This article originally appeared on the Springs "You're Home Blog."
Moving into a new apartment home should be an exciting time of anticipation and discovery. The anticipation can get deflated quickly if your first discovery is that your cherished belongings didn't make it there in the same condition they left the old place.
Isn't it worth a small investment of time to find the right moving company? We'll get you started with these tips for organizing your search and zeroing in on the best candidate.
1. Get First-Hand Referrals
People often find doctors, hair stylists, mechanics and other services through recommendations from family and friends. Stories of personal experience provide a perspective you can't find anywhere else. Talk to people in your circle about moving companies they have used.
2. Have a Face-to-Face Meeting
Based on the information you have gathered, select the top three or four companies and schedule appointments with each for an in-home estimate. If anyone attempts to give you an estimate over the phone, cross that company off the list immediately. It's impossible to be accurate without knowing exactly what will be involved in the move. This is also a good chance for you to judge those intangibles that give you a "gut feeling."
3. Prepare a List of Questions
Hindsight is 20/20, so be proactive by compiling a list of questions ahead of time. Ask about specific features that will help you properly evaluate the company, such as:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you charge a flat fee or by the hour? What additional charges might be incurred?
- Will your company actually perform the move, or do you subcontract?
- What are your U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and motor carrier (MC) license numbers?
4. Ask for References
A reputable moving company will be happy to furnish you with references. But don't stop there: be sure to follow up by contacting each one.
5. Complete Due Diligence
Moving companies are subject to government regulation, so you can get a wealth of information online from official sources. USDOT has a Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) site that provides company snapshots along with information on licensing, insurance and road safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of USDOT, has Protect Your Move, host to a database of customer complaints against moving companies and other valuable resources such as a free "Moving Fraud Prevention Guide."
Our Springs Apartments team wants your move-in day to be as smooth and stress-free and possible. Stop by the leasing office at any of our communities for a friendly smile and helpful information!