Homeowners relocating to their new house need all the help they can get on moving day. You may know of reputable companies and websites you can recommend to clients to better organize their move. Heck, some real estate professionals even offer their own relocation services. But you should also be familiar with a handful of moving apps and cloud services that can make many laborious relocation tasks easier to manage. Few practitioners seem to be aware of these tools, let alone use them in their interactions with clients. Those who do say it’s an opportunity to demonstrate service above and beyond the usual.
“It’s all about making [clients’] transition as smooth as possible and providing the highest quality service,” says Chad Dixon, a sales associate with RE/MAX Results in Eden Prairie, Minn. His brokerage provides its agents with accounts on Updater, an app that streamlines moving-related chores such as changing the address, setting up utilities, and forwarding mail. Dixon invites clients to connect to the service on their smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Whether you’re recommending apps for comparing and choosing moving companies or for organizing packing and unpacking, being familiar with a mobile solution that will work for relocating clients makes you “more of a resource to the new homeowner at a time when there’s so much else they have to worry about,” says Jessica Continenza, a RE/MAX Results sales associate in the company’s Wayzata, Minn., office. Continenza also uses Updater and says nearly 90 percent of her clients use it as well. “[The app] reminds them of all the ways I can be of service to them.”
Continenza has used Updater for her own move to her first home last year. Having personal experience and knowledge of how the app works, she can make a stronger case to her clients for why they should use it. “I email clients to tell them they’ll be receiving a link to a service I know from experience will simplify their move and save them time,” she says. “All I have to do is enter the client’s name, current and new address, and Updater takes care of everything else.”
For the team at Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in Nanuet, N.Y., using relocation apps with their clients is a way to differentiate their business. “We’re always looking for tools and technology to provide services that aren’t offered by other brokerages,” says Adam DiFrancesco, e-PRO, SFR, associate broker and business development manager at BHG Rand Realty. The company not only uses Updater with clients but also has branded the apps with the company logo. DiFrancesco says client feedback is especially positive among those who are moving to the area from out of town. “When you’re new to the area and don’t know who to contact or who the suppliers are, you really need the kind of help it provides,” he says.
Most moving apps and cloud services are available to consumers for free or at low cost. Some address a specific aspect of the move, whether it’s creating an inventory of possessions, calculating moving costs, or soliciting and comparing bids from moving companies. A few others offer these as a suite of integrated tools.
Buyers and sellers are all moving somewhere new, and as their real estate adviser, you can alert them to what’s available to help them through a relocation. Take the lead as a full-service agent and recommend or provide tools such as those listed in the box to the right.