Senior moving companies dos and don'ts

What you need to know when considering a senior mover

Margo Salnek

A Senior Move Management Company assists seniors and their families in all aspects of the move transition. Services may include everything from preparing the home for the real estate market, consulting to find the right real estate professional, downsizing the home, choosing what to take to the new home, sale, donation and disposal of unwanted items, storage, packing and unpacking (and set-up) of the new home.

Senior Move Management is a relatively new industry, and there are few regulations to protect the senior from hiring a company that is not qualified to handle the transition in a professional and cost-efficient manner. Anyone who has moved someone can claim they are a senior move manager. To complicate things further, some movers say they do it all!

Here are the do’s and don’ts, to ensure you are hiring a professional senior move management company that will make your transition seamless and cost-efficient.

The Do’s

Before you contact a senior move management company, do your research.

  • Check out their website to understand the overall culture of the company and services offered. Take a few moments to read their history and learn about the founders. How long has the company been in business? Are they Better Business Bureau Approved and what are their guarantees? Who refers them? Be confident before you even place the call to request a free consultation.
  • When meeting with the consultant ask yourself basic questions: How are they dressed? Do they look like a senior move manager or a mover? Are they polite? Do they listen to your story or do they do the talking? How do they act in your home?
  • Review the mover's estimate carefully. A Mover’s estimate is usually one to two pages with items checked off that will be moved. A Move Management Estimate should clearly detail each service requested, cost of each service and hours to complete the service. The estimate should be broken down to show all services and costs.
  • Know your rights under the Consumer Protection Act 2002. You may cancel an agreement any time during the period that ends ten (10) days after the day you receive a written copy of the agreement. You do not need to give the supplier a reason for cancelling during this 10-day period. For more information, you may contact the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services.

The Don’ts

  • Do not pay for a consultation or plan of action. If a consultant is not willing to meet with you at no cost to introduce their company and services, do not see them.
  • Do not accept a verbal estimate on the phone or in person. No professional move management company will give a verbal estimate on the phone or in person. A reputable company will present a detailed estimate with actual services, costs and hours to complete the job.
  • Do not agree to a flat rate or a ball park estimate. A professional can assess the job and give you a legitimate estimate with no surprise costs at the end of the job.
  • Do not go straight to the bottom line. Bottom lines can be deceiving. Make sure you understand the services, what’s included, the number of hours to complete each service and any extra costs. Minimal hours to secure the job will end up extending to what the estimate should have been initially. You will pay in the end.
  • Do not allow a consultant to begin the job on the initial consultation. This is the interviewing process, not the beginning of the job.
  • Do not initial multiple pages on the estimate. Your one-time signature on the estimate or your deposit is your approval to proceed. 

Remember, the consultant is the frontline for the company. If they present poorly and have little interest in listening to your story, it’s a pretty good sign you won’t be happy with their service.

Margo Salnek is the founder and CEO of Move Seniors Lovingly, since 2005.

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