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Hiring A Beaverton Moving Company: The Difference Between Residential and Commercial Moves

Hiring A Beaverton Moving Company: The Difference Between Residential and Commercial Moves

Hiring the right moving company for your move starts by knowing what to look for. 

Knowing what to look for is partly determined by the property type you’re moving from. The property type in this context will be either residential or commercial. 

Residential properties are houses, townhomes, condos, and apartments. 

Commercial properties are retail storefronts, offices, warehouses, or some combination of the three.

Whether your move is residential or commercial will drive the decision about which local moving company to hire for many reasons.

First, it will determine whether or not your move needs a project manager. Next, it will determine the pricing model and how the final amount due is calculated. Lastly, it will influence the size of the company you should hire. 

In this article, you will learn how the pre-move planning stage for residential moves is different than business moves. You will learn about different pricing models and how to reduce the risk and cost burden of moving. We will also discuss how staffing issues can derail your move and how to avoid them.

Pre-Move Planning

For the most part, residential moves are similar to each other and can be executed with minimal pre-move planning. They typically involve moving boxes,  appliances, sofas, tables, dressers, and beds. 

The moving process is straightforward and can be completed using basic moving equipment and supplies like dollies, blankets, and shrink wrap.

Mover moving boxes on a dolly.
Local residential moves require less planning than commercial moves.

If a problem arises, it can usually be resolved on the spot by the moving crew.  The movers need only be trained on standard moving techniques and safety practices.

Commercial moves are more complex than residential moves. They require advanced planning and the role of project manager that most residential moves don’t need.

For example, with office moves the schedules between multiple parties must be coordinated. Everyone including the corporate move manager, company ownership, employees, and outside vendors all need to be on the same page.

Commercial mover project manager.
Experienced project managers are essential for complex commercial moves.

Moving a warehouse often requires special equipment to move machinery, pallets, and other types of heavy lifting.

Commercial moves are more complex than residential moves. They require advanced planning and the role of project manager that most residential moves don’t need.

The project manager coordinates with all parties and makes sure the moving crew has the equipment they need. They also plan for contingencies and provide real-time customer support.

For business moves, we recommend hiring a commercial moving company with project managers on staff with proven commercial moving experience and credentials. For instance, look for certifications from the Office Moving Alliance or the American Moving and Storage Association.

Pricing Model

The most common pricing model for a residential move is an hourly rate. 

With hourly rate pricing, the cost of services is calculated by multiplying the hourly rate by the hours worked.

The moving company will ask questions about the move and come up with a free estimate. Estimates will be higher for larger properties and lower for smaller ones.

With hourly rate pricing, the moving crew is expected to hustle and work with a sense of urgency. They will avoid idleness and honestly report working, driving, and break times.

Moving working hard packing boxes in a truck.
Good movers have an innate desire to hustle and earn tips (Credit: U-Haul)

With hourly rate pricing, the customer assumes 100% of the cost risk. The moving company bills for the actual time it takes to deliver the moving services. This is true even if the job takes more time than was estimated. The customer is obligated to pay for the full time.

With hourly rate pricing, the moving crew is expected to hustle and work with a sense of urgency.

Commercial moves are more challenging to estimate because their scope can vary greatly from job to job.

For this reason, customers can de-risk the engagement by asking for fixed-fee pricing.

With fixed-fee pricing, the moving company agrees to deliver the service for a set amount.  The customer agrees to pay this amount even if the work is completed in less time than the estimate.

The moving company assumes more of the cost risk with a fixed-fee agreement. The added risk is usually offset by adding a 10-15% contingency fee and clearly defined terms to mitigate scope creep. 

Customer signing a moving agreement.
Fixed-fee agreements shield customers from unexpected costs.

When choosing a Beaverton or Portland moving company, you want to know if the service agreement pricing model is hourly or fixed-fee. 

If your move is a commercial move, you should seek out a moving company that offers fixed-fee contracts. This is especially important for large properties where an hourly rate arrangement could lead to a huge bill.

Company Size

When compared to residential moves, commercial moves require more movers for several reasons.

For instance, residential properties are typically smaller than commercial properties and it’s easier to move furniture designed for the home.

Large office printers, file cabinets, and boardroom-sized tables can take four or more people to move. Household items like sofas, tables, and beds can be moved with just two.

Commercial moves also require more assembly and disassembly. Breaking down and setting up office furniture like cubicle systems and desks takes both time and resources.

Larger companies are better suited for commercial moves because they have more movers on staff compared to smaller companies.

Choosing a company with a deep bench increases your chance of having a full moving crew on move day.

Keep in mind moving companies are constantly dealing with sudden staffing changes caused by injury, fatigue, and COVID-19. 

The larger the company is the more effective it will be at responding to these issues quick and efficiently.

Conclusion

Not all professional movers serving Beaverton will have the same capabilities. Some will be large major chains with years of experience, while others will be small independent businesses.

Know the difference between local and long distance moving. If you’re moving from an office or warehouse, be sure to hire movers in Beaverton with proven commercial moving experience.

Know what your needs are and to seek out a company with matching skills and great customer service.