In this episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast, Louis Massaro shares how to increase your revenue per move.
- “The customer needs certain things when they’re moving, like packing, cleaning, mounting, storage, etc… And you could provide those things. You just need to make sure they know about that stuff and that they see it as additional value from your company.“
- “During the off-season, the volume of moves naturally decreases. It just happens. For years, I was trying to overcome that to where there was no difference in the winter, but traditionally the household goods moving space is going to dip when you come out of summer.”
- “What usually happens is moving company owners start to think that the only thing they can do is raise their rates. But there’s really more that you could do.”
- “Things like upselling additional services and increasing the number of attempts you make to provide value for your customers can really make a big impact on how much money you are able to make with the same amount of moves.”
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It’s important as we’re coming out of season, that the volume might naturally decrease. It just happens. It’s one of those things where for years, I was trying to overcome that to where there was no difference in the winter. So you might be able to supplement the work you do with some other their type of work. But traditionally the household goods moving space is going to dip when you come out of summer, usually moving season ends about September 15th. So with less moves, I remember sitting down and saying, okay, look, we are doing everything we can to book as many moves as we can. We have all the marketing, the sales process is strong. What do we need to do? Well how can we make more money per move? Right?
If we only have a limited amount of moves, whatever it is, you could still be doing 300, 400 moves a month, but it’s still a limited amount. How can you make more per move? And I think what happens is we start to think that that only is… We can only do that by raising our rates. And there’s really more that we could do. And, if we could add the value to our customers, we could look at our rates. We could increase the attempts that we’re making to upsell additional services. We can really make a big impact on how much money that we’re able to make with the same amount of moves. At the end of the day, you want to be doing that all the time. Anyways, that became a common theme for me and my company, which is how can we raise the RPM, the revenue per move, or the average move? Can we raise that? Right?
Because you know, if you’re at 800 and you go to 900, times the amount of moves you do, or maybe you’re at 1500 and you’re able to go to 1800, whatever your average move is, I’m pretty sure by the time we get through this, you’ll have some ways that you can go and increase that. All right.
So first section here, first thing we want to look at is increase value. The first thing you want to do, anytime you want to make more money, how could I provide more value? So how could you provide more value to your customers? Right? So this isn’t about just increasing rates. It’s like, what else can we do that they’re in need of, that they’d be willing to pay? And a lot of times I think people fear providing any additional services because they think maybe their customers only have a limited amount of funds or a limited amount of money.
And they want to be willing to pay for extra stuff, but they are, right? They need certain things. You could provide certain things. You just need to make sure they know about this stuff. And they see it as additional value from you and your company. So first thing is packing. I know that’s obvious. I know it seems simple and basic. However, are you making a push to sell packing on every single move? Whether it’s just the essentials, the breakables or full pack. So, that was kind of the different packages that we had. Which helps break it down for customers, because they don’t know what they need when it comes to packing. So if they need a full pack, everybody gets that everybody understands that.
But you could offer a breakables packing. Where we just come in and we handle the China we handle anything that’s delicate, anything that’s the breakables. The stuff that like, if they pack it themselves, they’re going to break. Then you can do the essentials where you’re also doing like their pictures and things like that. So to decide what’s in those packages. So definitely write down essentials, breakables, and full pack and decide for you, because it’s different for everybody what’s included in each of those packages. And so in other words, the idea is not to package each one as a price, but to make decision making process easier for the customer. So they don’t feel so overwhelmed. It’s like, hey, we could just kind of come in and do the essentials. We could do the essentials package.
We can come in and just take care of your breakables. The stuff that requires a little extra skill and professionalism to pack, or we could do the full pack. Then you’ve got boxes. Selling boxes to the customer ahead of time, where they come to your office, they pick them up, you deliver them, you send them directly to their house. I had a client tell me they started shipping… Great idea. Genius idea, actually. Shipping directly from Amazon to customers houses for boxes. Like they took the order and then shipped the boxes from Amazon. Super easy. That’s extra money that you can get. Plus having that on the job as well. This, you could also sell on the job, not only ahead of time.
