Because of the senior population boom, the demand for senior services has grown swiftly to keep pace. One of the best “new” senior service businesses is a senior relocation service. It’s a profitable and satisfying way to help others and make good money doing it. Because it’s a fairly new service, you may have some questions before you’re ready to get started. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about starting a senior relocation business:
1. What does a senior relocation service do?
Also called a senior move manager, or simply a senior mover, they assist seniors and their families with a move to a new, usually smaller, residence. They go beyond the basics of packing and unpacking and provide a full menu of services to help seniors have a stress-free move. After a get acquainted meeting with a new client, they provide a customized moving plan that usually includes:
- organizing, sorting and downsizing
- disposal of unwanted items through an estate or moving sale or donations to charities
- supervising movers
- professional packing and unpacking
- setting up the new residence.
2. How much are senior move managers paid?
A senior mover makes between $35 and $80 an hour, depending on what part of the country they work in. Small town rates are lower, and big city rates, where expenses are greater, are higher. The national average charge for a senior move manager is $52 per hour.
3. Who hires senior move managers?
Although quite a few jobs come from the seniors who are moving, many come from other professionals in the senior care community, such as eldercare attorneys and social workers, those who work at senior living communities and also from the families of seniors who are relocating.
4. What accounts for the rapid growth of this business?
The growth of the elderly population, now over 48 million seniors, is a big factor, but there are two other factors that also play a big part. Today, families often live far apart, so a senior’s adult children may not be able to help them move. Also, seniors are living longer, which can mean their own adult children may be too old to help, with health issues of their own.
5. How long does a typical moving project last?
Although no two moves are alike, which is one of the reasons this is never a boring business, most moves, from the initial planning and organizing stage to the unpacking at the new home, take about a month. Some happen faster, due to sudden health issues, and others can take months because of the amount of possessions to be sorted, disposed of, sold and packed.
6. Do you need special insurance?
In most instances, you’ll just need to let your insurance agent know you’re using your vehicle for business as well as personal use. Also, liability insurance is essential, as it protects both you and your clients. Any capable multi-line insurance broker can advise you on what is best for you.
7. How is a senior relocation service different from a moving company?
A senior move manager does much more then just sort possessions and handle packing and unpacking. Their job is much like a stage manager for a play. They organize and schedule all the players on the moving stage so the senior client won’t have to worry about anything. Instead of the normal emotional stress that can happen with a senior move, a senior move manager make sure the whole process is smooth and stress-free.
8. How old is the average senior relocation client?
Most senior clients are in their late 70s and early 80s, although many projects involve helping baby boomers in their 60s downsize to a smaller home after the kids have moved out.
9. Can I work part-time?
Of course. This is not a 9 to 5 job with a time clock. Each moving project is different, and those who only want to work a limited number of hours each month can take on only as many projects as they can handle on a part-time schedule. In this business, it is common to partner with another person so each can have a flexible schedule, yet still tackle a big moving project or a rush move.
10. Is it expensive to get started?
Not at all. Most of us already have the two essentials – a reliable vehicle and a cellphone. You don’t need a moving van, and the equipment needed, such as packing supplies, are ordered only as needed for a project. It is customary to charge a deposit at the start of each job, which more than covers the cost of purchasing the supplies for the move. One of the reasons this is such an appealing home-based service business is that you really can get started on a shoestring.
11. What if I’m not an expert packer or mover ?
Don’t worry – practice makes perfect. Most new senior movers do a few free moves to perfect their skills, or use videos to learn the tricks of the trade. For example, Uboxes.com has a series of 30 free free “how-to” videos on all aspects of professional packing.
12. How do I find new customers?
There are over a dozen free sources of new clients covered in my book. Happy customers, of course, will spread the word to their friends and family members. Senior care pros, such as social workers and those who work at senior living communities often refer clients. A simple free ad on Craigslist.org can help as well.
13. Do I need any special training or certification?
This is a simple business, so no classes or special training is required to get started. But you must have common sense, honesty and a desire to help others. If you’ve got a big heart, you’ll do well in this business.
14. I’m not very strong. How much heavy lifting is involved?
Although a big heart is important, a strong back is not, because a senior move manager does just that – manage all aspects of a client’s move. Of course, you will be doing sorting and packing, but the heavy work is done by the actual movers or your helper.
The opportunities are wide-open in this growing field, and so is the potential for above-average income. If you’ve been looking for a home-based business where you can earn a living helping others, consider starting a senior relocation service. To learn how, read How To Start A Profitable Senior Relocation Service.