The COVID-19 pandemic caused people from all over Canada to uproot their lives and move for various reasons, which had a significant impact on the moving industry. Whether people were looking for more space to accommodate their newfound remote work lifestyles, more fresh air and a better view, or moving elsewhere to begin early retirement, etc., it was clear that no matter what’s happening in the world, people are always going to move and will continue to do so.
Our team at Ferguson Moving & Storage had to learn on the fly how to adapt and adjust to the completely new moving landscape, but we managed to adjust quickly and remained fully operational despite the shutdowns and restrictions in our country. With changes coming to regulations and requirements on an almost daily or weekly basis for the past two years, our dynamic team has been able to continuously pivot and adjust according to the needs of our customers, employees, and neighborhoods that we serve. Despite how turbulent everything has been because of COVID-19, the moving industry has continued to grow and remains stable, and Ferguson Moving and Storage has been a great example of how the industry can thrive under just about any circumstance.
This blog post will explore how the pandemic has impacted the moving industry, how people move these days, and why now is the best time to consider becoming a moving franchise business owner.
Relocation and Moving Industry Adjustments
Looking back over the past couple of years, it’s evident that very few industries were genuinely prepared to handle the pandemic when it hit. For the moving industry, this has resulted in some pretty significant changes in how people move, but companies like ours were ready to jump on these changes and help our customers thrive during uncertain times. The relocation industry (and our organization) had to adjust to regulations such as:
- Social distancing. Remaining six feet apart from coworkers and customers was a difficult change. Moving furniture, which often requires close contact and physical exertion, became challenging.
- Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). The use of gloves, masks, and face shields became the norm to protect workers and customers.
- Regular cleaning and disinfecting. This was always important in the moving industry but took on new significance during the pandemic. All surfaces had to be cleaned and disinfected regularly, and many companies invested in new cleaning equipment and protocols.
- Enhanced safety measures. Many moving companies improved their safety measures, such as conducting health screenings for employees and customers (sometimes up to three times per day), implementing contactless move-ins and move-outs, and increasing communication and transparency with customers about safety protocols.
While some of these regulations are no longer applicable in our business, like wearing gloves and masks full-time, we were able to adjust to regulatory demands quickly to remain operational throughout the major shutdowns. It’s critical to us that we offer our customers a reliable moving and storage resource at all times, so the ability to rapidly change how we ran our daily operations was a great testament to what we’re willing to do to keep our business open and operating effectively.
The changes that the moving industry has had to implement to keep workers and customers safe have not been easy, but they were necessary. And while the industry is still adjusting to the new normal, it’s growing faster than ever. We believe that our 100+ years of industry experience allowed us to be more prepared than most moving and storage companies for an unexpected and volatile situation like this. Our preparedness allowed our corporate and franchise-owned branches to thrive and flourish despite the harsh economic climate surrounding us.
How Much Has the Moving Industry Grown Because of the Pandemic?
Over 20 percent of adults in North America decided to move once the pandemic hit, creating a massive boom in the moving industry. In 2020 alone, there were more than 10 million moves in North America, which was a 20 percent increase from 2019. As the pandemic continued to rage on, this trend continued. People rushed to secure homes in suburban areas to stay socially distant from others, especially as more companies began offering remote work opportunities to their employees. Housing markets have exploded in value as more individuals have looked for chances at homeownership, and the moving industry has benefitted.
Moving Data and Statistics for Canada
Not convinced that there’s been a massive surge in interest from people in relocation? We’ve compiled some high-level data points about how the moving industry has changed in 2020 thanks to COVID-19:
- According to Statistics Canada population estimates, more than 64,000 people departed Toronto for other parts of Ontario from mid-2020 to mid-2021, up 14% from the previous 12 months.
- The city of Montreal, Canada’s second-largest metropolis, saw a net loss of 39,900 residents to other areas of the province, up 60% on the year.
- Across Canada, the average home cost has increased by 34% since March 2020 when news of the pandemic broke. The average home now costs C$780,400 ($624,870), up from an average of C$515,064 ($401,039).
- Until June 30, 2021, data provided from Nova Scotia indicated that they added more than 6,000 new people to the province throughout the year.
Even places like rural Quebec saw a considerable uptick in popularity, with over 25,000 new residents relocating from more urban centers within the province.
Why Now is a Great Time to Start a Moving Franchise
Now that the worst of the pandemic is seemingly behind us, there’s no better time to invest in a moving franchise than now. The industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, and there’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon despite the current world events (non-pandemic related) and economic hardships being experienced by so many Canadians. If you’re looking for a recession-proof business that has the potential to thrive in any economic climate, then look no further than the moving industry.
There are many reasons why now is a great time to start a moving franchise with Ferguson Moving & Storage, but here are our top three:
- Being a franchise owner allows you to leverage our expertise, resources, training, and support to hit the ground running. We’ve been in business for over 100 years and have seen it all when it comes to moving – there’s nothing that we haven’t experienced or couldn’t help you with.
- The need for moving services isn’t going anywhere, especially with the pandemic continuing to drive people out of densely populated areas and into more rural areas. In fact, the demand for moving services will only continue to increase as the population grows and people relocate for work, family, or retirement.
- Ferguson Moving & Storage is one of the most well-known and trusted moving and storage companies in the moving industry. We have an excellent reputation and are known for providing high-quality services and support to our customers and franchisees. When you become a franchise owner, you instantly inherit that same reputation and can leverage our brand recognition to attract new customers.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to be your own boss and grow a successful business, investing in a Ferguson Moving & Storage franchise is the perfect option. We offer everything you need to get started and be successful in the moving industry, so contact us today to learn more about how you can get started.