Unpacking services. So we tend to think the move is done. It’s over and we move on, and maybe the customer doesn’t want unpacking up front, but you could offer unpacking services on the day of the move and to where you could either do it that day or come back and do it. But at least you want to plant the seed in their mind that you offer these unpacking services to where you’ll come in, unpack everything, place it where it needs to go, haul away all the boxes. Okay. At the end, the moving day, they’re exhausted. They’re like, no, I don’t know. We’ll let you know. But the next day, when they’re feeling beat up from that move and they don’t want to do all this unpacking, why not send one or two people out to do the unpacking and collect additional money on that move. All right. It’s again, you’re providing additional value where you can charge extra money for that value.
Mattress bags. So, you go out and you move mattresses every day. Well, what are you putting those mattresses in? Are you shrink wrapping them or are you putting them in mattress bags? That’s an easy sell. You just like start talking about the cleanliness of their mattress. All of a sudden the words, bedbugs come out of your mouth. And they’re like, yeah, what do you got? All right. What do you got that you could put on these mattresses? So again, that could be sold at the time of the reservation, but that could be sold on the day of the move as well. Okay. So sometimes they’re not thinking about it at the time of the reservation, but mattress bags are a huge, huge… Listen, it could add an extra 20 to 50 bucks a job, depending on how many bedrooms they have in the house, right?
Cleaning. Whether you want to do a full on cleaning or a light clean, and a light clean could literally mean they sweep up and vacuum. You could easily charge an extra $100 to $200 base on whether you’re doing that just at the pickup or at delivery. And then you could do a real full on clean as well that maybe you can get the crews to do, or maybe you send a cleaning crew in there after the fact to do a real thorough cleaning where. The toilets, the countertops, thorough deep cleaning, like a cleaning crew would do. But easily, easily, you can add a cleanup with the broom vacuum. Keep them in the truck. And that’s an extra a $100, a job, easy. All right.
Mounting. For years, I didn’t want to be bothered with any mounting or dismounting, but now flat screen TVs are so common. Who doesn’t have a flat screen TV? Everybody’s got a flat screen TV for the most part. So if you have one person, okay, not even have to train all your movers, you have one person that can go out there and mount for them. They make kits. The kits are super easy to do. You drill one hole, you drill another hole. You put the kit in, you run the wires, they level it. They put it up. That’s something that they’re most likely going to pay somebody else to do as well. If you have someone on the crew, especially like if you have to send somebody out, okay. You know, it might not be… You’ll still could get 200 bucks maybe even 300 bucks per mount. However, if you could do it while you’re on the job, okay. That’s just extra money per move. All right. All you need to do is train your guys on how to do it. It’s not that hard.
And then storage, all right. Always have storage paperwork on every job. You never know when you get to the house, if there’s any items that the customer’s like, you know what? This doesn’t really look good here. This doesn’t fit the way that I thought it would fit, but I don’t want to get rid of it. Right? If the movers are there and prepared with storage paperwork and inventory sheets and inventory stickers to go ahead and take that stuff back to storage. Listen, we would take a whole home of storage or we would take one piece of furniture.
I can’t tell you how many times, like a couch or random stuff, chairs, dressers. They didn’t want that or they brought it there and you know, they thought it was going to fit in the space. Sure, we’ll store it for you. Right. And they paid to keep it in storage until they figured out what they wanted to do with it, which a lot of times was keep it in storage and keep paying us. So this is increasing value. So you want to increase value because when you increase value, you have additional things that you could charge for.
Go ahead. And in the comments, this is your community here. This is your moving mastery community. What are some other ways that you can increase value? Right? If you’ve got some additional ones, put them in the comments down below, share them with your community. Let’s talk about this here, because you know what, at the end of the day, everybody here needs to be making additional money per move. So even if you’re sharing something with your direct competitor, which what I’ve found is within the moving mastery community, that word kind of goes away. You know, it’s nice to have that friendship in your community, but even if you are, this isn’t about gaining a competitive advantage over somebody, it’s like, you’ve already got the move booked. How can you make more money on that move?
