New member of the moving industry, lots to LEARN

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Miami Sean
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:22 pm
Location: Miami

New member of the moving industry, lots to LEARN

Postby Miami Sean » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:50 pm

Hi everyone,

1st of all the story of the owner who started this site really grabbed my attention. I have moved cross country twice in the last many years from FL to Cali and back to FL so I have had some 1st hand experience with movers, both discount and professional. Tim's story is gut wrenching but this site had to be created and I'm glad he used some of that energy to make a positive change.

I am currently working as a moving consultant for a broker but I am actively looking for a better company and the endorsement of this forum/site for a few companies around my area prompted me to submit a resume and in the next few weeks I will be interviewing with a few movers including Suddath which I am anxious to go and meet.

I will be sharing some juicy stories for you guys. I try so hard to help my customers and sometimes I am even accused around the office of being too honest. That's usually a good sign you need to leave and find someone else to work for. I have lost many deals because I would not throw a low ball quote, in fact I won't quote a price to anyone until I get a fairly detailed inventory of what they plan on moving. You would be surprised when I tell someone they can't have my quote until I know what is being moved...the responses range from anger to them really wanting to speak with me further since I am not pushy and asking for credit cards on the 1st or 2nd phone call sometimes the 3rd or 4th either.

A lot of horror stories could be cleared up in the beginning with both sides being honest about what is being moved as well as what the real cost is with a thorough inventory list. I've had customers tell me they are moving 1 bed when they plan on moving 2, 1 couch when they really have 3, so i understand why those people feel movers are crud-monsters and end up on the wrong side of things. However that said I do not tolerate my van lines trying to shake up my customers when I have done a very thorough job of pricing the job right and also make arrangements ahead of time for things like packing, materials, long hauls, etc... I tell my customers it's best to discuss this stuff upfront so they don't get nickle'd and dime'd. If they tell me they live on the ground floor and it's really the third floor of a building with no elevator, is that fair to the movers?

I promise though I am not here to drum up business, I have plenty. I do hope to make the jump to one of the bigger companies endorsed by the good folks at this place. I like what I am reading so far and this site is invaluable to the industry. A great way to look up companies and see what folks have to say. All moving companies are going to have a few customers that did not have the best experience but it should not be a regular occurrence.

Sorry for the long winded post, looking forward to adding some stories in here. I don't know what I can do to help people but where I see posts that I think I can help I'll respond with the information I know about.

Thanks Tim and everyone,

Miami Sean
Last edited by Miami Sean on Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby ArchieWhite » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:10 pm

How do you give customers a price without going to their house, to see how many beds and sofas they are moving?

Miami Sean
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:22 pm
Location: Miami

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby Miami Sean » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:12 pm

ArchieWhite wrote:How do you give customers a price without going to their house, to see how many beds and sofas they are moving?


Great question.

I ask them to go thru all of the items they are planning on taking. Once I have that I send them an inventory form and ask them to thoroughly check it over and make sure they are not leaving off items including all that stuff they have piled up in the corners of their garage, laundry room, etc...my quotes are almost always higher than my competitors but I simply ask them to pull up their other quotes so we can go thru them. Many times they don't even have it in writing so that usually ends the debate of why my estimate is more. I always send everything to my customers in writing.

If they do have an estimate from a company many times they will send it to me so I can look at it. Most of us are on the same software (Granot) so the estimates all look similar as far as layout is concerned. 9 times out of 10 the competing company and or broker has vastly under estimated the actual weight and or cubic feet that is actually going to be needed. When I point this out and tell them to get a quote based on what I have supplied, again this usually ends the debate of whether someone is that much cheaper.

I should say that I don't handle inner city moves here in Miami, all of my business is interstate so I could never walk in and see these people...except maybe Skype...but I wish I could go in and see them, would make things a lot easier.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby MusicMom » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:37 pm

Oh Sean, I big heart you.

Yes, if you're accused of being too honest, you need to leave.

Miami Sean
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:22 pm
Location: Miami

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby Miami Sean » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:31 am

MusicMom wrote:Oh Sean, I big heart you.

