Online estimates vs in-home estimates – which are better?

Moving costs are the main reason why people are afraid of hiring professional movers. The numbers can go from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand – depending on how the clients play their cards when getting the estimate. As a moving company, you should be able to get your clients to trust you and provide them with a high-quality, detailed estimate without surprise costs. But, the real question about moving estimate is how to do it. You probably wonder about types of estimates – online estimates vs in-home estimates. Which one is better? Consider each of the options and their (dis)advantages, so you can decide which one suits your company and its clients the best.

online estimates vs in-home estimates
What are the main differences when talking about online estimates vs in-home estimates?

Moving estimates basics

As you may already know, there are three main types of moving estimates. Clients can choose from:

Binding Estimate

The binding estimate gives an accurate description of moving costs. The trick about this type of estimate is that the price can change after you calculate the moving costs. If on a moving day, the weight of the moving boxes exceeds or goes below the estimated price – the client has to pay the same amount calculated before. As a moving company, you need to train your team to be as precise as possible to get the right moving quote.

Non-Binding Estimate

This type of moving estimate is just a rough estimate of the moving costs. Basically, a moving company predicts the price – however, it can go lower or higher. Therefore, clients should be prepared for additional costs.

Binding Not-To-Exceed Estimate

This estimate is favorite among clients since the estimated costs can go higher – but it can go lower. As a moving company, you are bound by the price you estimate at first. However, if the weight of the items is lower than it was estimated before – the price will go lower, as well.

online estimates vs in-home estimates
Be sure to calculate the costs well, when making both online estimates vs in-home estimates

 Online estimates vs in-home estimates

The way a customer gets a moving estimate is the key factor in determining to hire a moving company. Clients are advised to get estimates from at least two or three companies, so you need to make sure you play your cards right to get more satisfied customers.

In-home Estimates

In-home estimates are useful when calculating exact moving costs. Visiting a home allows you to see the exact situation and make a detailed estimate. Before you come to a client’s house, they will probably use a free moving estimate calculator on your website. This information can serve you as a starting point for calculating the details. However, you shouldn’t rely on that estimate, since clients often forget to include some of the furniture or mention some of the important details. When doing an in-home estimate you should:

  • make a detailed inventory of the items
  • ask about the items that don’t you don’t need to move
  • check if the client needs any additional services (packing, unpacking, storage, furniture disassembly)
  • ask the client if they have any specialty items like pianos or antiques – these items require special care and therefore cost differently

Online or over-the-phone estimate

Nowadays, technology helps us to do many things online or over the phone. It is an amazing feature and should be used a lot more. However, when it comes to moving, is it really true? Can we easily decide in online estimates vs in-home estimates battle? Clients are often puzzled by these choices and don’t know what works best for them.

An online moving estimate is an easy way to get a moving estimate without mover coming to your home. However, many customers are not sure if that type of a moving estimate is the same as an in-home estimate. As you are a professional moving company, you need to prepare your website for this feature by using some of the latest software for small moving companies. Furthermore, be sure to follow a certain procedure regarding the online moving estimate process. This includes the following steps:

  1. stating the contact information clearly, so your customers can make an appointment – offer flexible appointment hours!
  2. have an app that can connect you to the client, and have all the necessary links ready to share them with your potential client.
  3. prepare all the questions your agent is about to ask the client and guide them through the process.
  4. be fast with providing a specific estimate after you finish the online session.
moving house - online estimates vs in-home estimates
Each of the online estimates vs in-home estimates requires certain effort and professionalism, even though they are different in their own ways

Conclusion -online estimates vs in-home estimates, which is better?

Well, this question solely depends on how many items you need to move. Generally, in-house estimates are detailed and more structured, when compared to online/over the phone estimates.

When we consider online moving costs estimates, they are often not as accurate and can be quite low, which is used to attract clients. In the end, the cost is pretty much the same. However, in online estimates vs in-home estimates, there are some advantages of using the online estimates:

  1. if you don’t have much time for an in-house inspection, online estimates are a perfect solution.
  2. if you don’t have a lot of items, you probably don’t need an in-home estimate. Large moves, on the other hands, require detailed in-home estimate with a complete inventory list.
  3. they’re easier to do – it’s much more convenient to these kinds of things online, rather than scheduling an appointment in your busy schedule.

In-house estimates are a more time-consuming option. However, the benefits are very convincing.

  • they are more accurate. Detailed inspection of a home makes it easier to do a detailed inventory list and therefore create an accurate budget for a client.
  • no surprise costs for the customers. As you are making a complete list of items, you can offer a complete list of costs.
  • in-person communication is more convincing and gives an image of a reliable moving company.