In this episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast, Louis Massaro shares his thoughts about the current state of the moving industry in 2022.
- “The moving industry is in the middle of a major transition with the old school making its way out and the new class of movers coming in to take over. So, take note, if you are in the old school way of doing things, it’s time to adapt or die.”
- “I’m sure you have noticed that things are shifting in the moving industry right now. And it’s important that you understand how you may need to adjust some things in order to keep up with the current evolution that’s happening.”
- “If you have been following me for a while you know that this is my mission. My whole life is dedicated to helping moving companies reach the next level, avoid unnecessary stress and struggle, and live a better quality of life overall. We need everyone in this industry to step up as leaders“
- “When owners start to give their teams what they need to succeed… When the team steps up to elevate the level of service the company can provide… And everybody works together to create a work environment with a rewarding and winning culture… that’s when things will really change.”
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This industry is in the middle of a major, major transition from the old school moving its way out and the new class of movers coming in to take over this industry. And I know many of you are in that new class. Some of you are in the old school that are, “I need to adapt or die,” right?
I mean, that’s the seriousness of where we’re at. Things are shifting, things are changing. It reminds me of when I was spending, once I opened up my five, six locations, I was up to $250,000 a month in yellow pages. That was my yellow page bill. And then all of a sudden yellow pages stops working, and I have to learn internet marketing out of nowhere.
But in that time, which reminds me a lot about the time that we’re in right now, this was about 2007, 2008, a lot of companies didn’t pivot, a lot of companies didn’t adjust, and they didn’t make it. They didn’t make it. Those of you that know me, have been following me for a while, you know this is my mission.
Literally, my whole life is dedicated to helping moving companies reach that next level, avoid the unnecessary stress and struggles that go with the day-to-day if we don’t go into it with a plan, we don’t go into it with intention. And the same way that I was able to pivot and adjust and learn that new way of marketing, there’s new things that need to happen now. Right?
There’s really, if you think about it, the moving business, there’s only two things you’ve got to do, book moves, service moves, right? Book moves and service moves. But how we do that, it’s different in the times. And you’ve heard me talk a long time about the need for a sales machine.
You’ve got to have a lead come in, a phone call come in and a machine that just turns that into a booked move. But now, we’re in a state in 2022 where you’ve got to have a hiring and training machine to go with it. Right? And the same way that movers took for granted the yellow pages, and didn’t recognize that they were stopping to work or just complained about it, “They’re not working anymore. I’m not getting any more leads,” I see movers today taking for granted the hiring.
Right? For years, it wasn’t so hard to hire and get people on the trucks and train to go out and do a good job. It’s tough. Who’s having a challenge with hiring movers right now? Let me see it. Okay. So the difference between the companies that are succeeding at high levels, which I see a lot of them in here that are just absolutely crushing it, and those that are going to continue to struggle are the ones that are succeeding, recognize that they must have the hiring machine and process down.
No complaining about the labor market and the shortages and the… “Man, I can’t believe these people show up for an interview” or “They don’t show up for an interview.” Right? Or the things that they say. Or we hire them and then they don’t show up. This is the name of the game.
So there’s some things happening right now. Right? The world is an uncertain place. We’ve got some people that are creating chaos in the world in different countries. We’ve got things going on in North Korea, we’ve got things happening in Ukraine from Russia. What’s that going to do to our economy? What’s happening with fuel prices?
What do we need to do to adjust? Right? I see so many people stuck like a deer in a headlights fearful about what’s going to happen. And I just want to tell you that regardless of what happens, the only thing you can control are the actions that you take, the way you lead your team, the way you set up your systems, the way you implement your processes, that’s it. We can’t control what’s going to happen.
Fuel goes up, okay, fuel goes up. You could deal with it. Your prices go up, right? There’s a labor shortage, all right, let’s put more attention, let’s put more effort on our hiring. Everybody here, at least the person who purchased the ticket, right? And I know some of you got dragged into this, but everybody here understands that we need to step up in our business.
And when we do, there’s huge opportunities right now, like nothing before. This industry right now is on fire. It’s on fire. And for the people that know what they need to do and are staying ahead of the trends and ahead of the curves, they’re raking it in, right? They’re raking it in. They’re making a major impact for their team, for their families, for their customers, and they’re raking it in.
