Top 10 Helpers Celebrate at HireAHelpers HQ

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10 years, 10 Helpers, 10 Call Service Representatives.

A trio of celebrations was recently held on HireAHelper’s “Top 10 Helper Day”, HireAHelper’s 10 year aniverssary event that doubled as a summit of some of the best people working in the moving industry today.

A Contest for Movers

Rigo’s Moving Company being interviewed at HireAHelper headquarters.

Rather than just ordering a cake for the big “1-0”, HireAHelper used their milestone moment to shed light on the people who make the company possible: hardworking movers, as well as the people booking their jobs every single day.

Here’s how they did it: they asked Call Service Representatives (CSRs) to vote for their favorite movers in the HireAHelper network. Additionally, HireAHelper asked the movers to submit the names of their favorite CSRs, as moving companies interact with their call center day in and day out. In many cases, movers interact with various CSRs for years on end. Voting on both ends was based on professionalism, efficiency, helpfulness and ability

More than a thousand moving companies across the country were eligible. (Not to mention a few dozen phone operators.)

The voting was fierce and the lists were long. But after the votes were tallied, the top five moving companies on the list were invited to take part in a special event at HireAHelper headquarters in sunny San Diego, CA, which took place this month.

Top 10 Helper Day

One by one, the contest winners emerged into HireAHelper headquarters, each bringing with them unique backgrounds spread out across the United States. They also brought anecdotes regarding how they found out they had been named a top 10 moving company in the country.

Says Crystal Rocci out of Lakeland, Florida’s Family Movers, “(We) got the email and he’s shaking and I’m like, ‘Why are you shaking?’ And he hands me the phone…and I’m reading it and saying, ‘Honey, we made fourth place!'”

Movers also shared stories from their long journeys establishing themselves as major players in the moving world.

Family Movers receives their certificate.

There’s a lot of bad reputation in the industry,” says Carmen Ball, from Aurora, Colorado’s LeDoux Moving Solutions. “If you build a reputation, you know, you gotta ride on your reputation. You screw that up, you don’t stick around.

“That’s my name on my shirt. I am representing everything, not just the company, I am representing the family as well.”

Continues Ball, “There’s many small businesses where we are that have been in business 20 years and they don’t do what we do. But I really believe (in) focusing on reputation and integrity.

Winners pose with their certificates.

The theme of the day? Going the extra mile.

“Rigo is very passionate about what he does,” says Susana Avelino of Rigo’s Movers out of Los Angeles, the contest winning moving company. 

Martha Martin, also of Rigo’s Movers, echoes that sentiment. “(Rigo) wants everything perfect. If something happens, resolve everything. If something gets damaged, try and fix it.” To get this level of recognition, they stress that customers have to always feel safe and secure in their hands.

“Our guys always calm down the customer and say, ‘Okay, you’re in good hands. Let me do my job and let me wrap everything. We will fit it on your truck.'”

Prizes Galore

The Top 10 Helper ceremony was held in front of a big screen and among boxes of gourmet donuts, during which the top 10 Helpers and CSRs received recognition. All present Helpers received their certificates and cash prizes. Afterwards, a catered lunch of tacos and drinks awaited everybody outside.

On getting to meet with the top 10 CSRs that they’ve worked with for years, Rocci of Family Movers exclaims, “I was like, ‘Yes!’ I finally get to put some faces to some names! I talk to these super energetic people on the phone, and I’m like, ‘I thought I was the only person like that.’ [laughter]”

Top 10 Helper Day wasn’t the only place celebrations were held, however. The top 10 CSRs were assigned a Helper from the rest of the top 10 list and given free airfare, lodging, cash prizes, and the opportunity to award the rest of the top Helpers their certificates in person.

Jess and Camille, winning CSRs, visiting Top 10 Helper “Moving Texas” in Austin.

Says Camille, Helper Relations Specialist and a winning CSR,

“There is definitely something different about meeting a Helper in person, something significant about putting a face to a name that brings life to their voice the next time I work with them over the phone.”

Again and again, winners stressed the importance of community as a key to success.

Now with 2017 in the books and ten successful years behind them, HireAHelper is positioned to continue their impressive take over of the moving labor marketplace. And with the Top 10 Helper contest being such a hit with everybody that participated, hundreds of professional moving companies (and the passionate employees that fuel them) remind us that all continued success will have to go through them.

Rachel Ledoux of Ledoux Movers reiterates, “You can slam out a bunch of jobs and…walk away thinking that everything’s great, then come to find out later that they never took the time to find out if that customer was actually happy.

“You know, moving is more than just a business; It’s relationships.”

For a list of the top 10 Helper winners and their prizes, click here.

7 Things I Learned When Downsizing From a House in California to a Shoebox in NYC

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Full disclosure: I’m a child of the suburbs. I grew up in sprawling northern California, where trips to used bookstores and the mall are practically pastimes. There wasn’t much spatial constraint when it came to accumulating things. If I picked up a tchotchke, there would definitely be a place for it somewhere in my home.

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Silicon Valley House Rep. Wants Some Talent to Move Away

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Ro Khanna, US Representative for California’s 17th District, is not acting like your typical politician.

“I care about my district,” says the 39-year-old former Department of Commerce official. “But we also have an obligation to the nation.”

He is urging his talent to move away.

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The Stuff That’s Illegal To Bring Into California

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Question: What do pecan shells, ferrets and flamethrowers have in common?

Answer: They are all things you can’t bring into the state of California.

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HireAHelper Spearheads ‘We Won’t Move You, Chargers’ Movement

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The NFL’s recent announcement that they will relocate the San Diego Chargers franchise to Los Angeles was not the siren song you might have imagined for Southern Californian moving companies.

