Category Archives: News

Q&A With Platinum Movers – a quality Tampa mover

published by on November 16, 2017For Business, News

Platinum Relocations

We love to highlight moving companies from Moving Company Reviews.   Check out the Q&A below from Platinum Relocations, a Tampa mover with fantastic reviews.  nswering the questions is Matthew Brodis, the owner.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Platinum Relocations?

My name is Matthew Brodis.  I was a contractor for various van lines for over 21 years.  After seeing many mistakes being made with the larger van lines I knew I could do better on my own.  I took the initiative to push forward with creating my own van line called Platinum Relocations.  We’ve been in business for 4 years and have 15 trucks in our fleet.  We service everything from household, office and industrial moves and we offer white glove services for many different businesses in our area.

 

What sets you apart?  

When creating Platinum Relocations I knew what other van lines did well, we would do well.  So I read many reviews from various van lines in my area and focused on their negative feedback.  This allowed me to make sure I set myself apart from everyone else by offering the exceptional service so many others seemed to be missing.  With this focus we allowed ourselves to truly stand out and set ourselves apart.  This is very apparent by looking at our MCR reviews.

 

How did you get started and why?   

I was a contractor for various van lines for over 21 years.  After seeing many mistakes being made with the larger van lines I knew I could do better on my own.  I took the initiative to push forward with creating my own van line called Platinum Relocations.  We’ve been in business for 4 years and have 15 trucks in our fleet.  We service everything from household, office and industrial moves and we offer white glove services for many different businesses in our area.

 

What’s the best business decision you made in the last year?

Expanding to a second location and bringing in military contracts and offering SIT.

 

Why did you choose to become a MovingCompanyReviews.com customer?  

MCR leads have to the highest rate of becoming customers.  They are very serious about their move and have a much higher close rate than any other lead source I’ve ever used.  I love the fact that you can only upload reviews if you’ve actually moved with our company.  This isn’t the same for Yelp and most other review sites out there.

 

What’s the strangest or funniest thing you have ever moved?  

Strangest thing would be a custom built entertainment center that was 12’ tall and 23’ long.  It was custom built in the condo and wouldn’t fit through any door.  The customer had to cut it into 3 pieces.  Since it was in a high rise on St Pete beach, they hired a crane company to pull it through the french doors of the balcony and lower it to our awaiting crew below to move it to their new home.  The funniest thing isn’t appropriate for publication LOL.

 

Any parting words or advice for our readers?  

If you are a customer; read and trust MCR reviews for choosing a move company.  For companies not yet with MCR, sign up now!  The leads are excellent and the investment is truly worth it.

 

 

 


How to prepare kids under 10 for a move – tips and tricks from a child psychologist

published by on October 14, 2017After You Move Tips, Before You Move Tips, Move Day Tips, News

Family unpacking cardboard boxes at new home

MovingCompanyReviews note:   We’re delighted to have Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, write this post for us.   Dr. Brown Hasbrook is a well known Child Psychologist in the Chicago area, and recently moved with her three children.    Her post below gives some fantastic tips and tricks on how to make the moving day (and the weeks leading up to it!) less stressful with kids.

It is not surprising that moving is listed as one of life’s most stressful events! After all, you are not just relocating your physical belongings, but you are leaving behind your community, your friends, your schools, and all the well-worn paths you created over the years! Moving becomes more complicated when children are part of the equation. Now, you don’t just have yourself and your worries with which to contend (e.g., How do I find the local grocery store, Will I make friends, etc.), but also a whole host of concerns from your children and their different perspectives. As you embark on this exciting journey, it is important to keep routines as consistent as possible.

When my family relocated from Chicago to a nearby suburb, our children were 3, 5, and 7 years old. Knowing that much of parenting lies in the marketing, I knew that how I presented the upcoming relocation to the kids was important. I also knew that I was serving as the main model based on my attitude and behavior about the move. On a basic level, they knew a relocation was impending given the “For Sale” sign in front of our condo and the numerous, quick clean up toys and flush the toilet sessions before showings. Since we know that change is challenging for everyone, especially if you perceive that you have little or no control over things, my husband and I tried to involve the children in an age-appropriate manner from the outset.

