Moving can be a grueling process. As much as we might not enjoy it though, it’s something most of us will do all too often. In fact, in the US alone 33% of renters move each year, and 43 million overall change location in the same time span. With such a large market out there, one would think that the costly, and physically demanding process would have been made easier.
HireAHelper is aiming to do just that. The California based company serves as an online marketplace to make moving easier than it’s ever been. Essentially a market for labor, it puts the entire process more in the hands of the new tenant themselves, allowing them to pick their help, and rate them afterwards.
Their Founder and CEO, Mike Glanz took the time to speak to us about the company, what it adds to the moving market, and what we can expect to see from it in the future. Oh, he also provided some words of advice for the aspiring entrepreneur.
Tell us a bit about HireAHelper. How does it assist someone in deciding how to work out their moving process?
HireAHelper is an online marketplace for moving labor, providing both commercial and residential customers with the additional help they need to compete their relocation project. Using HireAHelper, people can find hourly moving labor that’s local to them – and that can do all the heavy lifting associated with loading and unloading a rented moving truck or storage container. We call this the “Hybrid Move” because it’s half D.I.Y. move and half full service move. It combines the best of both worlds: the affordable parts of the D.I.Y. move and the convenience of the full-service move. All a customer has to do is enter their move date and their zip code where they need the help and they can instantly see local movers who are available on that day to help them. They can then compare prices and reviews, credentials, equipment, etc. and decide which mover is right for their needs and their budget, and then book them online in less than 5 minutes. We also have our own in-house customer service team to make sure all moves are going smoothly.
Being a marketplace, we really have two customers: the people who are moving, and the helpers that help those people move. So on the flip side, HireAHelper is a platform to help small labor-only moving companies run their business and get moving jobs. We’re constantly launching new features to their accounts to help them run their business easier, and to make their jobs go smoother. We also launched our Movers Academy section last year, which is a free resource to help train their crew members to be the best in the business.
What was the major problem in the moving industry which led you to creating the company?
Moving is expensive and it’s usually a miserable experience – so we’ve tried to address these problems with the launch of HireAHelper. For a few hundred dollars, consumers can now hire local moving professionals who will load and unload a rental truck or moving container. By foregoing the full-service move, which literally costs thousands of dollars, consumers can save significantly. And best of all, you don’t have to ask your friends to help you move.
Most people also appreciate retaining possession of their items throughout their moving process. There are a lot of bad actors in the full-service moving industry, and some people just aren’t comfortable letting someone drive off with all of their belongings. HireAHelper not only helps provide the labor, but also the piece of mind that you’re in control of your possessions at all times.
Your service puts substantial emphasis on the fact that users can leave reviews for service providers. How important is transparency to this business model?
Transparency is the lifeblood of our service. Most consumers hire movers blindly through the classifieds or online web searchers. We guard our customers’ reviews like gold – they’re never edited or removed. We’ve read so many news reports questioning the validity of disappearing reviews on other big name websites, we’re proud to stand on the transparency of our massive collection of reviews.
How are moving companies listed on the site? Is it a process of individual registration, or does HireAHelper source data from across the country?
Each service provider applies individually. Once their application is vetted and approved, an account is created for them. They fill out their own account details and service offerings. They set their own service radius, crew size, equipment offered, and most importantly, pricing. They also actively manage their availability in this account through our calendar app, which is the magic that allows customers to book movers based on instant availability.
What have you made of the consumer response so far?
“I wish I knew about this service the last time I moved.” 99% of the time that’s the response we get. Customers are absolutely delighted with how much easier and faster their move is, and how little they had to pay to get that. Most of America still feels obligated to move themselves (most research shows around 80% of the 40 million people that move each year don’t hire movers) because they think the only alternative is to spend thousands of dollars on a big expensive moving company or van lines (think Mayflower, United, etc.). They just don’t see the value in those traditional moving services. They’d rather risk their back, their friendships, and the safety of their belongings than pay that much money to have someone else move it. So far we’ve received almost 40,000 reviews for our service and the service providers in our marketplace, and we’re proud to say that after all those reviews the average review score is 4.7 out of 5.
As an entrepreneur, and having created a successful startup, what are some of the keys to making a business work?
You can’t be too stubborn to learn. When I started the business and went out to raise money, I thought it was a little cliche that most investors applauded me for being “coachable,” but looking back my willingness to learn, adapt, and seek out good advice (and filter the bad) was probably the most important trait that helped me succeed as an early CEO.
There are hardly any problems you’ll run into as a new CEO that haven’t been solved by someone at some point in time. There is a lot written on business, and a lot of really smart people out there who just want to help. Finding the right thing to do is rarely the difficult part… following the advice whether it be counter intuitive, against something you stand for, or “not how you want to run your company” is the hard part.
This isn’t to say that you should manage by committee… you need to make your own decisions and it should be clear who’s steering the ship. Early employees need a confident leader to make decisions – but there is a veritable smorgasbord of free business advice available for anyone willing to listen.
Is there anything our readers should know about HireAHelper in terms of news for the future, or the best way to get in touch
Right now, the future of labor in this country is being shaped through different “sharing” & “gig economy” services, and as a marketplace for thousands of labor providers across the country for almost 8 years now, we feel like we’ve got the experience, the right model, and the right team to make a big impact on that.
Additionally, we mentioned our Moving 101 resource section. Well it’s currently in its “MVP” state, but we’ll be iterating on it and adding new sections soon, like self storage and packing videos. No matter how you decide to move, there’s always a bit of “do-it-yourself” involved, and we’re really striving to be the place that helps you get all aspects of your move done faster and easier, and get back to the exciting reason you’re moving: new job, new home, new neighborhood…whatever it may be.
If you’re truly interested in following the moving industry (who isn’t, right??) – including the latest tips, hacks, gadgets, or tools – keep an eye on our blog (http://blog.hireahelper.com/). We write regularly about all things moving-related. We, of course, also share stuff that interests us and helps people move easier on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hireahelper) and on twitter (@hireahelper).
The best way to get in touch is to visit the website at www.hireahelper.com or to give us a call at 1.800.995.5003.