So increase value is the first way, the second way increase rates. Plain and simple. Increase your rates. And I think a lot of people are scared to do this, and the people that do see… I mean, I was here with the mastermind group. I don’t know, losing it, 10 days ago or a week ago, whenever it was. And, one of them I had worked with as a private client for quite a while. And I remember in a conversation with him and his wife, I said, you need to raise your rates. And he literally got up, walked out of the Zoom call. And I was like, “Where’d you go?” She’s like, “He went to raise the rates.” He did that two more times since then, their rates are higher than they’ve ever been. And they’re still booking jobs. I don’t know the exact amount off the top of my head that that equated to, but it’s a lot of extra money from them, because I know the first time you raised it by like $10 an hour than another 10.
So first one is, increase your hourly rate. Local moves. Increase your hourly rate. Don’t be afraid to do that. Even if we’re coming out of season, what a lot of people think is that when it slows down, you have to lower your rates in order to book move. But what you need to look at before you ever, ever, ever lower your rates is, is our booking percentage going low. Right? In other words, what happens is we come out of season, you have less leads. So if you have less leads, of course you’re going to book less move moves. But if you’re still, let’s say you’re booking at 30%. A hundred jobs come in, you book 30. Well, if 200 leads came in, you book 60 And then it slows down and a hundred leads come in.
Now you’re only booking 30, you’re in a panic. You’re like, oh my God, we’re only booking 30 jobs. We need to lower the rates, but you’re still booking at the same percentage. You just have less leads. So don’t be quick to lower your rates and really raise your rates. You’ve got to try. You’ve got to get out of that comfort zone. You just treat it like a hot stove where, all right, we lower the rates. I’m going to put my hand on this and see, if it starts to get too hot, I need to take my hand off before it takes all my skin off there. Right? So the point is, don’t just raise the rates and then not pay attention to what’s going on. You’ve got to pay attention to your booking percentages to see if it makes any difference. But don’t be afraid to raise your rates.
Same thing with long distance. Your tariff rates, everything you charge for in your tariff, raise that as well.
Travel trip and truck fees. So whether you charge a travel fee, whether you charge a trip fee or a truck fee, typical someone would charge one of these. For us, we charged travel time. We started the time when we got to customer’s house stopped the time when the last it was off the truck. And then in a local Metro vicinity, we charge one hour for travel to compensate the men for their drive to and from the job. That’s how it was explained to the customer. But you know, maybe you charge a trip charge or a truck charge. Well, what is that trip charge and truck charge. You know, some people are like, we charge $45 trip charge. So what’s the difference if it’s a $65 trip charge? Do you think you’re going to not book the move from a $45 trip charge to a $65 trip charge or truck fee?
Or your travel time, maybe you only charge half the time in travel instead of the full hour in travel. Like maybe instead of your full hourly rate, you charge half your hourly rate. Can you raise the rates here? So this is to get you thinking about where you… You might say Louis, we’re selling boxes, we’re selling on packing, cleaning boxes, all of that. We’re doing all that. Well, can you raise any of these rates? So you’re really looking for where you can increase your avenue per move.
Fuel. When I started, I based on just kind of picking rates and seeing what people did, I had no idea what I was doing when I started my business. And I was charging a 10% fuel surcharge. And then I’m like, you know what? I looked at the math and I’m like, I’m going to change it to 12%. I forget exactly at the time, I want to say at least I knew on a 100,000… What was it? It was a 100,000… I just don’t want to….
Yeah. So my thought process, I forget what it was. For every 100,000 that we did, that’s an extra 2000 bucks. Later I raised it from 12% to 18%, because there was no kind of pushback from when I went from 10% to 12%. I’m like, you know what, I’m going to go from 12% to 18%. No pushback. You can imagine what that did to the average move.
