Author Archives: Shannon Cullins
Yesterday, the MCR team and a few friends braved the sweltering heat to support our good friends at Move for Hunger at the Chicago Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon and 10k. The MCR team did the 10k (perhaps the 1/2 next year!) Thanks to Move for Hunger for taking care of us before and after the race with a shady tent, drinks, snacks and words of support. It’s awesome to see how much Move for Hunger continues to grow and how many moving companies throughout the country have stepped up to fight hunger. If you’d like to donate, it isn’t too late – check out our fundraising page here.
The whole team is running a 10k to support Move for Hunger
We’re in training for the Rock n’ Roll 10k on July 19th as part of Team Move for Hunger. Yes, you read that right. Even our “non-runners” are braving the July heat to run 6 miles in support of this wonderful charity.
If you live in Chicago, come join us! If you don’t, you can still support our team with a donation (with all proceeds going to Move for Hunger).
Support Chicago’s Move for Hunger Team (Donate here)
When you donate $200 to the Chicago Move For Hunger team, we’ll feature you in a special ad unit on MCR from June 15th – July 31st. The ad will include your name and a link to your MCR listing. You’ll get even more brand exposure during the busy summer move season.
To donate, just use this link. We’ll get notified when your donation is received and we’ll reach out to you about your ad.
Not an MCR member?
If you’re not part of MCR, learn more about us here. You can still donate and receive a free ad. Just include your company info and contact info in the donation form notes and we’ll call you to get you all set up.
Now let’s get running!
An important note about our terms
We wanted to call to your attention to our Business Owner Terms which prohibit the re-distribution of MCR leads. MCR is committed to protecting our users’ privacy, letting them choose the movers from whom they want estimates, and providing a transparent and consumer-friendly experience every step of the way.
In simple terms, this means that when you receive a lead from MCR (either paid or unpaid), you may not share it with anyone. Our users expect to hear from the movers in their list and no one else.
Please take a moment to review the section below.
When you Claim your listing on MCR, the leads generated from your listing (whether free or paid) belong to you and to MCR. In order to protect our consumers’ privacy, we prohibit your re-distribution of leads to 3rd parties (ie other moving companies or lead aggregators). Exception: In cases where you cannot service a move for an MCR-generated lead, you may recommend an alternative mover directly to the consumer. You may not pass this consumer’s lead details onto another company without the consumer’s explicit consent. If MCR suspects you are re-selling or re-distributing a lead without the consumer’s explicit permission you may be removed from the site.
Real Estate Agents & Movers – a perfect team
As a unit of HomeFinder.com, we’re always looking for ways to integrate with real estate. This week for our Prototypes initiative, we’re thinking up ways to integrate with HomeFinder’s app, Open Home Pro. As we discussed in this post, Prototypes give us the opportunity to quickly build new ideas and get feedback from our colleagues in the form of a highly competitive contest.
Open Home Pro (OHP) is an app to help agents collect and convert more leads. Rather than use an old fashioned sign-up pad and paper, OHP helps agents collect contact info for visitors to the open house they’re hosting. They use OHP to organize and communicate with their open house leads and convert them to future clients.
Integrating MCR with the most popular open house app on the market
So, how can we leverage the thousands of agents who use OHP and the buyers and sellers they interact with to promote MCR’s best movers?
Here’s our idea:
- OHP agent opts-in to send their sellers helpful emails throughout their selling process
- After an agent indicates that the property has sold, we trigger an email from them to their seller
- The email includes some helpful moving tips and a link to see their recommended movers
- The seller lands on a special MCR page with the agent’s photo, move tips and recommended movers for their market
- Movers get exposure to a totally ready-to-move audience, and agents look good by giving their sellers super helpful information
What do you think?
Any other recommendations on how to integrate MCR with real estate? How do you develop those valuable relationships with real estate agents? Tell us in the comments below!
Yesterday, this article came across my desk: A “fake” mover stole $60,000 of someone’s belongings. Unfortunately, we see stories like these all the time. A consumer books a move with the company (or person) that offered them the lowest price, only to be completely swindled; their possessions held hostage or stolen. Even our colleagues here at work are tempted to ignore MCR’s advice to only choose a licensed mover when they find someone willing to do the job at a ridiculously low price. “What’s the worst that can happen?” they say. The worst that can happen is pretty bad…and it often includes people stealing your stuff.
We have tons of tips on how to choose your mover, but we’ve boiled them down to the simplest and most important.
Here are our top 5 rules to follow when choosing a mover.
1. Check their license.
Every state has different rules and they can be confusing. Check a mover’s profile on MCR; it’ll show you the requirements for your state (or for out-of-state moves) and whether the mover meets them. Click through to the state website to confirm the license is active.
2. Are they who they say they are?
Here are some ways to check:
- Do they email you from an @companyname.com email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) or an @gmail, @aol, etc (e.g. email@example.com)? Choose the former. If a mover doesn’t have their own domain, chances are they aren’t legit.
- Do they answer their phone professionally? Someone who grunts and says “Hey” isn’t a pro. If they call you, call them back for a question you “forgot to ask” just to test them out.
- Have you seen their trucks anywhere in your neighborhood? Particularly in the spring and summer, moving trucks are everywhere. Never seen their logo before? (or they don’t have a logo?) Keep on searching.
3. Get a written estimate.
- Seriously. Get it in writing. And make sure their name and address is on the estimate, see #2.
4. Check reviews.
- All of MCR’s reviews are verified with a bill-of-lading (move receipt). We also run reviews through several fraud checks. Read them. They’re real. Don’t go with anyone who doesn’t have at least a 3 star rating.
