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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Default Senior Move Managers

    I have been struggling since we moved 1.5 years ago to figure out what comes next in my life. I am trained as a librarian and worked at a public library in CT, but it's not something I want to do any more. Plus it's completely de-valued here. Most jobs I have found that work around my schedule pay less than $20/hour - a common amount seems to be $11/hour. I pay my babysitter more than that.
    Recently, I have focused in on Senior Move Management as a career. Self-employment would let me dictate my own schedule, it pays really well, and it uses a lot of my skills - namely organizing and selling stuff. I don't have much experience working with older people so that is something I need to get my head around.
    I have started the process of getting certified with the National Association of Senior Move Managers. I need to figure out a business name and file the paperwork with the state so that I can get insured and start looking for some initial jobs - I have to have 20 invoiced jobs before I get certified.

    Do you know anyone providing this service and/or have you used a move manager?
    Any other pearls of wisdom for starting a business like this?

    TIA

  2. #2
    robinsmommy is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We didn't use one for MIL, and it would have been easier to. I'd work on building your network - retirement homes, antique appraisers, movers, local organizer/declutterers, financial advisors, in-home care providers, real estate agents, estate sales, etc. Probably funeral homes as well - lots of people end up moving after losing a spouse and realizing they can't manage the house anymore.

    My MIL's retirement home has lists of people they recommend, and they are picky. Those referrals carry a lot of weight with people who probably haven't moved in decades and have no idea where to start, as well as with their kids who are likely overwhelmed and may not be in area and able to manage the move themselves. Get some of those lists from local retirement homes - those are people you need to network with as well.

    Hosting a free decluttering seminar (at a library or other free meeting spot) is a great way to get business. More formal paid classes may be an idea as well - does your community college offer anything to retirement age folks?

    I'd also consider shadowing someone in the business, perhaps out of area so as not to compete, to get a real idea of what you might run into (near hoarding) as well as making sure it is a good fit and what you expect it to be. I'd also ask them about pricing, as it is easy to have a business - turning a profit is much harder.

    ETA - I think it is a great idea for a growing business field. It probably will be a heavier work load in the summers, though - not sure if that would be an issue for you or not.
    Last edited by robinsmommy; 05-09-2018 at 03:37 PM.

  3. #3
    NCGrandma is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Robinsmommy makes a number of very good suggestions. I have lived in a CCRC (continuing care retirement community, for those who arenít familiar with it) for a while, and my CCRC offers similar lists of recommended providers. They are very picky about who to include on the list, because people moving here will see the list as an endorsement. Effective move managers, packers, movers, etc need to be very good at their part of the process (Iíve seen some amazing packers!), but they also need some personal characteristics that will help make them successful with senior clients. These include clear and effective communication, patience, creative ideas about downsizing while still retaining someone's most valued memories, patience, knowledge about any particular requirements or issues for the place where someone is moving, and understanding that if someone seems to be dithering and unable to make decisions, it may just be that this move is such a major upheaval after perhaps living in the same house for decades that itís hard to think about even if itís a desired move.

    In addition to the various things youíre working on in preparation for getting into this field, I strongly encourage you to find some informal ways to spend more time interacting with older people. Your comment about not having much experience with this was a bit of a red flag to me ó not a barrier, but something to work on while youíre working on while youíre figuring out all the logistics.

    Good luck!


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  4. #4
    catsnkid is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    My aunt and her husband had to downsize to assisted living and had to get rid of at least 75 % of their belongings. She hired professional packers to work with her as it was quite the process of rehoming stuff with friends/family, selling and getting rid of things. She never would have got it done without them. This is was in central MA.
    DS 6/09

  5. #5
    Percycat is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I'm not sure if this is what you are thinking about, but I contacted "A Place for Mom" when we were trying to figure out living options for my mother-in-law when my father-in-law died. She was like a real estate agent who assisted with selecting different senior living communities -- ranging from full independent living in separate homes to nursing care. Providers listed with APFM and paid some type of fee or commission when referrals purchased housing instead of the customer.

    APFM is a national organization. Perhaps you could sign with them to get experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    I would also imagine forming a network with local attorneys that specialize in trusts and the such would be helpful. Letís face it, you are looking for clients with enough money to be worth your time. Not my MIL who needs to move in with us from her 2 room apartment who lives off her social security! Until you get really going I think offering day price for a consult might me helpful. I could see people with moderate assets willing to pay a flat fee for a day. You could come in, look at the situation, get them unstuck from being overwhelmed, make some suggestions and go.

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