What are Moving Agents and What Do They Do?

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How Moving Agents Work

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There are a lot of people you will have to interact with during a move, but you can be sure that most of your time will be spent talking to moving agents. These are the people who talk to both you and the moving company during the move and facilitate the process by setting up and overseeing some aspects of the relocation. There are a few different types of moving agents and different types of responsibility given to each of them. 

Independent vs. company

One thing to consider when dealing with moving agents is who exactly is paying them. Much like moving consultants, moving agents can either be independent or work for a particular moving company. They usually get paid a commission from a moving or real estate company for any move that they help facilitate. Independent agents can choose their favorite companies to work for while a company agent obviously can only represent their own company. It is always important to know who is paying an agent and how he gets his money when you are working with him to move. Commissions could be based on the sale price, so it may not always be in an agent's best interest to truly try to get you the cheapest estimate. Despite the presence of certifications or guarantees, it is a good idea to know where the money if coming from for someone who is advising you to spend your own money.

The different types of agents

Booking agents: Booking agents are there at the beginning of the move to initiate the process. Some of what they do may include, but is not limited to:
  • Making the initial contact with you (the client)
  • Explaining what services particular movers offer
  • Helping you choose a moving company (if independent)
  • Providing access to all of the required paperwork before you can move and helping you with filling it out 
  • Providing estimates to the client
  • Acting as a general liaison to the moving company for the client
Origin agents: Origin agents are in charge of the the pickup and loading process. Sometimes origin and booking agents are the same person since it all is pre-move planning. Here is what you can expect an origin agent to do:
  • Talk about payment more specifically with the client--you can negotiate a price and payment method with your origin agent
  • Schedule the pickup and loading times with the moving company
  • Schedule unloading and pickup times for the client when they reach their destination
  • Make arrangements for storage facilities if they are needed
  • Finalize the moving paperwork needed before the move
  • Act as a liaison between client and company, especially during disputes
Destination agents: Destination agents oversee and facilitate all of the aspects of moving once you get to your new home. Again, this job could be done by the same person as the two previous agent designations. Destination agents are responsible for:
  • Hiring the movers to unload the moving truck if a new crew is necessary for a long distance move
  • Arranging for storage services in the new location, if needed
  • Acting as a mediator between the moving company and the client
  • Finishing the paperwork process after the move is complete
  • Securing payment from the customer/client
  • Addressing any damage claims or complaints made on site by the client
Freight agents: Freight agents are a little different--they are only necessary when a move is international and overseas shipping is used. Because of this specialty, these agents are rarely responsible for the other agent duties and usually are not directly affiliated with a particular moving company. Generally, freight agents oversee the entire shipping process which includes:
  • Deciding on the best way to transport your shipment
  • Supervising and coordinating the loading and unloading processes, including making an official itinerary and inventory
  • Maintaining contact with the client, providing updates on the location and status of the shipment
  • Producing, filling out, and providing customs forms, licenses, the Bill of Lading, and any other documentation that is needed for the shipping and moving to be official and accepted at its destination
  • Collecting payment from the customer upon the shipment's safe arrival 
If certain moving agents are able to provide most of these services simultaneously, then you could probably classify them as moving consultants. Even though you may think their intentions are dubious since they usually get paid commissions for moving you, these agents can make the moving process substantially easier for you.

It is extremely difficult to keep track of all the payments, scheduling, and paperwork on your own. Moving agents get paid by either you or the moving company to take care of these annoying parts of moving so that you don't have to.

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on July 30, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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