The revenue per move. So if you don’t charge for fuel, you could charge for fuel. Now of course, when it comes to your rates, it’s about how they come together as a complete package. It’s all about how you present all of that to the customer. So for us, it was for local, long distance was long distance, but for local here’s our hourly rate. We start the time at your door. Stop when we’re done at an hour for travel, and then there’s a standard transportation fuel surcharge as well. And that showed on their estimate when we sent it to them. And that’s how it was presented.
So you just got to look at this and say, how can we piece this together to where we can increase it? So your baseline here is whatever your average move is now, whatever your revenue per move is now is your baseline. And then you’re looking at it and saying, can we raise it by 50 bucks? Can we raise it by a hundred? Can we raise it by 150? And chances are with all of this, you can.
Packing. I did the same thing. Our 1.5 box… So we charge per box for packing. Meaning if it was an hourly rated move and let’s say we were doing it all on the same day. A lot of times a pack job was the day before. But let’s say it was all on the same day, we’d say, we’re going to send you out. You know, the crew they’re going to come, they’re going to pack everything for you. We charge for packing by the box. This way we could take our time. We could pack everything with care and you don’t feel like we’re dragging our feet, taking our time. And we build in the labor and material into the cost of the box. So for example, a 1.5 box, a book box was $9. Right? Then I was like, you know what, let’s make it $11. And across the board, everything went up like that. So whatever you charge for packing, can you increase that by a dollar, $2, three, whatever it might be, where can you increase for packing.
Storage? For years, I charge $45 a vault, okay. $45 a vault for years. And the storage price, when we were quoting, never really seemed to make a difference to the customer, for some reason. Even though they were paying that month after month, when I raised the price, it didn’t really make an impact at all. And we still booked the same amount because we offered one month free storage or when we were moving into a new facility and it was a ton of extra space. I’d offered two months free storage, but I went from $45 per vault to $65 per vault. That’s $20 per vault difference with the average customer having six volts. So what is that? $120 per customer per month extra. Per customer, per month extra.
So maybe you don’t go… Actually, I’m sorry. We did do a short term, very short. We went to 55 of vault from the 45 to the 55 for a very short period of time, and then went to 65 and stayed at 65. So make that jump, make that leap. And you could always… Don’t do it to customers that just moved in. But if people have been in your storage for quite a while, it’s common to send out a notice to say that rents are going up.
And valuation. So if already charging for additional valuation, so it’s not insurance, but basically saying, hey, we’re going to collect this much extra you know, we’re going to collect an extra $600, $700 from you and we’re going to cover the entire shipment instead of just giving you 60 cents per pound. And the only reason I don’t have valuation over here is increased value because it is an increase of value, is because I wouldn’t say rush out and start selling additional valuation if you don’t already. Because, there’s a lot that needs to go into that first.
Like you have to have really good claims tracking. You’ve got to know your numbers to the T to know, okay, if we do this, here’s what we’re paying out. You can’t just assume we’re going to charge extra for the valuation, make that extra money, and it’s all good. A lot of people do make a lot of money selling additional valuation. I never did it because I didn’t really want to be bothered with it, but I know a lot of people that are making money, but you’ve got to have your numbers dialed in. So you know exactly where your claims are coming from. How much you’re paying out. But, the only reason I would say is that there are people now that either pay out fully for everything that they damage without collecting any money for valuation or are charge for valuation and still paying out everything fully.
But you could raise your prices on what you actually charge for, for the valuation. So we’ve got increased value, increased rates. Third one is increased attempts. All right. So when do we offer this stuff? Right? We’ve got all this additional things that we could offer to increase the value. We could increase our rates, but we need to increase the attempts of selling and upselling this additional value. So where do you do that? Well, first, rate on the reservation. Rate when you book the move, you go ahead and you ask about all this stuff as well.
Ones the move is booked. Don’t flood the customer with all this. By the way, I know you’re just calling for prices, but we could charge for this. We could do this, we could do this. We could do this. We could do this and get all these extra costs. Book the move, because that’s the most important thing. You don’t want to sacrifice the move for the sake of trying to increase the revenue per move. So book the move, once the move is booked, then you can let them know about all these additional services as well.
