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5 Tips for a Stress-Free Move: An Interview with Josh Finklea of Golden Movers LLC

By Josh Finklea

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Golden Movers LLC is an independent, family owned, Christian moving company based in the Tampa Bay Area. We service moves from as small as a 1-bedroom apartment, to as big as a full-service VIP move. We offer local, statewide (intrastate) and nationwide (interstate) relocations. We have been in business going on 14 years now. Prior to starting Golden Movers LLC, we worked for many years with the major Van Lines (Mayflower, Atlas, North American) in various positions up and down the company, from packing and moving, to sales, to multiple high-level management positions.

We specialize in a variety of areas that are in addition to just moving; packing, crating, pianos, chandeliers, pool tables, and even auto transport. We put a premium on quality here at Golden Movers, which is what has made us the best and allowed us to grow to where we are today. We truly expect a perfect move every time. We do not cut corners when it comes to quality, which is why we boast the lowest claims ratio in the industry that we are aware of. We greatly value the trust given to us when performing a move, which is why we are very careful with who we put in your home. We use only Golden Movers employees. We do not hire day laborers, temp agencies, or people off the street. We strive to keep the same crew on your job all the way through, even on Interstate relocations. Golden Movers values meeting the customer's needs and catering specifically to them.

Statistically, moving is the third most stressful time in a person's life. Our goal is to not only provide a damage free move, but to provide as stress free a relocation as possible. A customer has enough things to worry about. We don't want them to have to worry about us getting the job done, and getting it done right. We currently have three box trucks, two pup trailers, and three full-size tractor trailers. We are a member of the FMWA (Florida Movers and Warehouseman's Association), which we currently hold a spot on the board. We are a Certified Florida ProMover. We are a member of AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association), as well as a Certified National ProMover.

What are some of the challenges that people in Florida face when they're moving to another home?

Currently in today's economy, some of the biggest struggles we see homeowners run into when moving into another home deal with delays associated with the new home. Closing delays from title companies and mortgage brokers carry the biggest frustration for the home owners and the moving company, as it makes it very difficult to schedule a move or reschedule a move on just a couple days' notice when a closing falls through or gets postponed. The same holds true for new construction, as well as renovated homes, as they often do not meet their target date of completion.

Another common challenge that Florida specifically deals with is the weather. Though the heat can be stifling in the summer, it's the afternoon thunderstorms that pop up unexpectedly and regularly during the summer season that can cause the moving day to last longer.

What can they do to help prevent or solve those challenges?

Unfortunately, the delays are many times out of the control of the homeowner. The best thing you can do is be organized, plan ahead and stay persistent with the companies you are dealing with. While you may have no control over the buyer of your current home, the contractor's schedule, or the bank or title company's efficiency, you can be sure to have all of your details straight and ducks in a row to ensure no delays will come from your end. Stay in constant communication with the companies involved.

As for the weather, companies are used to dealing with this. There is not a lot that the customer can do to help with this other than stay calm and trust your movers (if they have earned that trust). Golden Movers performs a full pad wrap of all your furniture, including the bottoms, inside your residence before they ever leave to go on the truck. Your upholstery is fully padded and shrink wrapped to protect it from damage, dirt or moisture. We utilize flooring protection in the main walkways in the way of rug runners, as well as Masonite on hardwood floors. By having everything properly padded, wrapped and packed before it gets loaded on the truck, this allows us to work through the rain as long as its light. If it gets heavy, we can drape additional pads over your belongings while its being taken to the truck to protect it from the rain. Should the rain be too difficult to work through, we can stay busy inside the house, padding and prepping the load in order to stay productive and be ready to go once the rains stop. We also will typically assign one or two team members to remain in the house so their feet stay clean to prevent tracking in.

If you needed to move, what steps would you take to make the process stress-free?

The biggest key to making a move stress free is the preparation and planning. Make sure you schedule you movers 2-3 weeks in advance at a minimum, or 3-4 weeks minimum for out of state moves.

Make sure you are properly packed prior to moving. This is a very important key to ensuring a smooth, stress-free move. Everything should be packed and ready to move prior to the movers arriving. Customers who are busy trying to finish packing while the movers are there, are always more stressed than ones who are ready to go. This also keeps the movers happy as they will not have to work around the items that are not ready, or wait for the customer to finish.

When possible, do not schedule multiple contractors or businesses on the move day. Customers who are getting their water turned on, cleaning the house, getting the cable hooked up, having the painters finish up, getting the screened in porch or pool worked on, having the electrician fix something, etc., all cause a lot of added stress to the customer, as well as make it difficult for them to be available for the movers to answers any questions they have or instruct where things should go.

Another key tip is to write the room on all the boxes, specifically on the side of the box (not top), so that the movers will know where to put them. This prevents the movers from putting the boxes in the wrong room, asking you frequently where a box should go, or you having to open up box after box trying to determine where it should go. This will also keep your movers happy.

Can you share one of the biggest regrets you've seen people have about their move?

The biggest regrets we have seen and heard from customers are not being prepared and going with the cheapest mover/not doing their homework on who they are hiring. We fully understand that price is a very important and deciding factor when it comes to moving. However, the old saying of you get what you pay for is often the case when it comes to moving companies. There are a lot of second- and third-rate movers who will offer a very low price, and their quality reflects it. They will cut corners with quality, and their customer service will often lack as well. Most of the time, if consumers do their homework and research who they are hiring or considering beforehand, they will learn if the company has bad reviews, are not professional, or are even not registered and licensed as a mover.

What are some things homeowners should look for in a moving company to ensure that their move will be as easy and stress-free as possible?

Do your homework and know who you are hiring! Make sure they are licensed and insured. Make sure you are hiring a mover who is a member of the FMWA, and more specifically a Florida ProMover. You can search for a member in your area on their website (www.FMWA.org). This will ensure you are getting a company who is operating legally, following proper guidelines and regulations, as well as abiding by the code of ethics set forth by the FMWA.

Whenever possible, try and get a visual in-home survey done. Knowledge and communication are key to a successful, stress-free relocation. The more knowledge that the consumer and the company have about the move details, and each other, and the more communication that takes place, ensures that expectations are met on both sides. If you cannot get a visual quote, be as honest, thorough and detail-oriented as you can be in your communication of what you need accomplished, what the truck accessibility is like, as well as any special expectations you have.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

813-714-8119 - Main,
info@goldenmovers.com - Email
Feel free to call us direct to schedule a survey or get an estimate. If you have general questions and want to learn more about who we are, feel free to call. During the summer peak season, it may be better to email us with those questions however. Our website is a great resource of information on our company, and other info related to moving. You can request a quote directly through our website as well.

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