5. Go with your gut.
- If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts; if you get a creepy feeling, your move probably isn’t going to go well. Follow the steps above to find someone you can trust. Saving a few bucks isn’t worth the risk of losing all of your precious stuff.
Good luck with your move!
Moving from MI to NYC
Our colleague, Jen, is moving from Michigan to NYC in a few weeks. Naturally, she came to the MCR team to guide her in planning her move. In addition to advising her to use MCR, our best piece of advice: get estimates NOW! Jen will be moving in mid April so we told her she’d have a better shot at getting what she wanted if she started planning asap.
Jen submitted a quote request via MCR and was contacted within minutes by a major van line. The call center rep conveniently scheduled two in-home estimates with two different agents – Agent 1 and Agent 2 - within an hour of one another. “Great!” Jen thought, “I’ll have this part done in a day.” As the date approached, Agent 1 contacted her to confirm their appointment but Agent 2 did not. When Jen contacted Agent 2 directly, they said they often have scheduling issues with the call center and they’d need to set up an alternate time. So much for the two-birds-with-one-stone approach. By this point, Jen was frustrated: “Goodbye Agent 2!”
Agent 1′s in-home visit went well and the surveyor provided her with a detailed inventory and simple written estimate. They gave her two options: (1) transportation in a moving truck with other people’s belongings, with delivery date within a 2 week window (2) transportation and delivery via a crate on a truck with a guaranteed delivery date. Here’s a summary of the 1st version:
But she needed more options. After contacting one portable storage container company by phone (and waiting on hold for way too long), and submitting an online estimate for another, she discovered it would actually cost LESS to move with Agent 1. The portable storage container company - Company 3 – provided her a detailed breakdown like this:
Jen knew she needed another quote from a moving company in order to make an educated decision. After performing a search in her area on MCR, she submitted a quote request to a Michigan mover, Agent 4, who contacted her promptly. However, he admitted she’d pay for travel time because he wasn’t nearby. He referred her to Agent 5. This mover also came to Jen’s house for an in-home estimate.
Like Agent 1, Agent 5 offered two options: (1) Shared truck transportation with a 2 week delivery window (Agent 5 cost $75 less than Agent 1) and (2) a portable crate with guaranteed delivery date (Agent 5 cost $700 LESS than Agent 1). In the end, she based her decision on convenience and price and chose Agent 5. Although Agent 1 had better customer service, she liked the guaranteed delivery date with the crate option and the $700 cost savings sealed the deal.
Takeaways for movers
So why does this matter to you? Here are our top takeaways from Jen’s experience:
1. Closing a lead begins the moment you pick up the phone
- Call immediately
- Make scheduling as easy as possible: Provide flexibility, confirm appointments and show up on time
- Putting someone on hold or having to follow up multiple times can be deal-breakers
2. Cost and convenience go hand in hand
- In the end, Jen chose the more expensive option from Agent 5 but the less expensive option compared to Agent 1 (despite preferring Agent 1′s professionalism and demeanor). Making people comfortable and offering options to respect their busy schedules is key in their decision.
3. There’s a long way to go…
- The diagram below shows all the steps Jen took to find and book her mover. How can we as an industry improve this? Share your thoughts below! And stay tuned for the story of Jen’s actual move.
It’s now easier than ever to share your MCR reviews on Twitter. Here’s how to tweet a review:
Go to your profile on the site. (You can access from your dashboard, or just perform a search in your area). Then click on your listing and look for the Tweet button next to the review you want to post.
Log in to your Twitter account and post. That’s it.
Nothing’s more powerful than praise from your past customers. So go on and get Tweeting!
Every now and then we like to share a peek at how we do things here at MCR. There’s an important key to keeping the business running smoothly (and why we all look so happy and friendly in our pictures) . It’s our chat room. We use a tool called HipChat for Instant Messaging (IM) and the team shares a room for everything MCR-related. But it’s more than just IM. It give us information, it helps our remote workers feel like they’re here in the office (hello Brock in Minneapolis or Dave with twins at home or Denzell with his new comfy apartment!), it makes us laugh and it helps keep everyone up to date on some of our most important metrics.
Here are just a few examples of how we use our chat room every day:
Canons go off to celebrate when we have a new sale:
Someone – often The Rock – applauds when a mover receives their first quote from MCR:
We quickly access information, like moving licensing requirements for a certain state:
Our developers share new features with the team when they’re ready to review:
We see every time a new move is created and which movers the consumer selected. Through these notifications, we know which days are busiest, which cities are on the rise and how far ahead people plan (not much). Most of all, it helps keep our consumers “real” and remind us that we’re helping people plan one of the most important and stressful events of their lives.
And we have a little fun:
Ok, a lot of fun and silliness:
As we continue to grow with more consumers visiting our site and creating moves, and more mover customers working with us to grow their business, we’ll keep looking for ways to use our chatroom to keep everyone on the team in touch with the business and our people.
It’s been an exciting year here at MovingCompanyReviews (MCR)! Nearly two years ago, we started MCR to give consumers a better option for planning their moves, and to help great movers grow their business. In 2014, we grew our traffic exponentially, added hundreds of new verified reviews to the site, and generated thousands of free move referrals in what was the busiest move season in years. We also introduced our first paid mover product offering, Suggested Mover. We’ve been thrilled with the results and feedback we’ve gotten so far from our loyal mover customers. Please keep that feedback coming. We have lots more exciting stuff in the works for the coming year. Cheers to a great 2014 and an even bigger and better 2015.
- The MCR Crew
Shirlee, Shannon, Heather, Czarina, Marcus, Denzell, Dave and Brock (Doug not pictured)
The votes are in! We combed through all of our reviews to determine what the highest rated movers on MovingCompanyReviews.com have in common. Check out the traits of the best movers in the biz!