When you work for a company, and they ask you to move in Canada to take a new position in another city, you may get a relocation package. Relocation packages can come in the form of stipends for moving, salary bonuses, temporary housing, long distance moving services covered by the company, or other help getting settled in to your new home (and life!).
Relocation packages can include temporary accommodation, or company housing
Sometimes, people who have to relocate for their jobs are put up in a home paid for by the company – for them and their family. It might be cheaper for the company than paying for you to travel a lot on business.
If you are asked to find the accommodation, for reimbursement later, check out our article on this topic here:
You can negotiate your relocation package when moving in Canada
You may not realize this, but if your company is asking you to move long distance, they probably really want to keep you. That means you can ask for a custom relocation package. Of course, don’t go overboard. But for instance, if you need to take your family with you to check out houses before moving, you can ask for that. They may pay for that trip.
Relocation packages can include a lot you may not be thinking of. It’s not just the long distance move they’ll cover, or the housing and storage needs. A company may help your spouse get a job, pay for child care services, or even cover language training.
The point is to think about what you will need before and after the move, so you can ask the company for compensation in your relocation package. Not all will be willing to go that far, but it’s worth asking, and worth making a case. After all, you’d be uprooting your life to work for them.
While relocation packages may have become rare due to recent economic downturns, they are not totally abolished as a reasonable concept among businesses.
As an article linked to above notes, always maintain receipts of the cost of your move. Even if that includes meals paid for while road tripping with a trailer across the country. Track all of it. It may be needed when calculating the stipend a company will reimburse you for.
You can search for jobs with companies that offer relocation packages, if you want to move in Canada
It may sound sly, but if you are job hunting, and also would like a change of scenery, there isn’t a lot stopping you from finding job postings with companies that are willing to pay you to move.
One way to do this is to visit a job website, and type in the word “relocation” in your search. You can get results where the company is actually advertising a relocation package as part of their job offer.
You can also google a company you want to work for, and then also type in the word “relocation” to see if they have job openings on the web that include these packages.
However, these can be few and far between.
Other times, the company may not advertise their relocation package policies so directly. If you know someone within the company, they may be able to give you an inside scoop on typical relocation packages. If the company has an HR department, you might be able to randomly call in to ask if they offer these incentives to eligible applicants.
Other times, you’ll just need to apply for the job you want. Then if you get selected, ask – in a professional way – if they can offer you help with your business move. If they see you are highly qualified, and a rare hire, it may just work out.
When you’re ready to move to another city in Canada, give us a shout! We can help you with the long-distance move, as well as temporary storage of your belongings until you get settled. Our storage comes in portable containers, which means your goods can be shipped when you want them, without unnecessary unloading.
See Other Relocation or Long Distance Moving Articles:
Finding Temporary Accommodation When Doing A Cross Country Move In Canada
When you’re planning a cross country move in Canada, there are going to be multiple factors to consider, no doubt. Balancing the timeline of events will be a little tricky. If you’re selling your home, your closing date may not have the 30-60 day window that will allow you to find a new place to live with ample notice. And even if it does, you might not find the perfect permanent dwelling in that time.
When you’re moving cross country in Canada, even if you’re not selling your home, but plan to move out of a rental, or plan to rent out your existing home, you have get used to your new neighbourhood. Deciding where to move in Toronto, for example, is not the same as deciding where to live in Vancouver. Traffic and distances are different – what took you 30 minutes to commute in Vancouver could take more than an hour in a bigger city. School districts may be organized differently, or come with different rules. Access to amenities could make your life more or less difficult.
And that’s all on top of finding the right space, with the right number of bedrooms, and the right decor style that fits you.
In short, moving is not as cut and dry as packing up one home, and then moving into another on the same day, or even within a few days.
Other times, you need a temporary place to stay while your home is being repaired or renovated.
Here are some options for finding such temporary accommodations:
Oakwood website: This is a site for finding a temporary place to live in Canada, that is not a hotel, but comes with similar services. These types of accommodations are used by business executives, relocators, and the like. They are referred to as serviced apartments.
Corporate Housing Locators: a similar service to the above, except they provide services across Canada, the USA and Europe for all your long distance moves. It also seems that they professionally manage the temporary accommodation places, and are able to provide better rates due to their volume of business (according to their website).
Comfy Suites: another Vancouver-based short-term apartment rental service. This company doesn’t just ‘match make’ like Vancouver Serviced Apartments, but they claim they own and manage their own suites. They also advertise their service is like a hotel stay, but more “flexibility.”
