Tag Archives: Moving Survey

When relocating talent, start with this plan for the best chance of success…

In chapter 4 of my book, Find Your Lane, I talk about “Planning: Your Road Map for Success. When I decided to write my book, I started with an outline, when our family decides to take a vacation, we outline the timeline to plan our events… and when we help our clients with household goods moving for candidates from one city to another, we start with a plan for both our customers and our clients managing the relocation.

The best plan for a successful household goods move, always starts with a pre-move bruce_on truck original picturesurvey. The survey gives us the information to determine the number of boxes that need to be packed, the number of crew members needed for loading the truck, the space we need for the moving truck, the access for loading, and more importantly, how much the move is going to cost!

There are three different ways to get a “budget/estimate” for a household goods move and each option below serves a different purpose. …

but only one gives us the most accuracy!

  1. The “Ballpark or Quick Quote” survey which is based on size of home. These budgets are great for someone considering a household goods move based on size of home averages. Best for a “quick estimate over the phone” to see if it makes sense to move or sell items, but you really don’t know what’s in the home, which is why you will need to follow up with a visual survey before the move.
  2. The “Virtual / Phone” survey… This is an innovative way to “virtually see” the contents on the home. Moving company contacts candidate (spouse in most cases) and goes through the home ON VIDEO to identify items in home. This method is typically used in “Difficult to Service” areas and/or “Fast Breaking” moves. However, there can be challenges if customer does not show all of the areas (such as a closet or attic), or if you need to measure items. Also, if the technology is poor at destination, then it can be extremely frustrating for the customer and take much longer than planned.
  3. The “On site visual” survey is the very best method to survey any home. Depending on size of the home, this process takes 30 minutes to an hour. It also gives the surveyor a chance to view the access as well as answer questions along the way.

Here are a couple of examples we recently came across showing the survey variances:

Example #1 – Ballpark to Virtual Survey…

When calculating a ballpark,, then followed up with a virtual survey. In this case, we calculated a 3,400 sq. ft home to be approx 23,800 lbs. based on averages, but when we completed the virtual survey, it was 29,000 lbs. This would be critical for both pricing and planning for the van operator timeline.

Example #2 – Ballpark to On-site survey

The customer advised over the phone that she had a 4000 sq. ft home, so we calculated 28,000 lbs.. BUT when we arrived and went through the home, there was no furniture. Customer had sold everything leaving approx. 4,500 lbs. which resulted approx $10,000 less cost than what was expected. This can be significant.

There are many cases like this because everyone has something different in their home. The  bottom line is that a candidate really needs to schedule an on-site visual survey for best accuracy. Yes, there are still chances of error during the process since some homes are challenging to survey, or some furniture / boxes weigh more or less than the average, but it provide the most accurate pricing for the client and will help plan a successful household goods relocation

Call to Action: Reach out to your preferred provider and have some dialogue about survey options to help you achieve your business goals when relocating talent. Let me know if I can help you or someone you know. It would be my pleasure!

Quote of the Week… “The art is the start.” (Guy Kawasaki)

This has been A Relocation Minute for “this survey is best for planning your next Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONThousehold goods move” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Self-storage or Van line storage? 4 things to know!

One of the exciting things about a great economy is a robust housing market and being able to sell your home quickly. We are seeing this across several US markets. Sometimes, it’s so quick that you don’t have a new home to move into, which may require you to place move your personal household goods into short term storage until you can close on your new home.

Many times an employee relocation will include short-term storage with the van line while the employee searches for a new home. However, there are times when the family will be responsible for storage costs because the storage is not included in relocation policy, or the company may have provided a lump sum for the employee relocation which leads to a question I hear many times during the year: Should we use van line storage, or find a self-storage unit to minimize costs?

When helping families relocate, I often share the information below to help customers make an informed decision on this important topic. Consider these 4 points next time you or someone you know is moving into storage.

