Today, there are 48 million seniors over 65 in the U.S. Many of them, especially those over 70, are selling their larger homes to “downsize” to a much smaller residence like an apartment, retirement community or continuing care community.
Most of us have moved often enough to know how stressful a move can be. But imagine you’re 80 years old, with reduced strength, balance and flexibility due to aging. Now throw in a medical condition or two, and you can understand why seniors are happy to find someone who understands their special needs and can help them make the move as smooth, gentle and stress-free as possible.
Here’s where you come in …
As the senior population soars, senior relocation services are doing very well. Helping seniors move with as little stress as possible is one of the fastest growing new senior service businesses. For example, membership in the National Association of Senior Move Managers has grown from just 30 members to over 800 in just the last few years.
Insiders forecast continued rapid growth, making this an ideal time to start a senior relocation business. These senior movers, also called senior move managers, work with seniors during one of the most difficult and stressful times – when a senior decides it’s time to move or must move because they can no longer live alone.
When seniors move, almost always to a much smaller residence, they must downsize their possessions. Many seniors have been in the same home for 30 or 40 years, and find the process of downsizing overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. The enormous amount of possessions accumulated over all those years and tucked away in attics, basements, garages and spare rooms is challenging to deal with for older folks or the adult children whose parents have died or must move for health reasons. Sorting through all those possessions to determine what has value and what does not can be a huge burden, both for seniors and their families.
I just received the guide today, and appreciate how helpful it is, and easy to understand. I believe it will be a tremendous help in starting my new senior service business. Sandra Crawford – Virginia
A senior relocation pro helps the elderly – most are in their 70s and 80s – organize and manage that transition to a new, smaller residence, and helps them decide what to take and what to leave behind. But it’s more than just organizing and packing. It’s also about providing emotional support for a client – calming their worries about the move and reassuring them that it will all be okay.
Senior relocation in 10 easy steps …
When a client is moving to a new home, a senior relocation service uses a simple floor plan of the new residence to determine what furniture will fit. When that’s done, they and their client can sort through the remaining furniture and other belongings and decide what has value and what is trash. Then, the surplus items are sold, donated or put in the trash pile.
Next, the packing begins, with all boxes labeled so the moving crew can put them exactly where they need to be in the new home. Following a schedule set up in the planning stage of the move, the senior relocation service either supervises the movers or handles a local move themselves.
On moving day, the unpacking begins, and the crew places all items where they should go, such as linens on the shelves, clothes hung in the closet, pictures hung on the walls and kitchen utensils in the cabinets.
If the old home is to be sold, the senior relocation team usually clears the house and handles any final disposal of items not moved. The entire move, from planning to unpacking, is designed to reduce the emotional stress associated with moving, so a senior has a gentle and hassle-free transition to their new home.
How much can I make?
Rates for senior relocation services range from as low as $35 per hour to over $100 per hour. Rates are naturally higher in large cities where the cost of living is higher and lower in smaller towns and rural areas, where the cost of living is lower. A typical job for a client brings in $1,500 to $3,000 plus the cost of the moving company.
If you choose to handle the actual moving yourself on a local move, that’s another $600 and up, depending on the amount of boxes and furniture being moved and the distance to the new location. You’ll learn how to do that without buying a truck or hiring employees!
I thought owning my own business was just a dream, but you have made it possible! Thanks for putting it all together in one helpful guide. Mollie Lamb – Oregon
In a recent survey of senior relocation businesses, the national average hourly rate charged for move management services was $52 per hour. Using that average rate, a capable one-person move manager could earn over $104,000 yearly. Adding employees when needed can boost that figure even higher, as does the referral fees from subcontractors and other service providers, such as a moving company.
Best of all, a senior relocation service is a recession proof business. People grow old and must relocate to a smaller residence or a continuing care community regardless of what the national economy is doing. Boom or recession, this business can keep you as busy as you want to be. A senior relocation service can keep you busy full-time, or provide a generous part-time income. It’s up to you.
Because seniors are everywhere, you can provide this much-needed service in a smaller town or a big city. Starting a senior relocation service requires no formal education or expensive franchise fees, just common sense, honesty and a desire to help others. Seniors in transition require care, compassion, understanding and patience. If you’ve got a big heart, you’ll do well as a senior mover!
Although a big heart is important, a strong back is not. A senior move manager does just that – manage all aspects of a client’s move. Although you will not actually be loading and moving the boxes and furniture, and will usually have a helper for the packing, this is active work. If you prefer sitting to physical activity, or have health challenges, you might want to consider another senior service business.
Starting your own senior relocation business is not difficult. The expert advice you’ll find in this step-by-step guide will give you the knowledge you need to get started right away. Here is just a sampling of what you’ll learn:
- How to start your senior relocation service for just a few hundred dollars.
- How to set up your senior relocation business, from licensing to record-keeping.
- How to pick a great name for your business – with 16 names to help you get started.
- Do you really need a business plan? Read this first, and use this ready-to-go sample plan if you need it.
- How to set your rates.
- The 10 steps to a successful senior move.
- How to get free advertising for your new senior relocation business.
- 12 community sources for free local referrals
- How to set up a simple 5-page website to promote your new business.
- Best 3 “add-on” profit centers for your senior relocation business.
- How to automatically get a 10% referral fee from contractors – includes a sample letter to use.
- Ready-to-print forms for your new business – a service agreement and a 2-page moving checklist.
- Resources for your senior relocation business and further training.
The opportunities are wide open in this fast-growing field, and so is the potential for above-average income. In fact, most established senior relocation services bring in a six-figure income. You’ll be providing a vital senior service, as well as earning the gratitude and respect from others in the senior services community who are thankful a service like this is available. A senior relocation service is the perfect business for anyone who enjoys helping other, and wants to make a solid income, regardless of what the economy is doing. It’s the essence of “doing well by doing good.”