Step 1. The first thing you should do is go to google and type “top local moving companies near me”. This will generate results on google like the page below.
This image is showing you what Google thinks you are looking for based on your search phrase “top local moving companies near me”. This is a great place to start because Google has a pretty solid database on customer searches and making the results it delivers to you relevant for what you are searching. In this example 3 companies are listed - which is a good start, but we can expand this selection by clicking on the “More Places” section at the bottom of the page.
Now we have a list of about 7 companies in our area the Google thinks are local moving companies. We can tell by looking at this list that not all of these are what we’d call traditional moving companies. Some of them are full service moving companies, some of them are DIY moving companies or moving truck rental companies and some of them are freight companies.
On the map you have other companies which are listed, of which several appear to be full service moving companies. The map is a pretty large area and some of the companies listed are 60-80 miles away from the search area we are looking at. We need to be careful that if we choose a moving company an hour away that we aren’t being charged for the additional driving time.
It’s time to make a list of local moving companies near you that you want to investigate and possibly contact for a free moving estimate.
Step 2. Get your list of moving companies and again we’re going to go to Google to begin our search. Take the number 1 mover on your list and type their name in the Google search bar. Our Example “Dearman Moving & Storage Company”
Google will return a page that looks similar to the one below.
This page includes several great pieces of information which can help you evaluate the company. First, notice the right side, this is the Google My Business Listing for the company. It is a quick snap shot of the company including photos and below that are links to their website, directions to their company, and a place to save for future. This also includes a Google Star rating which is another way to help you understand what others think of this company. Don’t immediately judge a company on its star rating as sometimes the review rating can be misleading (read our article on “Not All Moving Reviews Are Equal”). The star rating is just another way to assist you in making a good decision.
You will also find the street address, phone number, questions and answers people have asked and answered about the business. Other review sources from across the web, and a few comments from some reviews. There is also a place for you to write a review and add a photo to their google my business page.
On the left side of the page you have several websites listed which are tied to the company itself. These links will take you to specific pages that company has. These include the company Website, Facebook, and other search listings such as Yelp and Indeed.
We encourage you to use these links to learn about each of the local moving companies on your list.
Step 3. - Your list may have narrowed down a bit after step 2, or maybe you discovered another company and added to your list. Regardless your list of “top moving companies” is being built. You’ve asked google, read some reviews, looked at some websites and you are probably starting to get a feel for the companies. You probably already have your favorites. Now it’s time to contact a few of them and learn more about them. In todays world there are many ways for us to connect (in person, telephone, email, texting, SMS, chat boxes, and more). All of the local companies you are contacting will have phone and emails, but some will also offer other forms of communication to connect with and engage with you. You get to dictate what is comfortable for you. I suggest visiting their websites and discovering a good way to connect with them.
Before you connect with them though you need to have a list of questions. This list should contain the expectations you have from a moving company and questions that you have about them, their services, and how they work.
When you call, they should ask for your name, phone number, email, and where you are moving from and too. They may also ask how you heard about them and some other questions.
After they ask you these questions, they may ask you to set up an in home survey or estimate. This is a good thing, but you may not be ready quite yet.
I’d encourage you to say something like “Tell me about your moving company and what makes your moving company different than everyone else”. This will put them on the spot, but this is a good time for you to listen and see how they respond to such a question. You can learn a lot about the company with this question.
Other questions to ask would be: How do you protect my belongings when you are moving them? What happens if something is damaged? How do you come with the estimated cost. What guarantees do you have? Are the people who would be moving me your employees? (read our article Employees or Outside Contractors - Knowing the difference on your Move)
If you feel comfortable with the responses they give you, then its time to ask for an “In Home Moving Estimate”
Step 4. - The “In Home Moving Estimate” (read our Article - Understanding Your In Home Moving Estimate). This is where the company sends a representative to your home to assess your needs, what you are moving, and what additional services you might require (packing, crating, unique or unusual pieces, etc). It is perfect time for you to learn more about the moving company itself. This representative in your home works for them. They often reflect the culture of the company they work for. During this estimate it’s very important that you have a list of questions together before they arrive, and also a list of everything you want them to give you an estimate for. (Preparing for Your In Home Move Estimate) The more detailed your list, the more accurate your estimate will be and the less variance you will have between moving estimates. Your list should also include items that you won’t be moving, so that they don’t include them in their quote. Make sure you show the sales person every single room, don’t forget about crawl spaces, attics and outdoor sheds.
The estimate should include a complete walk through the home with you and a list of everything you are looking to move. They should answer questions and be asking questions along the way. When they are complete they will probably sit down with you and go over what they saw and confirm what you told them. Because of today’s technologies they should be able to give you their quote right then, and probably in the form of email. Your Quote should include the following things:
If you follow these 4 steps it will help you narrow down the field to the top moving companies near you. If you have 3 or 4 in home estimates, 1 or 2 of those companies should stand out from the rest. Also, if you expect the top local moving company to help you move, then don’t expect the lowest price. Very seldom are the top companies the cheapest companies. If they are significantly more than the others, then explain to them that you’d like to use them, but their price is significantly higher than their competition. They may be able to show you some value and services they have included the competition isn’t offering, or they may be able to see where their pricing is a little out of line and adjust. I wouldn’t expect them to match their competition, because being a top moving company means you spend money and invest in things you believe make you better than your competition.
Hope you have a great moving experience and make sure to read our other blogs to make your moving experience even better.