Right? But in order to take advantage of these huge opportunities that we have, we need to learn some skills, we need to develop the capabilities that make us the person to form the team inside the company that could go out and take advantage of these opportunities and capitalize on them. So who feels optimistic about this next six months to a year right now? Let me see, who feels optimistic?
If you don’t, then you don’t have to put it up. All right. Now, who feels like it’s in the shitter, the world’s going to hell, there’s nothing we could do? Anybody? Nobody? Oh, I saw one, but that’s me doing this. Okay. All right. Well, good. Good. All right. So at least we’re starting off on the right foot.
What we have today is we also are coming out of the pandemic. And there was some people in this industry, I don’t know if you guys remember, I remember we were set to do a live event, which was supposed to be in-person live event, two weeks before it, we canceled it. We went virtual. You guys have seen, we’ve stepped it up since our first virtual event.
So, but how many of you just felt like when the pandemic hit, “Oh shit. It’s over. This is it. It’s all done. What’s going to happen now?” Right? But for a lot of people, it turned around and became the most lucrative 18 months that you’ve ever had in your business. Who crushed it throughout COVID? Who crushed it through the pandemic? Okay.
So what we got to understand is, look, there’s, and there’s still a lot of people moving, right? But things happened that we didn’t anticipate. Things happened that we didn’t anticipate that caused a lot of people to move. Right? Plus you got the PPP money, right? A lot of people were sitting good through the pandemic.
And this year I noticed, and I was saying it all last year, if you guys were listening, that we don’t know what’s going to happen in the off season between 2021 and 2022, right? The year before, there was no off season. Everybody stayed busy right through the winter.
But when it slows down and you feel that crunch and you feel that tightening of cash flow in January and February, and your mind starts to second guess everything you’re doing, you start to doubt yourself. You start to think, “Am I really good at this business, or did I just get lucky?”
This is what I used to feel. My first year in business, I soared past the off season because we were just had a good momentum. But my second year, I thought it was going to be the same way, the same way I see companies doing now, thinking that because COVID just had us going through the winter that winter wasn’t going to slow down. I was in for a rude awakening.
When all of a sudden moves dried up, cash flow dried up and I’m scrambling just to make payroll. We need to realize that that’s part of this business. Sure, we could talk about and look for ways to boost some additional services in the off season to help, but the answer to solution is maximize moving season. So you make so much money in season that you have the cash reserve to deal with whatever slowdowns come January and February.
Right? My rule became all right, let’s crush it through moving season. Let me have some money in a cash reserve account. Let me get myself through January, February, and March. And when April comes in it starts to pick up again, then I could grab the money and go buy something, do something, get a property, whatever I want to do with it.
Right? But that’s behind us now. But what could we do for next year? What could we do to make sure that we’re in a position where we’re financially strong? We don’t have to start thinking about what do we cut back, what do we cut off, who do we lay off. And we just recognize that this is part of the business.
So I’m saying that because everyone who might be sitting in a position, “Man, we’re good. We made it,” you’ve got to really focus right now. You’ve got to make sure that you go into this moving season. That’s why this day is about this next six months. Intentionally maximizing your profitability, so that next year there’s no issues like that.
I’m also seeing in the industry right now that there’s a major lack of leadership. What does that mean? It means that I’m seeing teams. And when I say I’m seeing, guys, I have access. We’ve got hundreds, 600. I don’t want to say a thousand. I can’t remember the-. Let’s just say hundreds of companies that I work with, that I’m seeing what they do.
We’re surveying them, we’re talking to the owners. We know what’s happening. We’re seeing the inner workings of these businesses. And they’ve got people that they’re not leading. They’re trying to grow, they’re trying to advance. We’ll talk about the four levels of moving companies. They’re trying to advance to that next level, but they’re not leading their team.
Doesn’t mean they’re not a leader. I believe we’re all leaders and we all need to step up. It just means that they’re not leading. Okay. We have to demonstrate our leadership. And that goes for everybody on the team. I don’t care what your role is. I don’t care what your position is in the company. You’re all leaders. You lead somebody in your life. Isn’t it true?
Do you not lead your children, your spouse, somebody you mentor, somebody in your community, somebody in your church? You lead somebody. And if you don’t lead anybody, the first person and the number one person you need to lead is yourself.
So I want to challenge all of you today to step up as leaders and do what you need to do. Not for the company that you might work for, but for yourself. Because how we achieve great things in our life is starting where we stand and the position we’re at and doing great things today in that position. So we’ll talk more about leadership and what that’s going to take.
