What is ReloTech?
ReloTech is technology built to benefit the relocation industry
Most sectors of our economy have experienced technology revolutions over the last 10 years. Tasks, like hailing a taxi, booking a doctor’s appointment, and finding a hotel or shared space have become seamless online experiences. One after another, technology has introduced efficiency and transparency to former offline industries.
‘ReloTech’ stands for ‘relocation technology’ – new technology applied in the relocation, moving, and storage industries. The industry itself has been around for decades, but it’s only recently caught the attention of the media and entrepreneurs, as many companies – both tech companies and moving and storage companies – are now attempting to improve the process of moving from one home to another.
ReloTech is beginning to break through, as technology companies see a huge opportunity to help consumers, relocation professionals, real estate companies, and all others in the industry. And these same relocation companies/professionals are seeking modern software solutions to improve and optimize their businesses.
Why does relocation need some updating? Moving is often viewed by consumers as a broken, inefficient process. It's an emotional journey that often gets a bad rap. Let's face it, no one enjoys packing up their home just to unpack it again and updating all their accounts and home services. As Thomas Edison once said, “There’s a better way to do it – find it.” Consumer pain points across all industries spawn innovation.
Let’s take a look at some verticals that ReloTech is already helping modernize:
The Moving Industry
These are your professional full-service moving companies. These companies consist of large, well established national van lines all the way down to small local operations, and just about everything in between. This industry is home to the incredible people who care for your belongings as they make their way to your new home.
According to AMSA (the American Moving & Storage Association), 45 million individual Americans move each year across 17 million households.
Over 7,000 moving companies employ 122,600 people.
Most of these 7,000 moving companies are small businesses, with 47.8% of the companies employing less than five people.
Moving companies operate 50,000 trucks on the nation’s roads.
Leading industry associations include AMSA, the International Association of Movers, and individual state associations.
The Employee Relocation Industry
Relocation is an industry that you may not know much about, but it has a major impact on the lives of thousands moving each month — especially those moving long distances. Employee Relocation is the process of moving an employee, their family, and/or entire departments of a business to a new location. Within the space, there are large companies like relocation management companies, niche providers of specific services (like shipping a car), and even software systems that help tabulate the relocation budget for employees.
The United States Census Bureau reports that nearly 20% of Americans move for job-related reasons.
According to Atlas Van Lines' 2017 Corporate Relocation Survey, the three top factors affecting relocation trends in 2016 were: lack of local talent (44%); expansion efforts (43%); and company growth (41%).
Fortune 500 companies alone represent nearly 600,000 relocations within the United States.
The leading industry association and advocacy group is the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council.
The Storage Industry
The storage industry is comprised of self-storage facilities across the United States, where individuals can self-store belongings in units smaller than a room or as large as 200 square feet. With on-demand services continually gaining popularity, finding a self-storage unit is just a swipe away.
There are over 54 thousand self-storage facilities in the U.S., with over three billion square feet of storage space.
Self-storage facilities employ a staggering 170,000 people with an average of 3.5 employees per facility.
The leading industry association and advocacy group is the Self Storage Association.
Challenging the status quo
Now that you understand some players within the relocation industry, you might be wondering how new technology helps companies in these industries streamline services, future-proof their businesses, and provide value to their consumers in a more efficient or smarter way.
Emerging technology companies are challenging the ‘relo’ status quo, by working with and alongside existing players to drive innovation. Relative newcomers, like Updater (we’ve only been around since 2011), are chomping at the bit to help the relocation industry become more efficient, and bridge the gap between consumer expectations and the services that are delivered. Technology companies are eager to learn from well-established relocation professionals and do their part in the effort to solve challenges within the industry.
ReloTech companies are agile, nimble, and able to quickly adapt to changing consumer needs. Innovation happens fast, and industry giants often can’t react as quickly as their newfound counterparts. But together, these two groups can transform the consumer experience.
Americans have come to expect nothing less than instant results and gratification. Consumers (movers in this case) are busier than ever and want tasks done yesterday. That’s why streamlining the moving process and giving customers back valuable hours in their day means huge time, money (and headache) savings.
What to expect from ReloTech
Tasks that used to take hours to accomplish (which inspired the founding of Updater) will soon all take just minutes. And, in a world where efficiency reigns, this means a dramatic improvement in the way Americans move.
Imagine the day when moving isn’t quite so complicated. When checking things off your to-do list is as easy as a swipe. When transferring your utilities, setting up new home service providers, finding and booking a trustworthy moving company, and discovering the best celebratory ice cream cone in your new hood can all be done seamlessly. No headaches.
This is just the beginning of a technological movement that will simplify the lives of millions of Americans and help companies that are traditionally apprehensive about technology adopt new ways of doing things. ReloTech companies like Updater want to introduce well-established industry players to new technology and modern processes that may help the consumer experience and improve their bottom line.
It’s an exciting industry on the precipice of major change, one that Updater is excited and truly honored to be a part of.
Jenna is Updater’s Head of Marketing and a published relotech expert. She’s an endless seeker of knowledge, a lover of craft brews, and a huge Philadelphia sports fan. Follow her on Twitter here.