibility on pickup or delivery dates.
A moving consultant can organize the packing and in some situations, even the unpacking. Movers should have enough trust in a moving consultant’s expertise that the consultant can relay the details of your move to the mover – saving the hassle of multiple movers visiting your home.
Finding a moving consultant isn’t always easy. The down economy has forced most to go to work for individual moving companies. On the other hand, the down economy and lack of industry regulation has created a cottage industry of people with no experience thinking they can make a living as a moving consultant.
You can find a certified moving consultant through the American Moving and Storage Association, but most will work for moving companies and while that certification does look good on a moving company’s resume, most experienced moving estimators know as much or more than certified consultants (I speak from experience – I used to be certified). But, certification is an excellent place to start when looking for a consultant who is not tied to a moving company.
You can also check with your real estate agent or with Yelp or Angie’s List.
The best relocation consultants come from either the moving industry or they have been corporate relocation consultants. Demand a relocation consultant’s resume and check it out.