A moving consultant is a person who has studied for and passed a comprehensive examination of the regulations and customer requirements for interstate moves. Many moving companies have their own employees who are certified consultants and will help with all the services needed for a move whether it is across town or around the world. They will help estimate what will be moved as well as the costs.
For the purposes of this article, only Certified Moving Consultants (CMC) will be considered. These people are members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and have been active in the business for at least six months before they applied for certification. They have studied the materials on the subject or attended a CMC boot camp. It is not worth the money to employ someone who is not certified in the business.
A certified consultant will have:
• Undergone a rigorous application process
• Passed the CMC examination
• Signed the Code of Ethics and Professional Standards
• Paid annual dues to the trade association
• Been recertified every two years
Moving is a Stressful Time
Most people agree that moving is a stressful time even if it is only for a short distance. For people who have few personal possessions, and who can pack everything they own into the back of a pickup truck, a consultant may not be worth the money. However, for almost everyone else, the services provided by a consultant greatly reduces the stress involved in the move and makes the whole process much smoother.
The consultant will visit the home of the people moving and get an idea of what type of things will be moved and the best way to move them. For example, if the customer has several valuable paintings or breakable antiques, the consultant will ensure that they are packed correctly to minimize the possibility of damage.
A Certified Moving Consultant will:
• Give an accurate cost quotation
• Suggest packing strategies
• Introduce cost-saving opportunities
• Completely organize the move
• Keep the customer informed about the progress of the move
• Manage all the small details of the move
Sometimes, people don’t get much lead time from the time they learn they need to move to the time a new job starts in a different city. In such cases, it would be worth the money to employ a consultant. Even the process of hiring a reputable mover takes time to call different companies, get estimates and compare prices. With just one phone call, a customer can find certified moving consultants who will do all the work involved.
Most consultants work for a single mover. There are very few federally certified consultants who work independently. Some consultants work with several moving companies and are paid on a commission basis by the company. There are consultants who work directly with the customer. These consultants offer two advantages. One advantage is they will be loyal to their customer and not to any moving company, and the other advantage is they will save the customer money even if their services may cost more than they would if the consultant were working for a moving company.
Under no circumstances should a consumer accept the estimate of a mover who hasn’t visited their home. However, a consultant can make this possible. A reputable moving company will trust a certified moving consultant. The movers will need to rely on the details of the move given by the consultant. This is why most of them have their own consultants. This is one way the consultant can get multiple estimates without the movers visiting the premises.
If the customer is being relocated by his or her employer, they will most likely receive the services of moving consultants who work for a corporation that offers relocation services.
How do consultants save the customer money?
A good consultant will know the moving industry inside and out. They know where the hidden costs are as well as where costs can be reduced. They know when to negotiate and when to accept an offer. This is where they can save the average consumer a lot on their moving costs.
What about packing?
Packing causes the most stress of all the issues involved in a move. The consultant will organize the packing and, if required, they will also organize the unpacking.
Reliable moving consultants can be found through the AMSA. Reputable moving companies also have a lot of experience and may have personnel who are not certified consultants, but who are able to fill the role without the added expense of hiring a consultant. For consumers who have the time, it’s definitely worth the time and money to find certified moving consultants. For consumers who don’t have the time, it’s also worth the money to let the consultant take charge of the move and get it done quickly and efficiently.
By Andre Bradley