Errands Group Move Coordination
By Don Sheridan
Often said, the three most dreaded things in life are death, divorce and moving. While death is inevitable, divorce optional, moving can at least be manageable by hiring the service of a professional move coordinator.
Brian Sites has owned and operated Errands Group, a professional move coordination and estate management company, since 2007. Prior to starting his own business, Sites held various executive positions with Wells Fargo Bank, where he was exposed to servicing high net worth customers with discretion and integrity.
Recently retired Irvine Company President Richard Sim and his wife Ann used Sites to coordinate their move from Woodbridge to Big Canyon. “We couldn’t have done it without him,” Richard said. “He made the move painless and exceeded our expectations. When we walked into our new home on Sunday evening after spending the day with our grandchildren, everything was perfect: the TVs worked, closets were organized, food was in the refrigerator … just perfect … we recommend him to all of our close friends.”
I recently caught up with Sites in Corona del Mar for a few questions about his business and move coordination.
Q: What do you do?
A: Simply put, we alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with
moving and give our clients a new “simplicity of life” when they move into their new home.
Q: Who hires you?
A: Clients who use our services come from all walks of life, from the busy professional to the retiree. Moving is stressful and our clients would rather be focused on living their lives than dealing with the complexities of moving.
Q: When is the best time for you to get involved with the client?
A: Since most of my business is by referral through high-end real estate agents, I get involved early in the process, sometimes before the home is even listed for sale. We first make an assessment of the home and homeowner. How long have they lived there? This is very important, because the longer the residence, the longer the attachment to the things that reside there. Prior to moving, our goal is to de-clutter and help our clients let go of possessions that no longer serve them. After the initial “sort and review” we make a plan for “what goes where” – some to storage, some to the kids, some to charity and the best goes to the new house. Once the de-clutter process has concluded, we stage the home for sale using the client’s own furniture. We don’t add to it – we simply use what they have, making the best of what is already there. Once the home sells, we coordinate the packing and moving. We use detailed computer-assisted plans to show where everything goes in the new home. Everything is cataloged and photographed. Boxes are labeled by our special system which shows which room the box came from and where it is going in the new home. Boxes are also packed with our special “nesting” method where recycled paper cushions all of the items from potential damage. At the new home, we reverse the process, packing becomes unpacking, we arrange clothes in closets and dressers, put all of the kitchen items in their pre-determined places, arrange for flat screen TVs and audio equipment to be hooked up, hang art, place furniture and stage the home. We also have the home cleaned after the movers leave. When the homeowners arrive, all is ready for them, champagne chilling, and glasses ready. Congratulations!
Q: How much do your services cost?
A: We charge by the square foot (including the garage.) We cover the packing and unpacking labor, packing materials, cleaning of both properties, and donation and recycle pick up. The homeowner is responsible for paying the moving company, mover supplies and crating cost. We do supply them with three bids from movers we use on a regular basis and rarely can they get a better price than we get
because of our relationship with our movers. At the end of the day, the homeowner only writes two checks, one to Errands and one to the movers. When the owners
come home, the house is ready to be enjoyed.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A. Being useful to the client during an emotional time, and the huge level of trust that my clients place in me is a privilege. I act as a surrogate for the client, I’m charged with all of the decision making on the job from beginning to end. That’s a huge responsibility. I also appreciate that I am of value to my agents, those who referred me in the beginning. To them, I give value by their knowing that every detail is being taken care of. They don’t have to worry about the house being cleaned or the washer/dryer valves leaking when the appliances were removed. We are there for them, to take care of these things. It’s a privilege for me to be invited into people’s homes and lives. They trust me with their most personal possessions … their “black boxes” and everyone has one.
Q: What’s a black box?
A: That’s the stuff that they don’t want ANYBODY to know about. Whether it’s jewelry, cash, whatever … they trust me with it … with their secrets. They know whatever it is, it stays with me. Period. I get ingrained in their life for a short but dynamic period of time. It’s all based on trust. I move their anxiety level from over head high to manageable. My goal is to move it to stress free. And I also try to make the move fun; after all, buying a new home should be fun. It means a new start, a new beginning – it’s the natural cycle of life.
Brian Sites can be contacted through the Errands Group at 949.278.6934 or
visit him anytime on the web at www.errandsgroup.com
Don Sheridan is a real estate agent at HOM Real Estate Group. He blogs
regularly at www.2sheridans.com and maintains a list of high quality
service people at www.2sheridans.com/helping friends. You can reach him at 949.478.7723, by cell at 949.433.7078, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.