You’re always looking for ways to stand out as a real estate agent, especially in this market. You know transactions are still happening and buyers are still making bids over asking, but it’s hard not to pick up on the general dismay over the rising cost of everything – including houses.
Truth is, you can only do so much to save your clients money on things like groceries and gas. But when it comes to something as closely connected to home buying as moving expenses, you as the agent have an opportunity to stand out memorably.
So, why is this the most expensive year to move – ever? And what can you do to help?
Most expensive year to move
According to a new study by HireAHelper, 2022 has become the priciest year in U.S. history for hiring professional movers.
Moving costs are 9% higher than a year ago (June 2021). In May of this year, the average cost of moving was $427 – 15% higher than in May of 2021. And it’s set to reach a high of $454 by August, when moving services reach peak demand.
This rise in cost is, at least partly, related to the higher cost of the following:
- Gas prices are 48.7% higher today than in May 2021.
- Used car and truck prices are also up 14.5%.
- New trucks cost 7.9% more than last year.
- Worker wages are also up by 4.8%
In some states, like Maine, the difference is even higher.
During the pandemic, the cost of moving was at its lowest at an average of $320. Since then, inflation and other factors have driven prices up consistently since January 2021.
So, why should the cost of moving matter to realtors – especially since you probably have plenty to do with your time already? Buying and selling property keeps you busy enough, right?
The cost (not to mention the hassle) of moving is a pressing concern for clients who are already dealing with the higher costs of buying a home. When you look at the bigger picture and address concerns outside of the real estate transaction, it will stick out in the mind of your clients. So the next time they are ready to move, or have friends or family looking for an agent, you’ll be top of mind.
Connect with local businesses
Learn about businesses in the area and online that are involved with moving:
- Rental locations for U-Haul trucks and other moving equipment
- Professional movers with a solid background and high customer rating
- Websites that provide valuable information or discounts/coupons for local businesses
You can also talk to consumers about their experiences with professional movers in your area. Look up stories from consumers who’ve been ripped off by scammers and identify what they have in common so you can steer your clients in a safer direction.
Know which services in your area are entirely professional and timely, and which businesses have done their customers dirty (in some way). Any negative experiences your clients have with a mover or rental service will reflect poorly on the agent who referred them.
Be the knowledge broker
The more you know about the whole process of buying or selling a home and relocating to a new place, the more you can help your clients and make the process as painless and as affordable as possible.
Your commitment and the time and energy you invest in helping your clients minimize the expenses surrounding the purchase or sale of a house can only make your relationship more valuable to them.
You want to be the agent clients brag about to their friends and family, saying things like, “They even helped me save money on the move!” or “They really did their research on local movers and helped me avoid the scammers out there.”
Moving is expensive enough. But there are plenty of horror stories about scammy movers who hijacked an owner’s loaded moving truck and held it for ransom.
What can you do to help your clients avoid that nightmare?
Get the Information Out There
You don’t have to do this all yourself. A virtual assistant could do all the research and provide the most valuable information for you to share with your clients and prospects.
Otherwise, you can share the work with someone on your team. One of you can do the research while the other turns it into a digital document to share with new clients or prospects.
To make moving less stressful, you could even start a social media series on moving – sharing stories, money-saving tips, and time-saving hacks from clients and business owners.
Expand your services outside of the typical contract-to-closing that most real estate agents offer. People will remember the agent who helped them save time and money on the move, especially when they hear harrowing stories from others. And they might just pass your name on to someone they know.