How the Pandemic Has Affected the Relocation Industry

Almost every industry has been affected by the pandemic, and the moving industry is no exception. Although a lot of families are putting their relocation plans on hold until things return to normal, there is still a constant demand for moving services across the country. For one, people have no choice but to relocate because of the pandemic. On the other hand, some people are taking advantage of the recession to buy homes at low prices.

Whatever the case may be, moving services are always part of the equation. However, the industry is not exempt from the impact of the pandemic, such as:

Social distancing

If you contact a trusted local mover, they will most likely request that you do not participate in the move itself to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Since social distancing is one of the key factors in COVID-19 prevention, most moving companies have integrated it into their policies. Of course, they cannot force homeowners to not be a part of the move at all, but they can request clients to isolate themselves or leave the house entirely while the move is ongoing.

Fewer workers on-site

The fewer people there are inside the home at one time, the lower the risk of transmission. Thus, some moving companies are sending out fewer employees on moving jobs to make physical distancing easier. However, this is not always possible nor cost-effective, especially for big moves. Hence, most moving companies have adopted additional safety guidelines such as:

  • Using separate vehicles to travel to the worksite
  • Wearing masks at all times
  • Maintaining as much distance from each other as possible during the moving process
  • Performing a health check before each workday
  • Although there it is often impossible to avoiding close contact entirely, limiting those circumstances is vital to everyone’s safety.

movers moving boxes

Video surveys

Before moving companies can give clients a quote, they would have to perform a home survey to determine how many people they need and how much time it would take to complete the moving process. But due to pandemic restrictions, there has been a rapid increase of video surveys to replace traditional in-home surveys. During a video survey, a client communicates with the mover through a video communication tool (e.g. Skype or Zoom) and walks them through the home to give them a gauge of the work.

Not only do video surveys limit close contact with clients; they also improve sales efficiencies. Since companies no longer have to send a person to survey the home on-site, pricing quotes and closing deals become much faster.

Hygiene and sanitation

Just like many other businesses, moving companies have also become more vigilant about their cleaning, hygiene, and sanitation practices. Moving trucks are now sanitized between each use, and movers wash their hands and use sanitizer regularly to reduce the risk of infection. On top of that, many companies are requiring their movers to use gloves, although the efficacy of which is still up for debate.

Increased preparation

Before the pandemic, it was not uncommon for homeowners to still be packing and organizing boxes on the day of the move itself. But today, this practice is no longer acceptable.

To maintain proper physical distancing during the move itself, many movers are requesting clients to ensure that everything is packed and prepared before moving day. Doing so helps avoid close contact between movers and clients, as well as reduces the time it would take to complete the loading process.

Financial contingencies

Since the pandemic began, the moving industry has taken a huge hit. From canceled moves to a lack of clients, many moving companies have struggled and are continuing to struggle to stay afloat. Furthermore, other businesses, such as storage companies and packing suppliers, are also feeling the impact of the pandemic.

In order to survive, many moving companies have resorted to various means, such as:

  • Securing small business loans
  • Applying for relief programs
  • Entering into modified payment agreements with suppliers
  • Offering discounts to attract more clients
  • Extending services beyond residential relocation
  • Laying off people

The last option is the worst, and many companies treat it as a last resort. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to avoid during an economic recession.

There has been a lot of changes in the moving industry in the past couple of years, and the ones we’ve mentioned here are some of the most common ones. But with vaccinations rolling out, things are likely to return to normal anytime soon. Although it is still early to tell, if real estate sales rise due to the country’s economic recovery, moving companies can look forward to more clients in the future.

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