Relationships—and establishing trust within those relationships—are everything in the relocation business.
“In our industry, trust is built one move and one transaction at a time,”
said Editor Will Kohudic in Portal, the magazine of the International Association of Movers.
We couldn’t agree more
If you’re a relocation management company (RMC) outsourcing certain aspects of your services, you know that selecting the right relationships is crucial—and it takes a lot of trust. After all, the performance of your partners reflects directly back on you.
We’ve been establishing our own partnerships to execute international moves since 1958. In all that time, we’ve seen what creates strong relationships between RMCs and their moving partners—in other words, what builds trust.
Below, we’ve listed the five qualities to look for in a partner who’s assisting your transferees with their moves. This list will help you vet new partners so you can build lasting, trust-based relationships that result in happy clients all around.
#1: Look for a Partner with the Ability to Tailor Moves to Each Individual’s Needs
Every move is different. First and foremost, each individual or family has their own vision for how they want to relocate.
Additionally, when it comes to corporate relocations, every company has its own policies. These may even vary within the company, depending on an employee’s status. For example, some organizations may offer their employees an allowance (such as 200 pounds of air freight) or a lump-sum dollar figure to compensate them for relocation expenses. Other companies may be willing to pay for white glove service with packing and unpacking services for their top executives.
Look for a moving partner who is willing and able to accommodate all levels of service for your transferees. This adaptability will give you more flexibility to meet all of your individual corporate clients’ needs—from value-based moves designed to make the most of a lump-sum package to high-touch, VIP services for executives.
With a versatile moving partner, you’ll be able to confidently say “yes” to more long-term contracts, meet the needs of a broad variety of companies, and make a diverse range of transferees happy.
#2: Consider a Partner That’s Not Affiliated with a Van Line
Partnering with a national van line offers the familiarity of a trusted brand. However, choosing a national van line as a relocation partner does have a disadvantage: You’re locked into using their network, no matter what.
However, if you choose a provider that’s not affiliated with a van line, they’re able to select the highest-quality, best-value option based on the transferee’s origin and destination points. In other words, they have the flexibility to select the best choice for each move.
To Deepen Your Understanding, Consider This Analogy:
Let’s say you fly all over the U.S. for work. If you’re willing to fly with any carrier, you’ll have an array of options so you can choose the best deal and the best route for each trip. However, if you’re only willing to fly with one airline, you might have to pay more, and you might have to sit through several layovers.
In other words, being open to more than one carrier means options—and the opportunity to choose the highest-quality, highest-value option for each region you’re traveling to.
That’s the advantage of working with a moving partner that’s not affiliated with a van line. That said, you’ll also want to pair that quality with this next one.
#3: Seek Out Someone Who’s Already Built Trusted Relationships
We keep coming back to the concept of trust—probably because it’s the foundation for our entire industry. To do what we do requires a level of trust between every single link in the relocation chain.
When you’re looking for a partner to move your transferees, look for someone who’s established their own network of relationships and contacts. For example, DeWitt Move Worldwide is an approved Transportation Service Provider (TSP) in the GSA’s Centralized Household Goods Traffic Management Program. Through CHAMP, we’ve moved hundreds of Department of State employees all over the world.
When it comes to moves of that caliber, there are significant expectations that need to be met. As a result, we’ve developed a network of trusted partners all over the world who we know will get the job done right. And within those relationships, there’s a sense of accountability. When partners are familiar with each other, there’s a greater inclination on both sides to go the extra mile.
So when RMCs approach us to move their transferees, we’re confident that we have the contacts and the relationships to deliver five-star service through our network of trusted partners.
To uncover whether or not your partners have these kinds of trusted relationships, ask them about their past experience. You might consider questions like:
- How long have you been in business, and how many moves have you done?
- Do you specialize in certain destinations?
- Do you have experience in international moves as well as U.S. moves?
- How do you choose your partners?
- Tell me about some of your partner relationships in [location].
These kinds of questions will help you understand whether your prospective relocation partner has the relationships they need to execute your transferees’ moves flawlessly.
#4: Ask About the Team Members Coordinating These Moves
It’s easy to think that a move is a move—a simple transfer of goods from Point A to Point B.
However, if the pandemic and the subsequent supply chain woes taught us anything, it’s that logistics problems are becoming unavoidable. Whether we’re facing unexpected port/rail congestion, the looming threat of a strike, container/chassis availability issues, or shifting ocean freight schedules, coordinating household goods moves has been a bumpy ride as of late.
In other words, it’s more important than ever to be working with a moving partner that has an experienced team. The challenges we mentioned above—as well as the myriad others we didn’t—require a lot of creativity and problem-solving, qualities born out of expertise.
Consider a scenario in which a driver is waiting hours to pick up an empty 20′ container for a relocation. (Unfortunately, this has become a common scenario!) However, once the driver finally gets to the front of the line, there are no 20′ containers available.
An experienced moving professional will start running through the potential solutions—ask if there are 40′ containers available, calculate the approximate difference in cost, reach out to the shipping line to see if a flex booking is available, etc.—i.e., what solutions can we come up with to keep this relocation moving forward?
A split-second decision in the moment could mean the difference between losing a day and possibly even missing a sail date, which could mean additional delays.
As you vet potential partners, ask about the team members that will coordinate moves on your behalf. What kind of experience do they have? How are they responding to today’s logistical challenges? Are they the kind of people who will spring into action right away with the out-of-the-box thinking that leads to solutions?
In other words, even though a move is technically about getting household items from one place to another, the people handling those logistics matter more than ever.
#5: Inquire About Unusual Capacities That Could Create Ease
Finally, make sure to find out what makes your potential moving partners special. In other words, see if they have a particular capacity that might make your life significantly easier.
Let’s say you’re pursuing a corporate client with a significant presence in Hawaii—such as a hotel with multiple locations across the Hawaiian Islands that frequently moves management-level employees to and from the state.
In that case, working with a moving partner with a physical presence in Hawaii can mean greater peace of mind for everyone. You’ll feel confident that the moving partner truly understands a remote destination like Hawaii. Additionally, in the event of a hiccup, they have on-island team members who can make things right—fast.
With the partnership our DeWitt sister company, Royal Hawaiian Movers, we’re able to offer this kind of confidence to our RMCs. We handle the move start to finish internally with impeccable service, delivered by our on-island teams.
The unique capability you’re seeking will vary depending on the kind of corporate clients you’re servicing. However, when you’re able to find a match—as we’ve been able to do for our RMCs moving transferees to Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam—it creates a more seamless customer experience and less stress all around.
Building Relationships, Creating Trust
At the end of the day, relocations are about people—the transferees moving to a new home, the people handling the household goods shipment as it moves from origin to destination, and the people who work together to coordinate the move from start to finish. The trusted relationships between all of those parties is what makes it all work.
With the above list of five qualities to seek out, you’ve got the basis to closely vet your partners—and create the trusted relationships that will deliver an exceptional relocation experience, making you a trusted, invaluable partner to your corporate clients.
Are you a Relocation Management Company looking for a relocation partner to assist your transferees? We’ve got trusted relationships all over the world as well as experienced team members who will ensure a safe, stress-free move for your transferees. Just reach out to start a conversation. We’d love to build a trusted partnership with you.
Tell us about your move!