Seven day packing checkup call. So this was something that we implemented as part of that question of the ongoing theme and the company of like, how can we increase the revenue per move? How can we increase the revenue per move? And we started doing a seven day packing checkup call. Because, we had customers. We were offering packing at the time of the reservation. But what do most customers say? No, no, we’re going to take care of that ourselves. We’re going to take care of that ourselves. Well, what happens is they get out seven days. They’re like, okay, we’re a week away. Something about a week. Once you get a week or two weeks, the numbers register. Like right now, we’re two weeks in a few days for moving moving mastery summit.
But once we get to two weeks, the number is registers different. Once we get to it registers different, I’m like, “Oh man, it’s like, this is a week away. We got to make this happen.” So when they’re seven days away from their move and you call and ask them, just calling to see how things are going, just want to see how your packing is coming along. If everything’s getting prepared. And if they’re in a place which a lot of people are where they’re like got a million things to do, they had planned on doing the packing themselves. Yeah, we’ll do the packing. But now maybe they started the packing or maybe they haven’t even gotten to the packing yet, and they’re a week out and they’re like, you know what yet, can you tell me about packing again? I know you told me about it on the reservation, but can you talk to me about that?
Do you have somebody that could come out here still between now and then and pack us? Seven day packing checkup call. Huge. If you’re not doing that now, start doing that. Okay. Number one, it’s great customer service. Because the call essentially is not a sales call. The call is, we’re just calling to see how things are going. I know we are a week away. Just we’re ready. Just wanted to see how you’re coming along, how your preparations are going. You know, how’s the packing coming along. Oh great. We’re packing everything up. Awesome. All right. Well, my dispatcher is going to call you two days before the move and we’ll confirm everything again. Then we just wanted to check on you. If they say the packing’s going fine, you’re not like trying to push packing on them and close a deal.
You’re basically there to offer additional value in that seven day period. Then you’ve got the two day confirmation call. So, hopefully you’re doing a confirmation call one or two days before the move, where for us, that was a scripted confirmation call, where we made sure that we hit on certain points. And in this confirmation call, we were asking them pretty much all of that. I wasn’t do when any mounting, I would do that today. But the packing, the boxes, mattress bags, storage are you going to need any packing at all? Right? Are you going to need to bring anything back in storage? Because if there’s just a few items that you need to be held for a little while, we could definitely do that for you. And we were confirming the move. Like not just saying we’re going to be there, but going through all the notes, making sure that the dispatcher had an opportunity to wear, even if the salesperson did a terrible job, putting notes in the system and booking and communicating with the customer.
This is when you could save that. This is when you could turn that mess of a job back into a good job. Right? And for me, there were times when we had like an assistant dispatcher make the calls, but I really like to have the dispatcher themselves make the call, the person that’s going to be in charge of coordinating and sending out the crews so that they could hear the customer’s unique moving needs to find out like what the deal is and how we could service them the best. And which crew would be the best based on what they’re saying. Definitely. And, it’s a great opportunity for upsells as well. On the move. Once you get to the move, customers aren’t packed. They’re trying to put stuff in garbage bags. They’re trying to like get things going. And it’s a great opportunity to sell packing. They don’t want you to packing. They don’t want to pay for the packing. No problem. Sell them some boxes. Because we’re not bringing the garbage bags on the truck. Stuff needs to be packed.
The mattress bags, the cleaning, the mounting, the storage, the unpacking, you could offer all of this on the move. And it’s important that when you do offer additional services, regardless of what your laws are and regulations are, make sure the customer knows upfront what the additional cost is going to be. Don’t just start packing up boxes and then hit them with a bill. Like here you go, right? Interstate moves. You have to revise the estimate for any additional charges up front, a lot of states as well. But it’s also just the right thing to do.
Emails. So now you’ve booked a move. So once you booked a move, you’re sending out emails to them, like prepare for your move. Maybe you’re sending some for the seven day packing, two day confirmation. Make sure that in those emails, hey, did you know we also offer these services well, right? If you don’t tell them, they don’t think about it. If they don’t think about it, they don’t see how that could work for them.