Let’s face it, looking at prospective houses and schools is tremendously easier without children present. Once we narrowed down the town, however, we felt it important to bring them along so they could share their input and visualize their “new life” in the suburbs. Seeing their new school, new neighborhood, and new house greatly managed expectations and appeared to help the move feel less scary! We requested a meeting with the principal so our kids could see a smiling and friendly face belonged to the leader of their new school. As always, they noticed things that my husband and I might not have noticed. After these trips to visit houses and schools, instead of rushing back home, we always made time to stop at local parks to play. Again, a new fond memory at a park made it easier for the kids to imagine playing at that park with their new friends sometime in the future!

We also took time to talk to our children about their feelings regarding leaving the only home and city they knew. We tried to validate their feelings of sadness, fear, and excitement by saying things like, “Thank you for telling me about your worries about making new friends. That is a really normal feeling to have when you move to a new town. Mommy feels the same way too, but I know we are a friendly and kind family. I am sure we will make friends really quickly. Just watch!” This ongoing, open conversation was really helpful as my youngest child expressed sadness regarding “really missing” her toys in the future. We reassured her that all her toys were moving with us to the suburbs. Had we not created an open conversation, we would not have known that she thought her toys were being separated from her! That brings me to my next point, make sure when packing items, that your children’s most beloved possessions (for younger kids it’s usually a lovey or blanket) are not packed in a box, but carried with them or you, if possible! Those items can serve as a great source of comfort (we, psychologists, call them transitional objects) during a stressful time! Make sure to mark the boxes with children’s bedding and toys accurately so they can be the first boxes unpacked in the new house! Involve your children in setting up their new bedrooms. Why not give them control wherever you can by allowing them to select paint colors, to choose furniture placement, and other unimportant details!

Finally, allow your children to connect with their old friends when appropriate. In today’s digital age, it is easier than ever to FaceTime, text, or call friends. The timing of visits and playdates is important though. If your children return to their old schools, or old friends’ houses before they have established enough connections or roots in their new community, it can be painful and delay their adjustment.

Kerry Brown Hasbrook, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist


Running for Move for Hunger

published by on July 20, 2015For Business, News

MFH tent

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.

Getting our packets at McCormick Place

Getting our packets at McCormick Place

 

MFH tent

 

Award for toughest runner (a broken toe!)

Award for toughest runner (a broken toe!)

 


Support Team Move for Hunger (oh, and get a free MCR ad)

published by on June 1, 2015For Business, News

The 2014 Chicago Move for Hunger Team

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.

The 2014 Chicago Move for Hunger Team

The 2014 Chicago Move for Hunger Team

 

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.

Move for Hunger ad on MCR

Move for Hunger ad on MCR

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!

 

 


This Lead is Your Lead

published by on May 6, 2015For Business, News

An important note about our terms

MCR Movers,

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.

Thanks.

Prohibited Conduct:
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.


How finding a great mover took me 3 years.

published by on May 5, 2015Before You Move Tips, For Business, Move Day Tips, News

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

Moving sucks

Some research says moving counts as one of the top 5 most stressful things you can do.  I believe it.

I’d like tell you a story – a story of how I spent 3 years finding a great mover.

First, some background.  I moved more than 15 times in my life.  Early on, I would move myself.   As I acquired more stuff and got a bit older, I hired movers.    Every single time I tried to find a mover online, I thought to myself, “wow, moving is the industry the internet forgot about.”   Why could I not search movers?  Why could I not read verified reviews? Why could I not see photos of movers, or get any info on them at all?

When you search for other things online, reviews, prices, photos, and other great information guides you to an informed decision.   I wanted an Amazon, or Orbitz, or Tripadvisor, or Cars.com, or HomeFinder for moving.   Heck, I would have settled for a list of licensed movers in my area.    Instead, I constantly ran into a blind lead form – one that asked for all of my personal information, without showing me any of the movers that would contact me. You know what happened when I submitted that lead form?   I got called by not one, not two, but by SIX movers.  Argh!

