Moving is always a stressful time for homeowners. The whole process of listing the house, leaving the home during showings, the horrible “open house” scenario, changing doctors, cancelling the cable company…all of this is wrapped up with the dreaded “move out day”. The worst thing to possible happen is to hire the wrong moving company. More than 70% of all moves are nightmares and almost 90% end up with some type of disappointment for the homeowner. I have been asked many times how this can be avoided. The number one way to avoid a nightmare move is to get a legitimate estimate. I will try and explain how to know your moving estimate is legitimate or not.
Virtual Moving Estimates – Capture. Estimate. Let’s Go!
First of all, when you buy a car do you ever feel like the salesperson really cares about the car as much as they do about just selling you something? We all can relate to pushy car salespeople and wish it were different. Now, just imagine if the car salesperson was once an auto mechanic. If the mechanic-turned-salesperson knew what might have gone wrong with the car you were about to buy, he likely could steer you clear of making a bad choice. This is why I typically will ask mechanics what are the better cars to buy before going to a dealership. (I will give you a hint, I have bought mostly German made vehicles for years now.)
At William C Huff Companies all of our estimators have worked in homes moving, packing and delivering households. This experience is valuable when it comes to estimating what it will take to make a successful move. Not having to make a commission automatically reduces any risk that the estimator would “fudge” numbers in order to book a moving job. There are many variables when it comes to being able to accurately calculate the number and types of boxes and packing materials needed, as well as the capacity of trucks and the access for the moving crews at the home. All of these need to be taken into consideration in order to give an accurate estimate.
At William C Huff Companies we take a lot of pride in being consistently accurate with our estimates. In fact there is a lot of peer pressure within the Huff culture to be accurate or be shamed for not “getting it right”. We all have had times when a homeowner has changed the scope of work to be done at the last minute and consequently the estimate and final bill is different, but those are rarer occasions and the homeowner is always updated as to how much more the final bill will be because of the added work.
At times here at William C Huff Companies we like to take it a step further by calculating the total cost estimate without writing anything down. This has proven to be somewhat entertaining and sharpens our mental skills and knowledge of the business. One time, after walking through a very large (over 25,000 square foot) estate, I questioned the estate manager and owner if they would like to know the “ball-park” costs would be foe packing, crating and moving into storage. There were over 100 wooden crates to be made and the project would take 2 full weeks. The homeowner said she’d like to know and I gave a her a number. She said, “sounds about right”. On the morning after everything was completed, she sat at my desk and paid the for the services which my staff had calculated. The estimate and final bill was within 5% of my “off the top of my head” guesstimate.
In summary, it is never a good idea to get an estimate for moving services from a company who has not seen what it is that is being moved, the access of the home, and/or the person estimating is a salesperson. Sometimes our company does not “win” the estimate bid but, in almost every instance the unsuspecting homeowner has ended up with a disaster move and regretted the decision to use a company who just had a cheaper bid.