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Which States Gained and Lost the Most People From Moving Last Year? We Break It Down

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[Synopsis: As United, Atlas reveal their annual migration stats, states try to explain themselves.]

United Van Lines has done it again!

They’ve released their nationwide migration statistics for the year, that is. And right off the bat, we see some small surprises.

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HireAHelper Moves Into a New State-Of-The-Art Office

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All great things must come to a start.

That’s exactly the mood over at HireAHelper headquarters, which is located right near sunny San Diego, CA. 2016 marked the nine-year anniversary of the mover marketplace company, and it was within this ninth year that one of the biggest dominos finally fell. Take a look.

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Stricter Truck Emissions Good For Environment, Bad for Business?

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[Synopsis: The Sustainable Freight Action Plan is long on ambition. But is the goal within reach?]

Once again, California is leading the charge in the move toward green, sustainable forms of energy.

This summer, in a move that goes about as far as anyone can reasonably imagine, Governor Jerry Brown put forth a comprehensive plan to bring the state’s commercial trucks, trains and ships closer toward a pollution-free future.

Brown’s Sustainable Freight Action Plan comes out of a multi-agency effort, and contains some lofty goals:

  • Replace 100,000 of today’s fossil-fuel-burning engines with cleaner machines by 2030
  • Increase transportation efficiency to reduce time and fuel spent
  • Create a think tank to develop cleaner, greener technology
  • Require all household goods movers to use horse-driven carriages

Okay, most of those things are true.

There are plenty of groups lending support to the governor’s plans, from the state’s Transportation Agency to the American Lung Association. Predictably, many others have reservations.

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce says overly strict limits on emissions could harm business. “To spur innovation in zero and near-zero emission technologies, California must make a business case for new investment from the trucking industry, which is already spending $1 billion a year to bring about a more sustainable freight system,” says Shawn Yadon, CEO of the California Trucking Association.

truck

Even those who are supportive offer a dose of realism (or pessimism) to the discussion.

“The plan is good, but the question is will this make us competitive against other states in getting federal grants,” says Hasan Ikhrata, CEO of Southern California Association of Governments.

Even the president and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air and a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District seems to be raising an eyebrow at the deal. “Plans are nice,” he says, “but they mean nothing without implementation.”

As always, it’s the implementation part that will prove the toughest step.

A zero-emission transportation industry sounds bright and sunny. To some, it also seems like a fantasy. But is the ultimate goal of the SFAP out of reach? Opinions differ. But with Governor Brown’s plan, there are dozens of small steps that, when laid out end to end, could very well create a path toward a much cleaner California.

How to Pack Wine for a Move (Like the Pros)

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[Synopsis: Packing wine obviously requires care. Here we go into a few important particulars.]

Customers will sometimes wonder: Can wine be safely and legally transported? The answer, of course, is yes! But there are a few things that both we and the customer should know about all those bottles of red and white adult juice.

5 Tips for The Mover

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  • Wine is heavy. 12 bottles will weigh around forty pounds. Not only need a book carton, but a new one is strongly suggested.
  • Strengthen that carton. Use plenty of tape on the bottom. Those bottles will also put pressure on the carton in a way books won’t. An extra piece of (corrugated) cardboard adds strength as well as a little more cushioning.
  • Since glass is much stronger when kept vertical it seems logical to pack wine upright in the box. But some people (including Mayflower) advise laying those bottles down to keep the corks moist (particularly salient with expensive-side red wine). Others (like the folks at FlatRate) say transporting reds upside down is best “to ensure that the corks stay wet and sediment remains undisturbed.” (This after disturbing the sediment by rolling each bottle in packing paper.) We suggest packing bottles of wine upright, with a caveat in Customer Tip #1 below. However, Mayflower says (without explaining why) that sparkling wine and champagne should always be transported upright.
  • As with plates and glasses in a dish pack, wine in a book box should be packed tightly. In addition to that extra piece of cardboard at the bottom, some extra packing paper might work although crumpled paper makes for an uneven surface and may make the tops of the wine bottles sit higher than the top of the box. A dish towel or two might be the better bet. Dividers (sometimes called ‘wine cells’) can lend vertical strength to the carton (especially if the wine bottles are significantly shorter than the carton) but if they aren’t packed tightly the carton loses some horizontal integrity. Adequate amounts of packing paper, around and in between the bottles, is critical whether we use dividers or not.
  • Filling in the spaces between the skinny bottle necks is particularly important along the sides of the carton, but to support the top layer of packing paper (or dish towels) it’s a good idea to be generous with the newsprint.

5 Tips for the Customer

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Moving to the next town, or even the next state, may not pose problems for a box of wine in the back of a truck. But for longer periods of time due to a long-distance move or a long period of storage, there are a few things the customer might consider.

  • If your wine has been packed upright, it might be a good idea to lay that box on its side overnight or when it goes into storage, to keep those corks moist.
  • Extreme temperatures can ruin a good bottle of wine. Consider climate control during transport if that is an option, or think about keeping that box in the car or the cab of the truck to guard against the summer heat or the winter chill.
  • If moving out of state, check for laws regulating how much wine or other forms of alcohol can be transported across state lines.
  • Allow wine to sit for a week after being transported. If you doesn’t want to wait that long to crack open a bottle to celebrate finishing your move, go out and find a liquor store in your new neighborhood since hey, you’re probably going to want to know where it is anyway. (Just saying.)
  • If you’re supplying your own boxes, the local liquor shop is a good place to find some good wine cartons, complete with those dividers.

One final point: Packing and transporting uncorked bottles of wine – or any bottles that have been opened – is risky for obvious reasons. The safer bet is for the customer to finish off any opened bottles (preferably before the day of the move) or give them to their neighbors or friends who will likely be happy to help with at least THAT aspect of the move.

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