Making it better

3 years ago, Shannon Cullins, then HomeFinder’s VP of Product, and I decided to change things.  We learned everything we could about moving, and decided to build an incredibly trustworthy, consumer friendly service to help consumers find great movers and experience happy moves.  We called it MovingCompanyReviews.com (MCR for short).  Shannon took over as General Manager, and we launched the site in February of 2013.   We launched with a few key features to guarantee we focus on helping people find the best movers:

  • We verify every review with either a moving receipt (called a Bill of Lading), or a move confirmed by a quality moving company
  • We prominently display each mover’s review rating
  • We prominently show every mover’s state and federal licensing information, links to their federal complaint history, and any other pertinent government information
  • We put caution badges on movers with suspect quality, or fraud complaints
A mover listing on MovingCompanyReviews

A mover listing on MovingCompanyReviews

 

See the license requirements for your move type and confirm a mover meets them

See the license requirements for your move type and confirm a mover meets them

 

Finding my mover on MovingCompanyReviews

Fast forward to today.   I moved last week, and found Olympia Moving through MovingCompanyReviews.  Interestingly enough, I chose a different mover than I thought going in.  Reading all of their verified reviews swayed me to them initially, and then their fantastic customer service during the quoting process won me over.

I am happy to report that Olympia made my move wonderful. They were, by a wide margin, the BEST movers I have ever used.   Their attention to detail stunned me.  They wrapped things meticulously, carried things extremely carefully, pointed out existing damage before wrapping or moving anything, and went way above and beyond what I expected.  For example, they expertly squeezed an huge armoir into a bedroom by taking some of it apart and putting it back together again.   Every other mover who moved that armoir just gave up, or damaged walls trying to shove it in.   The Olympia crew took such great care that we had no damage to any items, or any walls, other than a tiny smudge here and there.

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

The semi arrives (yes, a semi!)

Here’s the best part – they estimated 12 hours for the move, and it only took them 8, so we saved a bunch of money versus our quote.

I almost forgot the icing on top – I got a free pizza from MCR by leaving a voice review about my move.  Nothing tastes quite as good as a free pizza on move day.

My best move ever

It feels great building something that makes a difference.  Moving delivers loads of stress.   Having the fantastic movers from Olympia made this move much better and much less stressful than any other time I moved.    I’d like to thank the whole MovingCompanyReviews team for their work the last few years, you guys rock.

Planning to move soon? Find your mover and get free estimates at MovingCompanyReviews.com.

 

 


Your thoughts: Integrating with Open Home Pro

published by on April 30, 2015For Business, News

An app for real estate agents to collect and convert more leads

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.

An app for real estate agents to collect and convert more leads

An app for real estate agents to collect and convert more leads

 

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
tips

Helpful moving tips from an agent to their seller (via MCR)

 

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!

 

 

 


Don’t get scammed: 5 things to check before you hire the cheapest mover

published by on April 23, 2015Before You Move Tips, News

mover license section

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.

mover license section

If your state requires a license, choose a mover that has an active one.

 

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. sales@shannonsmoving.com) or an @gmail, @aol, etc (e.g. joemoving@hotmail.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.

 

Have you seen their truck before? If not, keep looking.

Have you seen their truck before? If not, keep looking.

 

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.
verified review

Don’t pick a mover without 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!


5 Fun Facts About MCR Leads

published by on April 14, 2015For Business, News

email_new_quote_request (1)
1. More than 70% of the consumers using MCR come from online searches for movers in their city

Moving Leads  from Google

This means every consumer using MCR to submit quotes is in “moving mode”. They’ve done their homework, and decided to use our site to find moving services. Our free business listings appear in online searches to attract these active consumers and drive them to MCR.


 

2. Consumers choose up to 5 movers. Or, we’ll suggest licensed movers for them

Welcome

 

Movers may list their company in our national database for free. Our default search results are based on location, number of reviews and overall star rating.

On MCR, consumers choose the movers they want to hear from. Movers get free leads when consumers choose them.

We’ll also suggest qualified movers as part of our pay-per-lead program. This gives movers access to every lead in their service area.


 

3. We partner with Homefinder.com to provide home details

Move Details

We standardize addresses and whenever possible, we match them with public records via HomeFinder.com to pre-populate beds, baths, square footage and home type in order to give movers more accurate information.


 

4. Consumers understand your brand every step of the way

Reply

Keep your brand and online reviews in front of consumers by replying directly to the quote request email. When a consumer selects your company to provide a free quote, they’ve already provided basic move details and and are ready to chat.

 

Make it personal, be sure to mention your required next steps (in-home estimate etc.) or price to help the consumer make a decision. Try to address any specific needs the consumer may have mentioned in their notes.

 

Be sure to keep your profile and online reviews up to date. Having great reviews and a high overall rating is a great way to stand out from your competition.