If you never knew of Uber, and somebody comes along, like you could go on an app on your phone and just get a car to come pick you up. In other words, if people don’t know about stuff, they don’t start thinking about how they could utilize it in their life. All right. So make sure whatever emails you’re sending out there’s also a little section that has additional services.
On hold music. So we had on hold music that was specially made. So we had it made. So it was the music. But it was talking. Thank you for calling Neighbors Moving in Storage. Please hold, we won’t be long. We want to make sure that all your needs are met. By the way, did you know that we also offer packing services as well, where we could have professionals pack all of your belongings up or maybe just a few items on the day of the move or even come out ahead of time? Don’t need packing. No problem. We sell boxes as well. We’d be happy to give them to you at a wholesale price. Do you need anything stored? We’d be happy to store stuff right now. We’re offering a promotion for one month free storage. Anything that you want them to hear? Don’t ever let a customer sit on hold and not let them hear valuable information about your company. It shouldn’t all be like sales. It should just be stuff like, yeah, offer boxes.
Make sure you ask your moving consultant about how we could get you some free boxes. And it’s also reassuring them that they’re with the right company. Hey, did you know that we won the Angie’s List Super whatever it is award, three years in a row? Our customers love us on Yelp. We got a five star rating. All of that type of stuff. It’s super easy to make on hold music. If anybody needs a recommendation, just email us at support. Have a company called The Informer. I don’t know if you could look them up. You might be able to just look them up online. The Informer on hold music, the guy’s name’s Casey. Did my on hold music. You know, for time I needed to make changes they made changes.
You say, we want a man. We want a woman. We want them to sound mature. We want them to sound young. And they send you a bunch of options of voice, of talent. And you’re like, Ooh, I like that person. Here’s the script. Have them read that. Oh, here’s all the choices for music. Here’s the music. Here’s the person I want to read the script. Here’s the script. They put it all together. They send you a file that you upload into your phone system, and that’s it.
And all of your marketing material. All of your marketing material, like on your website services provided. If somebody’s reading about you, let them know all of this additional value that you could provide for them. If they don’t know it, they’re going to go somewhere else. I mean, I have a private client who, the name of his company is his company’s name movers. And he’s trying to push storage. But on his website on his postcards, it’s like storage is like a little bullet point. I said, “We either need to get storage big, across the top with pictures of your warehouse, or we need to get a DBA of your company’s name. And instead of movers, moving and storage.” If customers don’t know that you offer certain things, they don’t just know what moving companies do. A lot of people think that you’re just going to come in and move the heavy stuff.
They don’t even realize that you can do all of it. So make sure they know about it. These are the ways that you can increase revenue per move. Here’s what I could tell you. I did this, not the whole presentation here, but I went through this with a private client. I don’t know if it was a year ago, whatever it was. Eight months, 12 months. And they were doing on average, I think the average was like 220 moves average when they averaged out over the course of a year, a month. And it was $92 a move extra. So 220 times 92. It’s 20,000 a month, times 12. That’s $242,000 a year. So don’t take this lightly. And you know, if you’re like Louis, which one should I do? Whichever one you’re not doing. You might be like, wow, we could do all of that.
All right. Well, pick one, start with that. Incrementally start adding it. Maybe you start your upsell processes. Maybe you start your seven day packing checkup call. Maybe you get your on hold music made. Maybe you come in here and say, you know what, let’s actually make some adjustments to our pricing, so that we can actually make more money for each move that we’re doing. Set yourself a target.
I would say to set self a target of $50 to $100 per move. That you’re going to increase it. I mean, that was the $92 over 220 moves a month. It’s almost a quarter million dollars a year for the same moves. Yeah, you might have some material cost. Yeah, you might have to pay the guy a little extra to clean or to mount. All of this stuff is just extra money. And this is just all… I mean, this is good customer service. This is good customer service. This is good value. This is good customer service. And this is just smart marketing to make sure that everything is in there. All right. So get that extra revenue per move.