August 23, 2022

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

Whether you’re moving in-town or cross-country, ensuring a thorough accounting of your household goods is crucial for a successful relocation. In recent years, many Grand Rapids moving companies have expanded their initial moving estimate process to include virtual visits. But were you aware that Corrigan las an industry leader offering virtual surveys for more than 4 years? Since 2018, we have integrated technology and best practices to offer a perfect virtual estimation process. When some moving companies were learning best practices, Corrigan didn’t miss a beat when it came to serving our customers and providing a simple, safe option for the initial move consultation. Although most customers prefer welcoming us into their homes, having the option of a survey performed virtually is the new normal. So, which option is best for you?

What is a Virtual Survey, anyway?

Before scheduling a relocation with any moving company, will want to have a move consultation so they can discuss their pricing and services offered. Many moving companies now give you the option of doing the initial consultation either virtually or in-home. Though every mover has different methods, 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), built their own proprietary virtual platform pairing with AWS from Amazon. This results in a platform that is so secure it is used by many government agencies! All you have to do before your appointment is download our unique Virtual Survey App from your device’s app store. After you download it, you will be all set and ready for your appointment!

When your appointment time comes, your move consultant will send a text and email message to begin your survey. This message contains a link which will open the Virtual Survey App. And voila – you have a move consultant right there in your home! They will spend as much time as you need to talk with you about the specifics of your move and finding out what is most important to you when it comes to your move. After that, you will use your phone to walk through your home, speaking to and showing what items you’d like to move, the details of your home, walkways, driveway, etc. When everything has been viewed and discussed, your consultant will make a move plan and detailed inventory just for you.

Fact vs. Fiction

Are Virtual Surveys Accurate?

It takes time to learn new technology and new ways of doing things. That said, a lot of 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 the head of the Virtual Survey Team for Corrigan, Ashley Walsh.

“I worked exclusively in-home for about 7 years before transitioning to virtual surveys 100%,” Walsh added. “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.”

People who aren’t familiar with virtual surveys also are afraid that important specifics, such as whether or not a semi-truck can park at the home, may be missed when doing 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.”

Is it faster to have a virtual survey?

We hear customers often choosing a virtual survey appointment “because it is faster”. This is not necessarily the case! Our move consultants perform both in-home and virtual appointments during the business day, so asking for a virtual appointment does not change their availability for you to be seen any quicker. If you need an appointment after-hours, a virtual survey does give you more flexibility with what appointment times may be available.

When is an in-home survey better?

Sometimes having a consultant come to your home is more beneficial. Here are some circumstances to think about an in-home move consultation:


  • If you have a spotty, poor or unreliable Wi-Fi or mobile data connection
  • If you own several breakable pieces of artwork, collectibles, statues, or glass tops that require exact measurements for crating which can be done virtually, but you’d be responsible for taking these measurements)
  • If you don’t own a smartphone or tablet device


Which survey is best for me?

In the end, the debate of an in-home or virtual survey when scheduling with a Grand Rapids moving company comes down to personal preference. All of our consultants offer the option and both methods have been incredibly successful for us.

“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.

Which will you choose? Contact Corrigan Moving today for your free, no-obligation, in-home or virtual estimate!