 

5. We reward consumers on their move-in day

email_review_your_mover

On move-in day, we offer every consumer the opportunity to get a FREE Pizza if they come back and review their move on MCR.

We also have a program to collect reviews from your past customers, helping you focus on moves while we focus on your online reputation. Learn more about Review Advantage.

 


FAQs

1. How do I claim my free business listing?

2. How much does it cost to join MCR?

3. What are the advertising programs and prices?

4. What are my options when contacting a consumer from a quote request?

5. Where are the Suggested Mover placements?

 

 


Meet Rbot

published by on April 9, 2015For Business, News

good_morning

As Shannon wrote in “Behind the scenes at MCR: Our chatroom” we use our chat room for just about everything. It is one of the most used tools in our business. It’s obviously a great communication tool, but it’s a huge productivity tool for us as well.

We deployed our own customized version of a chat room robot forked from the Hubot Project. GitHub describes Hubot as “A Customizable, Life Embetterment Robot”, and we’ve certainly found our lives to be embettered! Hubot is an open source project written in CoffeeScript on Node.js and in our case runs on Heroku. The first thing we had to do after forking the Hubot project was to give our robot a name. We named ours “Review Bot”, or “Rbot” for short. Then we put him to work on a variety of tasks. The best part is since he’s a robot we don’t have to put him on the payroll… HE WORKS FOR FREE!

So what does Rbot do for us? He helps us with project management, customer assistance, and even monitoring our production web applications. Need some help with that math homework? Rbot has you covered, he’s great with numbers. All we have to do is ask “Rbot calculate 1+100″ or “Rbot calculate sqrt(81)”

calculate

We’re a small team, but it’s still easy to lose track of what everyone is up to. Not to worry, Rbot keeps track of all that for us. We just have to tell him “Rbot I am working on ticket #1234″ or “Rbot I am working on lead reports for invoices” and he now knows what we’re up to. At any point a project manager or anyone on the team can simply ask “Rbot what is everyone working on” and get a quick summary.

working_on

Rbot helps keep the software development process flowing so that we can continue to add great features to movingcompanyreviews.com. We use a continuous integration tool to automatically run tests on all of our software as we push out changes. Rbot keeps an eye on this of course, and can tell us if the build is passing or failing. We just have to ask Rbot “what’s the mcr project status”. He also monitors the Heroku platform that we run the site on. If we need to deploy some code changes we can ensure all systems are a go with a quick check-in with Rbot – “Rbot heroku status”

status

The business and operation folks are friends with Rbot as well. Account managers can get a quick sense of how many leads we’ve delivered to a mover just by asking Rbot “Rbot location rfqs for 12345″. We reward our users for reviewing their movers via phone with Domino’s gift cards, and we use a third-party vendor for fulfillment. We wouldn’t want our account to dry up and not be able to give away pizza, so we ask Rbot to check our balance from time to time “Rbot what is our tango card balance?”. Product people can get a conversion report on how users progress through our review process from requesting a quote to receiving that free pizza just by asking “Rbot pizza funnel”.

reports

Rbot isn’t all business, he has a fun side to him as well. He’s super friendly and is the first to greet everyone as they start work in the morning. He doesn’t sleep (he’s a robot remember) so he’s always online. We like to celebrate our wins at movingcompanyreviews.com and Rbot certainly gets in on the action. He fires off a cannon when we get a new sale, sends out a round of applause when a mover gets their first request for a moving quote, and gives a salute from the original tough guy Chuck Norris when anyone says thumbs up.

good_morning

Having a rough day? Rbot to the rescue! Just ask him “Rbot I need some advice”. Maybe you need to predict the future? Rbot will give you an answer to any question like the classic magic 8-ball “Rbot eightball will we hit our sales goals for the quarter?”. This one has come in handy many times when preparing boardroom presentations!

We have a great office at movingcompanyreviews.com and homefinder.com. One of the perks of being in the office is our ultra-modern kitchen, complete with a double-handled beer tap! After a long work week it’s nice to unwind with co-workers over a beer. But what’s going to fill your glass when you pull on that tap handle? Rbot knows, we just have to ask “Rbot what’s on tap?”

fun

Our omnipresent robot friend has been an awesome addition to the MCR team. Rbot keeps us informed and entertained, and he’s always learning new tricks. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know him.


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