Furniture Removalists

Mike O’Hagan – MiniMovers Removalists

Lisa: Today our industry expert is Mike O’Hagan from MiniMovers. MiniMovers are located in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and they have over 450 employees. They are quite famous for their staff; they provide a fully cooked breakfast every morning to every one of their staff members. They have won Telstra Business of the Year Award and they have also won Employer of the Year Award. Mike manages, and is the sole owner of, MiniMovers. Now when people sell their property, a lot of the time they get overwhelmed “How am I going to move from here to there with the least amount of stress and the least amount of cost?”. This is what Mike is going to help us with today.

Mike: My first tip, and it’s a big tip, should be done before you list your property for sale, and certainly after you get right into it – reduce things. You have got to reduce what has to be moved; the less that is moved, the less it’s going to cost you. And besides, if you have been in your property a long time you will have lots of things you’ll want to get rid of. Friends and family – time to give it away. Garage sales, eBay – time to sell it. 1800 GOTJUNK (a small junk removal service) – time to get rid of it. Reduce, reduce, reduce; the less you have got to move, the less it’s going to cost you.


My second tip is about finding a mover. It’s always a challenge regarding what to do with moving; traditionally removals were done with fixed price removals. That was more suitable for overseas international moves, but not for local moving. We have now evolved into hourly rates. Hourly rate moving is a lot, lot cheaper than fixed price moving.
Of course the third alternative is to move yourself. When you move yourself, you will have all of the hassles of moving the fridge and the heavier items and consuming your own time. Most people use a mixture of both now days, but finding the right service to suit your move can be a challenge.

Traditional removalists use fixed prices – ideal for long distance interstate or overseas moving, but not really suitable for short distance moving. An hourly rate for short distance moving will normally cost you about half the price of a fixed price move. On top of that, if you want to get in and do some things yourself, you can even reduce the price further. How much you do is entirely up to you and you can dramatically change the cost of your move. We have a special website called www.helpyoumove.com.au full of handy hints that will help dramatically reduce the cost.

My third hint is to start packing your small things early. It is probably the biggest part of your move; packing the small things and preparing them for the move and then unpacking. There is actually more work in that than there is in moving your furniture, yet everybody is really focused on how to move the furniture. The problem is in the small things and in fact the time and the cost of your move are related to the number of times we go from the truck and back into your house. We are going to go from the truck to the house a lot more times with the small things, so prepare the small things early and use proper removal cartons. If you use the wrong cartons it takes us a lot longer to move you and your risk of damage also goes up. The proper cartons will save you time, energy and money. So, go out and get the right boxes and use those for yourself when you make the move. If you’re using MiniMovers, we buy our boxes back when you’re finished with the move – we do that to save the environment and to help you.

At MiniMovers we move about a 1,000 house loads a week. You will be amazed how many people don’t get the simple fundamentals right, such as having the keys ready so that we can get into the house. Also, tell us about access issues before we arrive.

You’ll be amazed at how many people get that wrong and that can be a really big problem. So, get yourself organised, make sure you’ve got the keys so we can get into the place, make sure you’re there when we arrive ready to go, and make sure you’ve told your mover about any access issues you may have. There is no use hiding them; you’ve got to tell us about them, the more we know before we get there, the better off you are.

My fifth tip is for when you’re hiring a mover on an hourly rate; remember what you’re hiring. You’re hiring a proper removalist truck with all the right equipment, the right felt pads, straps, trolleys and everything else. And you’re also hiring probably two or three good, experienced removalists who are going to do whatever you ask them to do. So make sure you are clear on what you want them to do and what you want to do yourself and have all that organised and thought out before they arrive.

With your hourly rate and the ability to control the cost, one of the big secrets on the moving day is to get up early (a couple of hours before the movers arrive) and if you’re going to have a couple of helpers, that is fine – get them in place early and maybe even get some of that small stuff outside and ready to go (don’t block the passageways). Get it out and ready to go and that will dramatically reduce the cost of your move.

One of the secrets to MiniMovers is that I have 450 young guys working for me that we train to move furniture. You know, we are all human, we all relate to each other and we all want to get on with each other. If you treat them like great guys when they get there, give them plenty of water and stop and have meal breaks, they will be nicely fuelled up. The move will go a lot, lot quicker and it will be a much more pleasant move – at the right price.

When you’re moving into your new place, make sure you’ve planned where most things are going to go. Stand near the truck and as it’s coming out, make a quick decision about where you want things to go. Try and move it once and once only, it’s much cheaper that way. And don’t forget, if you’ve got a good removalist, like MiniMovers, we will help connect the washing machine and do all the handyman work as well. So make sure that the washing machine is connected and set up properly before they leave.

In summary, reduce what you’ve got to move, prepare everything before the removalists arrive, get yourself organised on the day, have your keys ready and have everything organised and know where everything is going to go, and get in and help. The more you do, the less it’s going to cost you.

People say that moving is one of the most stressful things in life that you can do. We do it all the time; we do 1,000 moves a week. To us it’s easy. What we do is turn it into fun. Try and turn your move into fun, relax and have a joke with the crew and see the funny side of things, whilst getting the job done. Having fun is what it’s all about.

We’re a bit different at MiniMovers as we only do short distance direct door to door residential furniture moving. We specialise in that, we are very good at that and we go out of our way to lead the market in short distance moving. We have very large and small trucks, whatever you need to suit your move. But all we do is the short distance move, we don’t do long distance moving, no interstate moving, and no distractions from what we do and do really well.

We also guarantee that if anything is damaged, we will fix it. This comes from our beliefs – we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay insurance for our mistakes. We guarantee that if we damage anything, we fix it and in 25 years we have always stood by that guarantee.

One Response

  1. Michael York September 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm |

    Some great tips from a stalwart of the removalists industry. Mike is also a fantastic speaker live!

    Reply

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