Corporate Housing Provider’s Association: this is an association offering membership, which may be a sign of better quality and regulation by the participating companies who join. Their directory offers a listing of Canadian temporary housing companies.
Airbnb: the DIY site for finding a vacation rental. Keep in mind with Airbnb, there is little regulation and you could be renting from anyone. News stories abound of the troubles of using this service. Then again, many people love it.
Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO): this is a term used in the industry, but also the name of a website. The usefulness of finding a VRBO is that you deal directly with the owner of the property (obvious). This means you can negotiate without the complex ‘rules’ that a large hotel chain may insist upon.
Owner Direct Vacation Rentals: yet another VRBO type of site for searching for a place to stay. You may want to check multiples of these sites to get more options, and perhaps a good deal.
Other options for temporary accommodations while moving long distance
While we have provided a few options for finding temporary living spaces between moving houses, of course, we know there are more out there. Other ‘hits’ to try finding a accommodation for you and your family during a transitional move are:
Craigslist, Kijiji and local classified sites: individual home owners may be looking to have their house rented while they go on an extended vacation. They may not be ‘pros’ at the VRBO game, and may not be listing in all the ‘big’ places. While that comes with some risk, it may also simplify your search and arrangements. Just be sure to get a written contract in place, and take pictures of the condition of the home before you move in, to avoid any disputes.
Ask your realtor: if you have just sold a home, your realtor may have ideas for places to look. They may be listing an unsold home, for instance, or they may be property managing a home that is rarely occupied. Perhaps the owner was not looking for renters, but wouldn’t mind the extra earnings you could offer them. Again, keep conflict resolution in mind, and get a signed agreement between both parties in these instances.
Ask a friend: you’d be surprised how willing your friends may be to offer you a place to stay, or to refer you to friends they know in other cities. People can really enjoy the time together, especially when there are kids involved! Couch surfing is something we think of young people doing for cultural experiences. But it may be fun for families too.
Home exchange sites: there are plenty of home exchange sites that are usually for the adventurous-minded who don’t mind letting people stay in their home, while they stay in other people’s homes. If you join a network like this, you may be able to utilize it for your temporary accommodation needs while moving. Of course, that may mean you need to let someone else stay in your home at another point in time, which you may or may not be comfortable with. But perhaps it’s worth checking out.
Whatever your choice, being able to arrange your temporary accommodations well in advance will likely result in less stress for you and the family. You may need storage solutions while you are in a temporary home, and at Ferguson Moving and Storage, we’re happy to help with that portion! Give us a call, and we’ll get you a quote-in-writing.
Moving is expensive. And so is selling your home. However, when you are moving in Canada, you have some options when it comes to saving money on real estate services. These savings can come in many forms, and during different steps in the process. In this article, we’ll explore some of these options.
Sell your home using the FSBO method
FSBO stands for “For Sale By Owner” and it refers to the private sale of a home. Websites like this one are out there to help people do this. The world of real estate may seem like a mystery. Or you may think there is a big, and good reason why real estate agents pay a few thousand dollars to take a real estate course, and then more to join a broker firm.
However, there are home sellers who do all the work that real estate agent does, saving themselves the commission fee they would normally pay a sales agent.
But according to this article, don’t be fooled into thinking there are no fees with this method. It just means you take on the costs of selling the home, including the real estate lawyer fees. It also means you do all the work, and will have to learn the ropes when it comes to negotiations on your home price. This isn’t exactly like listing your patio furniture for sale on Craigslist. There is more that goes into selling a house when you are moving in Canada.
Some are calling the real estate agent service a rip off, for the amount of work they do. Selling your home by doing the listing and marketing of it yourself may be a piece of cake for you. Other times, you may find it’s harder to sell house than it looks (even if you pay to list in the MLS without a broker). If you are already stressed by moving in Canada, and need help to buy a home too, a real estate agent may be worth the investment, given how much more efficiently they can work.
Use a FinTech Real Estate Company
FinTech companies are companies using technology to cut out middle-men in financial services. FinTech real estate companies are entering this field. In some ways, they can save on the lending and borrowing of a home buying plan, like a mortgage. Or they can get you a quick credit rating for home buying. Other times, they can help you find buyers outside the MLS that you can speak to directly. Or, they might just be able to help you list your home without a real estate agent or broker service when moving in Canada.
