In the current state of the world, the concept of moving to a new home can be a little more frightening than usual. Outside of the normal packing, labeling, heavy lifting, and transportation, one must also now consider the importance of social distancing, organization, and sterilization in such an endeavor.
For some clients of yours, there may be some skepticism or hesitancy to even want to get a new home and move right now. For others, moving is a necessity – whether due to a new job or a lease running out, and their moving dates are firm. As an agent, reassure them that there are steps that they can take to help ease their minds.
Take a look at a few moving tips to keep in mind:
First, and above all else, you should regularly check resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to stay up-to-date on the latest news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, proper precautions to take, and how that may affect your move during this time.
Organization and planning
While most that have moved before likely understand the value of a plan of action, it’s more important now than ever to stick to it and focus on the details. And the earlier, the better.
- Let’s start with utilities: With everything going on, there could potentially be delays in getting utility services transferred efficiently, whether due to higher call volumes than normal, or because some utility companies may be working with a smaller staff. Waiting until the week of a move to make those calls likely isn’t a wise move, pandemic or not. Who wants to be left without A/C….or heat…or whatever you may need for the Ohio weather!
- Packing: Lay out what materials you may need ahead of time – such as boxes, tape, tissue paper, bubble wrap, cleaning supplies, etc. Have your list of items, go to the store with the proper precautions (or even order what you can online), get what you need, and go home. You don’t want to have to go to the store multiple times because you forgot items on the first trip. Take a look at some more packing tips here.
- Stick to a schedule: Waiting until the last minute to do anything usually isn’t a good idea. Set a deadline for yourself and stay on task. For example, if your moving date is in 30 days, plan to have all of your items cleaned and packed (outside of what you need in your normal day-to-day) about 48 hours ahead of time. If you are using a moving company, they will likely provide these materials, and pack for you, and you should instead focus on grouping and cleaning your items ahead of time.
- Moving companies: We will touch on this more below, but the main takeaway (if you plan to use a moving company) is to know which dates they have available, and what precautions they are taking during this pandemic. Also, give the movers the best chance to serve you in the safest ways possible. One way is to allow them access to a sink, soap and paper towels. If this isn’t possible, providing hand sanitizer is also a good option.
Clean as you go
Even without a pandemic, using moving as an opportunity to deep clean your items is a “smart move.” Since you’re already handling your household items, wiping them down with a disinfectant wipe before putting into the moving box takes little extra time.
A couple other cleaning tips to keep in mind:
- If the new home you’re moving into recently had occupants (the previous owners), you should consider a professional cleaning company to go through and ensure that every nook and cranny is disinfected and sterilized. If that isn’t in the budget, you should take the necessary precautions and still wipe down rooms in the house on your own before unpacking. Focus especially on frequently-touched items such as door handles, countertops, and bathrooms. Give yourself a fresh start!
- Check the furnace filter and consider switching that out for a new one before turning on the heat…again, this is Ohio – it could be snowing in May!
For agents: use this as the opportunity to be their superhero
It’s no surprise that the best way to get future referrals is to provide an amazing experience for your client. But what some often overlook is the value of being there for a client through all stages of the transition – including the move.
Who are your go-to moving companies and cleaners? Sure, clients can always Google someone for the job, but imagine being able to recommend a vetted, trusted professional from your network for their needs. Especially now, clients need that comfort and assistance. That’s how you build trust and referrals. That’s how you build a successful real estate career!