I’m also seeing that we’ve got owners and employees that aren’t united, and that kind of goes back to the lack of leadership. If this feels like a little bit of a gut check, Hey, I’m talking to you the way that I talk to myself or I talk to my private clients, or I talk to the people closest to me when I know it’s time for them to step up.
I’ll look at myself in the mirror and say, “Listen, [inaudible 00:14:14] you got to step up. Your team needs you to lead them right now.” Right? So I’m not coming at you. Just letting you know, we all need to step up. The world needs more leaders right now. The world needs more people to step up and not ask, “What can I get? What could I get out of this situation?” But instead, “What can I give?”
The stress and mental health issues are through the roof in this industry right now. The stress levels of teams and owners, I’ve never seen anything like it. So the way we start to fix that is we start to take some personal accountability for our own actions. We start to step up in the workplace and start to feel proud of what we’re a part of.
So that when we go home, we bring that same sense of accomplishment, where we walk in that house holding our head high. And instead of yelling at the wife and kicking the dog, we’re hugging and kissing our spouse and bringing some positivity back to the home.
And this is such an important time because as we go into moving season, I see people just throw this shit out the window, “You know what? Relationships, my health, my stress, don’t worry about it. I’ll deal with it after moving season.” And no, we’ve got to do it today.
So when we step up, when we become leaders, when the company starts to give the team what they need to succeed, and the team gives the company what they need to support the company, and everybody works together and you get to spend eight hours a day of your life on this planet, in an environment with a rewarding and winning culture, the stress level changes.
That impacts your families, that impacts everybody you interact with, that impacts the customers that you deal with. You guys got to realize something, there’s a lot of talk online, everybody’s got to have a purpose and everybody’s got to give back and all of that.
And you know what? I don’t think most people in this industry realize how much they give back and how valuable your position is. Whatever you do, whether you’re a mover, a dispatcher, a moving consultant, customer service, bookkeeper, warehouseman, CEO, manager, whatever you do, understand moving is one of the statistically, one of the most stressful things people do in their life.
And you have an opportunity to impact that. You have an opportunity to be a part of the transition from their old home to their new home. In the last 12 months, I’ve moved twice across country. I was reminded of how stressful it is to have your whole life uprooted, put in a truck by strangers and then taken away. And then having to resettle.
There’s so much that you could do on a daily. A lot of people, “Well, I wish there was something I could do. I wish there was something I could do. The world needs help, people need help, what could I do?” And I believe that everyone has their unique part to play. My part is to help to raise the standards in this moving industry.
That’s my mission, to raise the standards in the moving industry. How do we do that? We do that, this is my company Moving Mastery. This is what we do. We help give you guys the tools, the training, the resources, the mindset of how to be thinking about this business. How to be thinking about your role in this business.
And guess what happens when you raise a standard? Your prices go up, your profits go up, your people are happier, your customers are happier and you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished in building your business. Who feels proud of their business? Let me hear it right now. Let’s see. Show me, who feels proud of where you guys are today?
Listen, it bothers me when people don’t realize how important it is, what they do in this industry. We get so caught up in it. It’s, “Oh, book a move, service a move. Oh, there’s a claim. Fuck.” It just becomes routine. But I want you to start thinking about every single one of those customers, they’re going through something.
And even though they don’t call and thank you and tell you how you made their transition so much easier, think about the opposite. Think about when things go wrong, how they’ll make you feel like you ruin their life. Right? And so even though you don’t get the reminder from them about how you played a major impact in that smooth transition, remind yourself of that. I know that. I want to remind you of that.
Everybody here. We’ll talk about each role in the business and what it is that everyone can do to help that. But today’s mission, today’s mission, we’re going to raise the standard of this whole industry, starting with the people here. Okay? You guys are going to raise the standards. Because when you raise the standards, you’re going to be one of those companies that are far exceeding everybody else.
You’re going to be one of those companies that are just breaking through all those industry averages and all those numbers that quite frankly would make me not even want to be in this business. If I knew what the industry averages were before I got in this business, I’d be, “That’s a lot of work for that.” Right?
And so we’re going to talk about where you really need to be when it comes to earning in this business, making money in this business. But we do it all by making that transition for that customer smooth and seamless and stressful.