FinTech companies are online-based, however. That means a lot of DIY for you, and a familiarity with web-based services. Most of the work will be done by you, on your computer. If technology intimidates you, this may be something you’d want to avoid. Then again, if you like robo investor sites and the like, then these services may be your cup of tea when trying to save money on the sale of your home.
Look for lower-cost real estate agents and brokers
Canada has a booming real estate agent marketplace. The number of people helping others buy or sell homes is increasing, along with the growth in profits to be earned thanks to current housing prices. This can mean there are fewer houses for more real estate agents to sell, resulting in (hopefully) more competitive prices on their services, or the cuts they’re willing to take to get your listing.
But how can real estate agents compete on price? Good question. It’s actually one that has brought up controversy lately.
To understand how ‘cheaper’ real estate sale services work, you first need to know how real estate commissions are earned and calculated in the traditional sense. This article does a great job of that for Canadian home buyers and sellers (mainly for the Vancouver, B.C. market though): https://youngandthrifty.ca/real-estate-agent-commissions-decoded/
As you read the article above, you’ll see that there are two sides to the story. And depending on your case, you may or may not find the value in real estate services to be worthwhile when planning a move in Canada.
To conclude: moving in Canada doesn’t have to be as expensive as always
If you’ve moved a couple times, or have bought and sold houses more than once, you may feel more comfortable taking the non-traditional routes noted above for your relocation. Either way, it helps to be educated about how the real estate sales industry works.
Even if you do get a full-service, full-commission real estate agent to help you when moving in Canada, you should know if you picked a good choice, and are earning the wage you pay them. The resources above can be an aid in ensuring you are getting the best service for the best price too.
After your home is sold or bought, feel free to call us and we’ll help you with the moving truck and movers!
Call Ferguson Moving & Storage in Moving in Canada.
This is the third article in our series on how to avoid long distance moving scams. As we’ve stated in our earlier articles part one and part two, the advice we’re giving is based on real scenarios of people who have endured problems with shady business practices in the moving industry.
Moving in Canada should be safe, and predictable. But multiple news reports are showing that is often not the case. Even if you don’t move with a long establish company like Ferguson Moving and Storage, you should at least be aware of what’s out there and what to look for in a reputable, honest moving company such as Ferguson Moving and Storage.
Below we’ll continue mentioning what to look out for when hiring a long distance moving company.
Don’t use a long distance moving company that outsources it services
The other thing to watch out for is what the president of the Canadian Association of Movers says in this CBC article: moving companies that outsource their services.
In the story linked to above, the family whose belongings were in storage couldn’t get their boxes because one of the companies involved in the long distance move claimed they had not been paid! This is really an issue between two companies and should not be offloaded to a customer.
However, as a consumer, you should never be working with a moving company that does not hire and train their own staff, with full insurance, injury coverage and compensation. The person you talk to on the phone, or the person who does your moving quote, should be connected to the actual movers who show up on moving day.
Don’t pay a cash deposit, and don’t sign a moving contract without clear dates and times stated
Some moving companies just don’t show up. It happens, believe it or not. And what are you supposed to do when you have to be out of your home in a day, with no other moving company available last minute to help you move?
As the article we linked to above states, avoid paying a cash deposit. And if you do pay an up-front deposit, make sure you have a binding contract that ensures the moving company will show up. Being late is one thing (traffic and delays happen to the best of us). Not showing up is another. As a consumer, you should be protected and compensated for such instances.
Your contract should also state that your belongings will not be left in storage, and there should be clear dates for delivery as well, putting onus on the moving company to make the delivery. If you have to go and get your things out of a locker, that means extra cost for you, unless you own a huge truck, which we’re guessing you don’t.
Make sure your moving company has a real address and physical location
The CBC video linked to above shows a reporter trying to find a moving company that is accused of overcharging their customers based on false weight tickets. But when trying to go to the locations listed in their marketing material and documentation, all they could find were Shopper’s Drug Marts or another business office.
This is already a sign that something is not right. If a moving company can’t keep a single address, or at least keep its addresses up to date in a reasonable timeline, that may be a sign that other things are being neglected, such as ensuring weight scales are giving accurate data.
While that may sound like conjecture, remember that real moving companies have to hire employees (which are not just movers on location), and those employees need a place to work. They also have trucks they need to park and service. Sometimes, they also need storage lockers or warehouses to store belongings for long distance moves. So this is not the kind of business that can typically be run with a mere post office box service. If you can’t walk into a moving company’s office or warehouse, that can raise questions about outsourcing, as noted in our previous article on this topic.
