August 23, 2022

In-Home Estimate or Virtual Survey: Which is best for you?

Whether or not you are moving across the country or across town, having a exhaustive accounting of your stuff is necessary for a successful relocation. In recent years, a few Ann Arbor moving companies have augmented their up-front estimate process to also have virtual visits. But Corrigan has offered virtual surveys for more than four years? Since 2018, we have blended technology and best practices to offer a perfect virtual estimation process. When some moving companies were still learning about best practices, Corrigan was ahead of the curve regarding serving our customers and having a simple, safe option for the up-front move consultation. Although many customers prefer welcoming us into their homes, the option of having a survey that can be done virtually is here to stay. That poses the question, which choice is right for you?

What is a Virtual Survey, anyway?

Prior to scheduling your relocation with a moving company, will want to have a move consultation to discuss their price and services. Now many moving companies provide the option of having this initial consultation either in-home or virtually. Although different movers have different ways of performing their surveys, here’s what you can expect when you schedule a virtual survey with Corrigan Moving.

United Van Lines (who Corrigan is a leading agent for), developed their own proprietary virtual platform pairing with Amazon’s cloud platform. United Van Line’s platform is so secure the government trusts it for many of its agencies! Prior to your appointment, all you’ll need to do is download the unique Virtual Survey App from your phone or tablet’s app store. Once downloaded, you are all set and ready for your appointment!

When your appointment time comes, you will get a text and email message from your move consultant to begin. This message will contain a link to the Virtual Survey App. And voila – your move consultant is now right there in your home! Your consultant will take as much time as you need discussing the specifics of your move and figure out what’s most important to you respecting your relocation. Once that’s done, we’ll have you use your phone to walk through your home, speaking to and showing the items you want to move, the logistics of your home, your driveway, etc. When you have discussed and recorded everything, your consultant will create a detailed inventory and move plan just for you.

Fact vs. Fiction

Are Virtual Surveys Accurate?

It takes time to learn new technologies and new ways of doing things. However, most moving companies have integrated virtual surveys. Why? Because they work!

“When a move consultant is in a customer’s home, they’re talking with the customer along with creating the inventory. Virtual surveys allow our consultants the chance to review survey videos, think through the best solutions, ensuring accuracy. Being able to rely on that video throughout the move process, to allow the move coordinator to see it, sharing images from the videos with crew members and drivers can really eliminate surprises on the day of the move,” said Ashley Walsh, Head of the Virtual Survey Team for Corrigan.

“I worked exclusively in-home for about 7 years before transitioning to virtual surveys 100%,” added Walsh. “I personally feel I am more accurate and thorough when working with a customer virtually. It allows me to focus on one thing at a time, which also allows the customer to focus on one thing at a time. They’re more likely to slow down, remember and relay all the details that are important to them, so nothing gets missed.”

Customers who aren’t used to virtual surveys may also be afraid that important information, like if a semi-truck can park at the home, will be missed with a survey virtually.

“This really isn’t the case,” said Walsh. “When a move consultant drives to a customer’s home, they’re making notes before they knock on the door. How long the driveway is, where the truck should park, the best access into a neighborhood, are all things that are important for a moving company. When doing a survey virtually, we have several tools we use to get the same information. We most commonly use Google Maps, Zillow and Google Street View before starting the appointment. We can even measure the exact length of a road or driveway from satellite images. That allows us to know what we’re about to see, and tailor our questions and dialogue accordingly. Essentially, we’re capturing the exact same information as in-home consultants.”

Are virtual surveys faster?

We often hear customers chose a virtual survey appointment “because it is faster”. This is not really true! Corrigan move consultants perform both virtual and in-home appointments during the day, so scheduling a virtual appointment doesn’t make it possible for them to see you any sooner. If you need an appointment after regular hours, a virtual survey provides more flexibility of what times are available for your appointment.

When is an in-home survey better?

There are some times when having a consultant come to your home is better. Here are some circumstances to lean towards an in-home relocation consultation:


  • If you have a spotty, poor or unreliable Wi-Fi or mobile data connection
  • If you have any breakable works of art, statues, glass tops or collectibles that must have exact measurements for crating (this can be done virtually, but you will be the one responsible for getting these measurements)
  • You don’t own a smartphone or tablet device


Which is right for me?

In the end, the choice between an in-home or virtual survey when talking with a Ann Arbor moving company is really all personal preference. All consultants with Corrigan offer the option between both and we have been hugely successful.

“Virtual surveys are an accurate, convenient option that we’re happy to permanently offer. Allowing our customers to choose which consultation method fits their needs is just another demonstration of how Corrigan Moving Systems prioritizes the customer experience,” said Walsh.

So, which one is right for you? Contact Corrigan Moving today for your free, no-obligation, in-home or virtual estimate!
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