Most folks who start a senior move manager business or senior relocation business do so because they genuinely enjoy helping others. In fact, many have already been working with seniors in other jobs. A big attraction is the income potential, as an established senior move manager can make over $100,000 per year.
The biggest challenge faced by those just getting started as a senior move manager is making sure they stay busy and bill their clients for all their on-the-job time. You can have plenty of clients, but if you don’t price your services right and bill for every hour you work for a client, you’re leaving money on the table. Too much money to ignore, as the average hourly rate is around $50 per hour. To prevent that from happening to you, here are a few tips from the pros that can help you earn more from your new senior move manager business:
1. Keep your prices competitive.
When you’re just getting started, you may be unsure of your skills and lack the confidence that comes from experience, which can lead to under-pricing your services. To prevent that mistake, call other senior move managers in your area, or go online to find them. For example, you can search for “senior move manager – Seattle” and just substitute your town or area. Doing this will give you a much better idea of current prices, so you can ensure your rates are just right – not too low and not so high as to lose business.
2. Let people know about all you do.
Be sure to inform your clients and prospects of all the services you offer. The more services, like managing a moving or estate sale or helping unpack on moving day, you can perform and charge for, the more you make. You may also be able to charge a premium rate for many services, as they may require more skill or experience than just packing boxes.
3. Reduce “down time” to increase your income.
Remember that you can not charge a client unless you are actually doing the work for them. The solution is to always get a deposit that is non-refundable if a client cancels, so you’re paid regardless. Next, always try to have a project on the “back burner,” like sorting and packing items for a client who won’t be moving immediately. It’s not uncommon for a senior move to take several weeks when you count all the sorting and organizing required for a 30 or more year accumulation of possessions!
4. Don’t forget those profitable “add-ons.”
There are quite a few additional charges that can increase your profits. Some senior moves must be completed in a hurry, for a variety of reasons, and will require working longer hours than normal. If you are expected to work more than 8 hours a day, or odd hours, charge your client extra for it. Most senior move managers add from 25% to 50% for overtime hours.
5. You don’t have to work for “passive income.”
One of the first things you should do when you start is to put together a list of trusted, capable service providers. For example, if you’re helping an elderly client move from a home that will be sold, you can suggest one of your “preferred providers” such as a painter or plumber, who would be happy to pay you a modest 10% referral fee for every job you sent his way. Your client benefits because the works gets done right and for a fair price, and you benefit because you earned passive income for just picking up the phone.
6. Don’t waste your time on newspaper or yellow page ads.
Spend your time building a network of referral sources, such as the move coordinators at local senior living communities, or the employees at the local senior center. In addition, run an inexpensive classified ad every month in local senior publications, like the monthly newsletter at senior centers and over-55 communities, and leave your business card and a few brochures there as well. Lastly, never forget that happy customers tell their friends about you!
7. Use your smart phone.
To ensure you are available when a client or prospect calls, always have your smart phone with you. Use a calendar app to manage your schedule and a billing app to track the hours – down to the quarter-hour – you are working for a client.
These are just a few of the secrets that can help your senior move manager business more profitable, and ensure happy clients and plenty of job prospects. To discover even more secrets about this rewarding business, read: How To Start A Profitable Senior Relocation Service.