You can do something about a moving scam
If you do encounter a problem with your moving company, there are steps you can take. To start, we wrote about how to start the conversation with them in this article:
In our first article, we explained that movingscams – even if they are based on legal-sounding contracts with legitimate moving companies – are all too common in thelong–distancemoving industry.
As this CBC Marketplace video explains, by interviewing a professional mover, starting a moving company is too easy nowadays. All you need is a friendly representative at the other end of the phone line, and a nice website. Heck, some Canadian movers don’t even own warehouses, addresses or their own trucks: all of that can be outsourced, or lied about.
Some want the moving industry regulated. But so far, that is limited.
In this series, we wanted to explain how to avoid the longdistancemoving problems that you don’t expect, or that are harder to spot. For example, a nice person comes to your home to give you a quote. Or a friend recommends a moving company. How do you predict moving company scams in situations like this?
There are tell-tale signs, and it helps to know what they are. We covered some of them in our previous article on this topic. Below we continue to cover more.
Ask about fees in detail before you sign a moving contract, or don’t let the movers load your belongings in their truck
In this story on the CBC website, a mother was told her moving costs would be 4 times what she thought they would be. As she explains in the story, the initial contact with the moving company was pleasant.
But come moving day, she was told that there would be extra fees for things like going up stairs. She was also going to be charged for wrapping TVs, and for weighing her stuff. Sound fishy? That’s because it is. All of these details should have – and could have – been covered in an initial estimate or quote, and then put in writing before moving day.
The other big lesson to learn here is also to get an in-home moving quote (it’s unclear if this happened in the story mentioned above). The person who gives you amoving estimate needs to come to your home to see your belongings. Describing the needs of your move is not likely your specialty, if you’re not a professional mover. So a moving company should be doing that for you.
Reading the story linked to above, you can see there was a lot of “she said this, she said that” – but it seems nothing was in writing except a “bill of lading.” And that document didn’t discuss all the details of what was to be moved beforehand, or what the final moving costs would be.
This comes back to the weight issue discussed in our previous article on this topic. A moving quote can be binding and set at a flat rate. You just need to find amoving company willing to give you this predictable pricing model.
But, even more fishy is that the bill of lading in this story did seem to outline what the estimates would be, as well as inclusions like ‘packing fees.’ And, get this – the addresses the moving company publicized were not accurate.
So remember – a nice website and a friendly phone call do not protect you as a consumer in the moving industry. You have to take more steps to be vigilant about the company you pick to handle yourlongdistance move.
Use long–distancemoving companies that are insured and provide insurance for lost or stolen belongings
In this CBC article, we read about a couple who claim a moving company employee stole their jewelry while it was unattended. The moving company denies the claims, stating that an investigation did not bring up proof of the situation. But the couple found out that one employee on the job had a criminal record.
In the case above, the moving company advertised it does background checks on all its employees, which it ended up not following through on, in this case. So this is not something that is easy to spot or predict as a tell-tale sign that you’ve hired a shady moving company. Just know there are no guarantees. And no one can say with certainty that a person with a criminal record is going to commit crimes agains, or shouldn’t be hired at a job to start a new beginning.
However, there is a lesson to be learned with all this: never leave your valuables unattended! Jewelry in this case was left in a box in the bedroom. But something that valuable should be kept in a safe.
Also, make sure there is insurance for this sort of thing, if it happens. Arrange that insurance before moving day, and as you negotiate your longdistancemovingcontract. Ask your mover: what if something goes missing in my home, even if I didn’t ask you to move it for me? What then?
Since the jewelry was in a box that was not hired to be moved by the moving company, they claimed it was not their responsibility. So, you will also want to make sure that your other insurance policies cover belongings like this in such a situation. For example, make sure your homeowner’s insurance would cover you if you put things in a special box on moving day to prepare for the move.
You also want to ensure your moving company has insurance for in case belongings get damaged during the move. This happened, and was caught on camera, withthis moving company customer.
To conclude: long distancemovingscams are preventable
As we noted earlier, a lot of these issues can be prevented if you are aware of how to spot them. They do happen, and we’ve only mentioned a handful of articles on the CBC site that describe them.
If you are booking a mover through an online bidding program or through an app, like this one used in the U.S., remember you still need to meet the mover in person, and ensure they are a reputable company. This is especially so with a long distance move, because your belongings will be going farther, and there is more to consider. There is also less you can take with you, or move on your own.