Hiring A Relocation Specialist

By Barbara Risto


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A company that specializes in relocating clients is different from a downsizing company in that it handles downsizing PLUS moving. A downsizing company usually helps you organize your current home to make it more functional by clearing out clutter and unnecessary items. A relocation company does all of this while keeping in mind that the end result is to see you comfortably installed in your new home.

    When choosing a relocating company, get more than one estimate and choose the company that you feel most comfortable with. The right person can not only coordinate and organize everything, but they can bring a sense of calmness during the anxious moments.  The estimate should include the consultation fee and all the elements you have agreed they will be responsible for, right down to the landfill charges.

    The representative of the company you pick should have the necessary interpersonal skills to make an accurate assessment of your personality, your taste, and understand what you value in your current home. They should have a good understanding of the place you are moving to, its limitations or challenges, and be able to advise you on the best items to bring to fit the space and location. They should include you in the discussion, the decisions and the activities to the degree that you are comfortable.

    They should be able to assess what needs to be done short term and long term and create a plan that they can clearly communicate to you.

    Ask if they have a Certified Senior Advisor designation. This means they have taken a comprehensive course to better understand the needs and feelings of a senior person.

    The list of what a relocation company can do for you is endless. Whatever needs to be done, they are usually more than willing to tackle. They will usually have a list of services you can select from, but will create a plan that is unique to your situation. They will take into consideration the ways in which you want or don't want to be involved in the process. They can:

  • Assess your current home and your needs
  • Assess your new location and how to best accommodate you and your possessions in it
  • Provide advice to assist your decision-making
  • Create a work plan, short term and long term - with a timeframe for every activity
  • Provide hundreds of helpful suggestions and ideas
  • Help coordinate realtors, appraisers, movers, etc.
  • Videotape, inventory all your belongings
  • Help downsize, doing as little or much as you prefer
  • Sort and organize your belongings
  • Help disburse all the items you will not be taking with you to friends, family, auctions, sales, storage, etc.
  • Handle all your utility and address change-over
  • Arrange for cleanup, household repairs, and garbage disposal, etc.
  • Keep you updated on their progress every step of the way
  • Allow you to be in control of the process to whatever degree you wish

For more information on relocating, order Senior Living’s book called “To Move or Not to Move?” – a helpful guide for seniors considering their residential options.  This 132 page book costs $9.95 plus tax and shipping & handling, and can be ordered by calling 1-250-479-4705 or online at www.seniorlivingmag.com/bookstore

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Comments

Showing 1 to 5 of 5 comments.

I agree with Joan. Though certification gives a piece of mind to many people it does not always guarantee perfect service. Here's my story. Once I personally helped someone to relocate and only every now and then I asked the neighbours for small things. None of us had any certification but common sense and compassion, organization skills, be able to do logistics and communicate. We volunteered our time. I was working from home at the time. I was doing the relocation during the day and I worked on my own contract late at night. I also took care of my needy dogs. Although each case its unique but generally this is what you can except: 1. Rethink the logistics involved 2. If you don't know the person well, ask all the common sense questions you would want to be asked 3. Understand a general health of the person 4. Usually seniors want to keep their dependency and hide their true state of health. You can arrange an appointment with her/his doctor, nurse, social worker to get more detailed information to see what type of care the person need. Ask close friends, neighbours if there is no family. 5. Seniors often has a location in mind they would like to moved to; close to friends or family if they have any; in the city, out of city; or back where they were born or the location they have in their bucket list. You'll be surprised, I was. 6. Finances is as major as the health of the person. In fact, it ties together. Budgeting will take time and careful thought but there are plenty of free resources on the Internet to do your preliminary calculations. You may also be talking to the bank and other investors if there is any. By the time you get to the home you will have a very good idea and can ask educated questions should you need more info. It is important to keep in mind that the senior may get better and live longer so try to make sure that the money will last. It can happen! At the end all turned out well, it took us a little over a month to get through it all. At times emotions were on the melancholic side understandably. This is where sincere loving care is as important than everything else. Yes, it took work. In situations when there is an emergency and the person is very ill and cannot communicate (dementia for example) I'd follow much of the same steps but have arrange for free community assistance taking care of the medical part while I would be doing the rest. Again, to me it was all common sense, being able to organize and communicate, willing to do the research, and being compassionate and understanding all the way. You can have wonderful service by people who have no certification too, but go after your gut feeling and make decision based on your own circumstances.

Posted by Magdalena Kosha | June 15, 2015 Report Violation

How does one locate a relocation expert? I can find no such designation in my telephone directory.

Posted by Mrs. P. Goater | February 9, 2012 Report Violation

I think I would feel more comfortable with someone who holds some sort of certification in this field as I would prefer to work with someone who is bonded, insured and has access to an association where they might find ways to improve the service they provide. When it comes down to it you would want someone who has the right connections and works within a code of ethics. In every industry there are those who just do it for the money and I believe they are easily spotted. You really need to do some due diligence to determine if the person you select is compatible and has the required skills to get the job done in an orderly fashion. I recently had to witness my Aunt have her home picked apart after she was crudely removed from it by people she thought she could trust a nurse included. A sad state of affairs.

Posted by D. Robertson | August 30, 2011 Report Violation

I think I would feel more comfortable with someone who holds some sort of certification in this field as I would prefer to work with someone who is bonded, insured and has access to an association where they might find ways to improve the service they provide. When it comes down to it you would want someone who has the right connections and works within a code of ethics. In every industry there are those who just do it for the money and I believe they are easily spotted. You really need to do some due diligence to determine if the person you select is compatible and has the required skills to get the job done in an orderly fashion. I recently had to witness my Aunt have her home picked apart after she was crudely removed from it by people she thought she could trust a nurse included. A sad state of affairs.

Posted by D. Robertson | August 30, 2011 Report Violation

Barbara, I have to disagree about the Certified Senior Advisor designation. This designation is helpful for a lot of the auctioneers, real estate agents, moving companies and interior designers who see a chance to make money off of the aging population. However, there are a lot of people in the field who are Social Workers, or came from the healthcare field who know a lot more about the needs of seniors, and don't bother taking this course. I may be wrong, but at this point, I believe that the "certification" training is given by an auction company!!!! These are not the people I would want looking after my mother's transition. I was in a major car accident just before my aged mother fell and broke her hip at home, She needed to go into a nursing home right away, and I was in no condition to help. When I was researching the field, I found a lot of people who had taken this type of certification course, but I just didn't feel comfortable with them. Instead, I ended up hiring a former Social Worker who had years of experience working with the elderly in hospitals and Long Term Care facilities. She was able to talk us through the tough transition, as well as handling all of the packing, downsizing and moving. I felt that my mother's needs came first. If I ever had to do it again, the Certified Senior Advisor designation would not be one of my considerations. You should look at the person's background.

Posted by Joan Wagman | November 29, 2009 Report Violation

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