  1. Estimated Cost… A visual survey provided by the van line surveyor can help determine not only the estimated cost for the van line storage, but will also provide you with the information needed to determine self-storage unit size which is needed to compare costs. If the storage unit doesn’t have trailer access, there may be additional fees for smaller truck to “shuttle” for unloading too.
  2. Valuation Coverage… if you decide to use personal storage, be sure and check all items as they are unloaded into the storage unit for damage. When using van line storage, items are checked in / out storage for continuous coverage. Items placed in personal storage are typically not covered once unloaded.
  3. Protection... If customer decides to use personal storage, be sure to have plenty of blankets on hand to protect furniture items when unloaded. When items are placed in van line storage, blankets are provided for protection to minimize any damage while in storage.
  4. Access… When household goods are placed in van line storage, they are “vaulted” (loaded in a secure wooden box) for security, which doesn’t provide immediate access customer. You will need to call in and schedule appointment 24-48 hours so staff can locate your vaults for access. The advantage is minimal handling to prevent damage during storage to delivery.

Depending on where items are being stored, storage costs will vary from city to city. So be sure to look at all variables to make the best decision for your family. Many times, the van line storage will provide more advantages, as well as make it easier to coordinate the delivery when the new home at destination is ready!

Call to action: Contact your relocation partner to confirm advantages and disadvantages for storage to share with your teammates relocating. With low inventory, storage is on the rise!

This has been “A Relocation Minute” on “self-storage or van line storage” with Bruce Waller, for more information on relocation resources call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com.
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Surveying the employee relocation… Each customer has a different story.

The moving survey is one of the most critical parts of the employee relocation. This is the time to confirm volume and packing requirements for the household goods move. It is also time to view the access for loading the truck on move day. However, the survey goes way beyond the basics of assessment. It’s about the EXPERIENCE! So how can your partner elevate the experience for the employee as they go through the onboarding process and get ready for a transfer to a new area?


Here are 2 customer story takeaways from today: UTS_S32-33_16

Customer # 1 is Lesa moving to a new state… As I arrived at the home, I learned from Lesa that this is her first professional relocation. She didn’t really know what to expect and was anxious to hear about the process and how she can make this a painless experience. So, I started by sitting at the table with her to ask lots of questions about preferred move date, destination arrival, where they would be staying before goods arrived, if she had any items that needed extra care, etc. Then, I outlined the moving process and confirmed who she would be working with throughout the move. We also talked things she can do to prepare before move day. Very KEY! She also has children that will be moving with her and how challenging things have been trying to find schools, and a new home. Once we finished the survey, she had a peace of mind knowing the process. It’s so much more than a survey, It’s the starting point to helping a family transition to a new area.

Customer # 2 is Mary moving abroad on an international assignment. When I arrived at Mary’s home, I learned she has extensive experience moving in the US and abroad. Therefore, she wasn’t as concerned about process but about policy for volume allowance. Mary was in a situation in which she had a volume allowance in her policy so some goods would be moved in a steamship a container, and other items would go to local storage for a few years. Here is her challenge… She is not going on her house hunting trip until the first part of December due to Visa paperwork delays and they are moving at the end of December. This survey required lots of questions and guidance to help with identifying what might be loaded in container, and items that will be stored in the US. I was very surprised when how she thanked me for coming to the home to survey the items and have a discussion. Her last move, she advised the company did not send anyone out to residence and they were unsure about everything all the way through delivery from abroad. I asked similar questions such as preferred moving date, and what we can do to help make this a great experience for her. One of her requests was to separate and itemize international and storage items on the survey so we could review again after the house hunting trip. Once completed, she advised how great she felt about her upcoming move.

The survey is more than assessing volume. It’s about listening to the customer, learning what needs to happen for the move to be a great experience, and being an encourager as the family prepares for a new journey.

So, what happens if the surveyor doesn’t ask good questions and assumes? It will probably be hard to meet expectations and provide the experience that the employee expects and deserves.

Call to action: Reach out to your relocation partner and find out more about the survey process. In fact, you might even ask about joining your provider on a survey to understand the process. You will be amazed at the value the survey adds to the employee relocation.

This has been a “Relocation Minute” update on “surveying the employee relocation” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and twitter page.