Every successful Realtor deserves to be awarded a PhD in schedule management. After all, the job requires you to juggle the daily obligations of single-handedly running a small business, while simultaneously helping multiple clients navigate the ever-changing timelines of the home buying and selling process. Clients rely on you to keep things on track—even when they are going off the rails!
With so many steps to manage in the selling and buying process, it’s easy for client to get distracted by home staging appointments, financing approvals and home inspections and forget to prepare for the culminating event—the move. As a company that has specialized in residential moving for over 100 years, we get these calls all the time. The client is days away from their closing, but they haven’t packed a single box and they haven’t hired a mover.
This again is where your skills as a master of schedule management come into play. By incorporating a few move planning milestones into the client’s calendar of events, and providing them with some advice as they prepare for their move, you can help avoid a lot of stress for them...and for you!
Below are a few ways you can help clients stay on top of their move plan and avert an unexpected delay when it’s time to pass papers…
Provide a Moving Checklist Giving clients a printed ‘to do’ list to follow and check off is the #1 thing you can do to help your clients get prepared for their move. A good moving checklist will provide a comprehensive overview of all of the important milestones in the move preparation process and breaks move planning down into easily achievable steps so that your client can get them all done.
Get clients to call a mover EARLY in the process Encourage your clients to start talking to moving companies as soon as their house is on the market. Good moving companies get booked out weeks or months in advance, especially during peak season and particularly during the final week of each month. If they wait too long they may be forced to choose a mover based on availability rather than who they believe can do the best job.
Even if your client doesn’t yet have a moving date, meeting with movers early will give them the opportunity to get quotes and talk with moving professionals about things they can do to prepare for their move and potentially save some money.
Remind clients that ‘staging time’ is also a great time to downsize As they go through the process of de-cluttering to stage or list their home, remind clients that this is also the perfect time to get rid of unwanted items rather than just relocating them. By ‘gifting’, donating or selling items they don’t want they will reduce the cost of their move. They may also make a few dollars to pay for it!
Schedule morning closings If your client’s closing doesn’t happen until late in the day it may not be possible for their moving company to make delivery until the next. This means that your client will not be able to spend their first night in their new home and they may also incur additional costs like ‘hold fees’ charged by the mover, hotel fees and restaurant costs.
By requesting early closings on your clients behalf you can help them reduce costs and ensure that they will be able to sleep in their own bed-- in their new home-- that much sooner!
Get them packing (and KEEP them packing) to send them packing Packing an entire house worth of ‘stuff’ takes a long time. Between the distractions of work, children and ‘life in general’ it is easy for your client to get distracted from the task at hand.
Seniors who are in the process of downsizing also frequently find themselves in this situation. As they take a trip ‘down memory lane’ with each knick-knack and photograph the hours tick by…and suddenly moving day is only days away. Often this leaves them scrambling to finish packing in time.
How can you help? Get your clients packing EARLY. Tell them to start with the basement, attic or another area filled with items that aren’t used frequently and pack everything in that space, then move onto the next. Then ask for an update on their progress every time you connect with them to keep packing at the top of their mind.
If you think they are going to run out of time, encourage them to pay a moving company to do professional packing. A professional packer can do in hours what will take the average homeowner days to do. But just like with scheduling the move itself, make sure they call early! Packing is a specialized skill set and most moving companies have fewer packers than they do movers, so getting onto their calendar is critical!
Want to help your clients with other tips and tricks to keep their move stress free? Send them to www.movewithbridges.com and tell them to visit the ‘Make Your Move Easier’ section.