Moving to a new place is an important decision which requires extensive planning and preparation in advance. You can move to a new place either by yourself or you can avail the services of a moving company.
Your moving experience depends a lot on the moving company you choose (if you are hiring a moving company). Before zeroing in on one company you need to do a thorough research both online and offline. You can refer to the client testimonials to get idea about the long distance moving companies and accordingly decide. You must also ask for referrals from the moving company and call them.
I have mentioned a few points on how you can find a good mover –
Check the websites – Most of the moving companies have their websites. Go through the websites to get an idea about the history, services, destinations covered by the moving companies and the cost of services. With the help of the research done you can make a list of companies you would like to opt for. You can call the moving companies and speak to their staff. You can clarify your doubts and ask them to send professionals to your house to give you an estimate.
Word- of-mouth recommendation – Look for people who have used the services of a moving company in the recent times. These people can recommend you the names of professional and reputed moving companies. Also, they can also warn you against the unreliable ones. These referrals are much valuable as they are unbiased.
Moving forums – In case you don’t know anyone who can give you recommendations then go online and post your moving related queries on different forums. There are many forums which are especially dedicated to help you plan your move smoothly and easily. You can also read different moving experiences posted by the members of the forums. These posts will help you avoid moving scams. You can also post your questions here and get answers from people who have gone through the difficulties while making a move.
Better Business Bureau – Check BBB and see if there are complaints or unresolved complaints against the moving companies on your list. If there are any past cases filed against a moving company that’s on your list then check how the grievances were resolved by them. This will give you an idea how the company treats its customers. In case of further doubt directly ask the moving company about the case and its status.
DOT number – Check whether the moving company has a Department of Transportation number or not. You can do this by checking out the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
Cost estimate – Always remember that the estimate provided to you should be based on your household belongings that need to be moved. It is ideal that you get price quotes from 3-4 moving companies. This will give you an average idea and help you in arriving at the right moving price. Based on this price you will negotiate with the mover. Beware of the companies who purposely state a low quote to lure you and after the move demand for an exorbitant amount. Here’s a scary story where two local companies held their clients’ belongings hostage until they paid up extra money — or traded something better. Also, while giving you a written estimate make sure that the estimator does not lie to you about the total weight of your household belongings.
Estimation factors – Make sure that the written estimate given to you is a final one and is prepared after taking into account factors like loading and unloading charge, packing material cost, driver’s fee and cost of the fuel. Also note whether the estimate is fixed or can exceed later.
Check the truck – Before you finalize a moving company, take a look at the fleet of trucks they have. Check whether they are in good condition or not. Also make sure that the moving company sends you its own truck at the moving day.
Accountability – You should understand that even a good moving company can commit mistakes. However, their responsibility towards their customers separates them from the rogue movers. Household good may break during the move but a good moving company will take the accountability of the damage done.
Reference check – Good moving companies boast of their clients’ feedbacks. They will give you references whom you can contact.
There are certain guidelines set by the FMCSA to help you identify rogue and unprofessional movers. They are:
1. The mover does not send an estimator to your place. Even if the company sends an estimator he/she is not keen to inspect your household goods. He/she just walks around the house, does not open the cabinets and give you an abrupt estimate. Be wary of movers who give you estimates over the phone or email you the details without even checking your belongings.
2. The mover is not willing to give you a booklet called ‘Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move’. The Federal law requires every mover to provide their customers with this booklet. It details the customer’s rights while dealing with a moving company.
3. The movers promise you with a claim like all the goods are covered under insurance.
4. The office and the storehouse of the moving company are not in a proper condition.
5. When you call them you get to hear terms like ‘movers’ or ‘moving company’ instead of the company’s specific name.
6. Local address is not present in the website. Moreover there is no detail mentioned on the website about whether the company is licensed or not.
7. Before your move, a large amount of advance is demanded by the company.
8. On the day of your move, you get to see a rental truck not owned by the company.
Well, as mentioned earlier you will be searching online to find a professional moving company but have you thought about leveraging the power of social media platforms to help you experience a smooth move. You can ask your friends on Facebook and Twitter whether they can recommend any short or long distance moving company. In addition to searching for a moving company, you can also use social media to search for an apartment.
Based on my personal experience, I have jotted down some tips on how you can use social media when moving to a new place. They are as follows:
Seek recommendation – It might not be possible for you to visit the place before moving. In such case, you can take the help of your friends, acquaintances on social networking channels to recommend you the names of good neighborhoods and communities. You can get interesting ideas and suggestions about different neighborhoods, their advantages etc. from your online friends.
Don’t depend entirely on online reviews as landlords and real estate agents may post false reviews. There remains a huge chance that you might take a decision based on false online testimonials. To avoid such incidents, it is advisable to ask for suggestions, read moving related blogs etc.
Post pictures – Once you have selected a few apartments, you can take their pictures and post them online. Your friends and acquaintance can give their feedback. This will help you get a neutral point of view.
Apartment communities – Most of the apartment communities have a Facebook fan page to connect with the existing and potential tenants. There are posts from the residents, events calendar and other important aspects of the community mentioned in the fan page. Exploring these fan pages will let you connect with the apartment managers as well.
Search a roommate – You can easily search for roommates on the social networking websites. You can post your requirements on Twitter, on different communities and on Facebook. Once you get the names, you can also carry out a background check by looking into their profiles.
Deals – Most of the communities have a strong presence in the social media. Thus exploring them on social media platforms is a great idea! You might even stumble upon discounts on apartments and other special deals.
Selling Home Through Social Media
Social media platforms also help the homeowners sell their homes. To get a suitable buyer they need to follow some basic steps like:
Share the pictures and details of the home on their Facebook and Twitter pages. They can ask their friends to share the pictures and re tweet them for a wider social coverage.
Share the link on the business pages of different real estate agents. Also, they can start a conversation with the real estate agents regarding the property on Twitter.
Twitter hash tag is an amazing feature. The tag allows one to follow the conversation with selected keywords. This helps the homeowners to interact with their prospective buyers and give them a detailed insight into the property features.
Connecting with home selling groups and real estate agents on LinkedIn.