Yes, if you're accused of being too honest, you need to leave.



TY MM, now let me share a story from the front lines.


My 1st move with my current company, I get an email from my customer after the pick up and it says that the movers ended up charging her more...(hold on don't shoot me just yet). I asked what happened. She told me that she had more items than we originally discussed and that the total rose several hundred dollars. She wasn't really mad at me and understood why it happened but she said for the price it ended up that she could have chosen several companies. Right then and there I made a commitment to myself that I would press my customers to be as honest and thorough with their items. I blamed myself and vowed not to have a repeat performance.

Since then I always go into great details with my customers on things like mattress packing...that is an item or area where movers can really stick it to the customer so I always ask if they are going to need to have their mattresses wrapped in plastic, etc...most of them always say yes. I just include it into the price. I go thru special packing like crating for TVs, all kinds of stuff that most people don't ask and I take away as many possible gotchas that a moving company can have the day of the move. This solves several problems. If a moving company is already being paid for a lot of the little extras before they arrive, they are almost always in a good mood. If you handle it like I do you actually start to get a good name for yourself and van lines will want to hear from me when I contact them.

I approach this industry the same as when I used to work in the banking/mortgage industry. Underwriters used to love me because I would hand them complete files with all stipulations filled and all conditions met so they didn't have to get creative or find holes in my files. You do that long enough and underwriters are dying for you to bring them a file because they know going in it's gonna be easy for them to underwrite. I do the same thing working in the moving field.

This is rough field and I think the moving brokers are a major source of the anxiety and problems. Sure some of the moving companies don't always help but unfortunately we have a lot of "telemarketers" in the industry that are just out to make a quick buck. At my office I am by far the most successful and so they ask me to train some of the new people and I flat out tell them that you can't train morals in people, they don't want to hear what I have to tell them.

Hopefully I will be making the jump to one of the better companies in the industry soon. I sure am glad to have found this place, it was eye opening and got me wanting to make sure I am with a solid company. I am adamant that with my interpersonal skills combined with a good company that is in it for the long haul will help me find the type of long term success I am hoping for.

One more thing for this long entry...you can tell people the truth and even point them to websites like this or rip-off report, etc...they still will many times go with the lowball quote knowing full well they have a good chance to have their final price hiked up on them. Why do people do that? (rhetorical)

OK I have one more story for now...I had a nice lady who wanted to do business with me but I was off for Turkey Day weekend and didn't follow up as quick as I should have. My quote with a full pack(supplies and the whole 9 yards) for 7,000 lbs was close to $5k. She had a lowball offer from Low Country for about $2,800 and that was only 5,000 lbs and a partial pack not including boxes etc...I told her I wished her good luck with her move and that this company was featured on ripoffreport 15 times, sent her the links too. She got a 2nd quote from that same company for $3,500, then it changed to $4,200, and I finally told her what are you going to do when they get your stuff on the truck and then hand you even higher paper work? My quote was honest and truthful form the beginning.

She called this morning even though her move is tomorrow. On 1 day's notice I was still able to work everything out. This person even had a car moving company fall thru and I was able to help her with that. I have never been thanked so much in my life. My edge in this whole thing comes from the fact my wife and I have moved cross country twice. I know first hand the highs and the lows of a lot of these companies.

You made my night MM, looking forward to sharing a lot of stuff here. If anyone has questions, fire away and I'll try and share what I know as best I can.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby ArchieWhite » Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:07 am

I thought to give a moving price on an interstate move, you had to do a physical look see.?

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby MusicMom » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:07 am

Sean, have you, or your colleagues, ever had a call from someone who lived within 50 miles of your office? If so, did they go to the house to see everything to be moved? If that were to come up in the future, what do you think your bosses would say when you got up to go?

Also, did you have any training prior to jumping on the phone with customers, or is it all based on your own experiences moving and learning as you go through more customers?

[I really really want to ask who you work for, but I'm going to hold off until you're no longer with them. Please don't tell me, even privately]

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4668
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby BigLeeCalif » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:45 pm

Sean, no matter how many stories you have, you are not going to hook up with a major company with the mindset to ask the shipper all the right questions.

You have to jump in your car and go do a visual. You won't have the luxury of going back to the office and write up an estimate. People want a cost at the time the survey is done.

No matter how thorough you think you are on the phone, look at this way. People that have been doing visuals for years will tell you there is no exact science is being able to look at every job and guarantee they are right.

You'll be expected to give a visual survey, and give a firm estimate, with one of the not to exceed terms used by various movers.

You can't always lay the blame on the shipper for adding more items than they told you on the phone. Phone estimates are designed to be defective, simply because sometime it will be an oversight, and sometimes the sales person just doesn't ask the right questions.

We sometimes get jobs in the boonies where there is no agent closer than a hundred miles, so we have to do a phone survey. But when you were doing phone surveys, did you ask if they had a crawlspace, or attic that had items being shipped.. Did you ask if there were items requiring special handling or crating?

I get emails from people and some of their biggest complaints was that the person I talked to didn't ask me if I had a piano. He told me all my furniture was included in the 375 cubic ft he quoted. He didn't tell me that there was $100 extra for piano handling. He didn't tell me that I had 500 cubic feet, but the driver said I did.

I wish you all the luck changing from broker to mover, but get ready for an education, because if you want to break into mainstream moving, forget everything you were ever taught about phone quoting.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Miami Sean
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:22 pm
Location: Miami

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby Miami Sean » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:01 pm

MusicMom wrote:Sean, have you, or your colleagues, ever had a call from someone who lived within 50 miles of your office? If so, did they go to the house to see everything to be moved? If that were to come up in the future, what do you think your bosses would say when you got up to go?

Also, did you have any training prior to jumping on the phone with customers, or is it all based on your own experiences moving and learning as you go through more customers?

[I really really want to ask who you work for, but I'm going to hold off until you're no longer with them. Please don't tell me, even privately]


I have never gone into anyone's home yet. I wouldn't mind doing it. Suddath deals a lot with corporate moves so I imagine the sales team is set up much different than what I am doing.

I started off doing radio surveys over the phone for a research company when I was a teenager. I wasn't selling but it allowed me to really develop my skills over the phone.

chptrkrules
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:11 pm
Location: Portland Oregon

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby chptrkrules » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:32 am

ALL brokers are crooks

Noone
Posts: 1807
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:53 am

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby Noone » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:29 pm

While all brokers may be crooks, not all salespeople realize that from the start.

Many salespeople get into the industry because they have experience similar to what the broker needs, and only after being there for a while do they really understand what is going on.

Very few salespeople (who don't like working for crooks) stay in the industry, but it does happen.

I think the common word is a stooge.

ArchieWhite
Posts: 2942
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby ArchieWhite » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:35 pm

There are (to my knowledge) 4 levels of 'movers'
1. Van Lines
2. Van line agents
3. Brokers
4. Scammers

Usually 3 and 4 overlap.

blue
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:51 pm
Location: USA

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby blue » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:10 pm

Archie, I'll add a 2(b)......LTL freight companies.

Of course, no one has yet explained how they get around regulations that govern household carriers.

chptrkrules
Posts: 305
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:11 pm
Location: Portland Oregon

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby chptrkrules » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:16 pm

I have yet to talk to a broker or a broker moving consultant that was anywhere close to honest. And I fill out fake quote request every week. They are all crooks and I really hope this guy gets on with a real mover. If he's saying he wants to be a better "broker" salesperson he's a crook. Bottom line ALL BROKERS ARE CROOKS

Griffin Allied
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:01 am
Location: Ft Lauderdale Fl

Re: New member, in the moving industry, lots to discuss

Postby Griffin Allied » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:46 pm

chptrkrules wrote:I have yet to talk to a broker or a broker moving consultant that was anywhere close to honest. And I fill out fake quote request every week. They are all crooks and I really hope this guy gets on with a real mover. If he's saying he wants to be a better "broker" salesperson he's a crook. Bottom line ALL BROKERS ARE CROOKS


This.
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