August 23, 2022

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

Whether or not you are moving across town or across the country, getting a complete evaluation of your things is crucial for a successful relocation. In recent years, many Buffalo moving companies have broadened their up-front estimate process to include virtual visits. But Corrigan has been leading in virtual surveys for more than four years? We have combined best practices and technology since 2018 to perfect the digital estimation process. When other moving companies were learning best practices, Corrigan was ahead of the curve about serving our customers and providing an easy, safe option for your preliminary move consultation. Even though a lot of customers would rather welcome us into their homes, having the option of 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 setting up a move with any moving company, you want to have a move consultation so they can discuss their pricing and services offered. Now many moving companies give you the option of performing the initial consultation either virtually or in-home. While different movers have different approaches, here’s what to expect scheduling a virtual survey with Corrigan Moving.

Corrigan Moving is a leading agent for United Van Lines, who built their own proprietary virtual platform pairing with the Amazon cloud. This results in a platform that is so secure the government trusts it for many of its agencies! Before your appointment, all you’ll need to do is download the Virtual Survey App from your device’s app store. After downloading, you are all set and ready for your appointment!

At the time of your appointment, your move consultant will send a text and email message to begin. This message includes a link that opens in your Virtual Survey App. And voila – your move consultant is now ”standing” in your home! They’ll take as much time as needed to discuss your move details and finding out what is most important to you when it comes to your relocation. After that, you will use your phone to walk through your home, narrating and showing what items you’d like to move, the layout of your home, walkways, driveway, etc. When everything has been viewed and discussed, your consultant will use that video to create a detailed inventory and move plan, just for you.

Fact vs. Fiction

Are Virtual Surveys Accurate?

New technology and learning a new way to do something will take time. But many moving companies have integrated virtual surveys. Why? Because it works!

“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%,” continued 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.”

People who aren’t used to virtual surveys may also be afraid that critical information, like if a semi-truck can access the home, may be missed with a survey virtually.

“This really isn’t the case,” replied 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 often hear customers chose a virtual survey appointment “because it’s faster”. This is not technically the case! Corrigan move consultants do both virtual and in-home appointments during the day, so asking for a virtual appointment doesn’t make it possible for you to be seen quicker. If you have to have an appointment after regular hours, a virtual survey does offer more flexibility with what appointment times may be available.

When is an in-home survey better?

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


  • You have poor, spotty or unreliable internet connection
  • If you have any breakable works of art, glass tops, collectibles or statues that must have exact measurements for crating. This can be done virtually, but you’ll be the one responsible for getting these measurements)
  • If you do not own a smartphone or tablet device


Which survey is best for me?

In the end, the choice between an in-home or virtual survey when speaking to a Buffalo moving company boils down to personal preference. All of our consultants offer the option and both methods have been very 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.

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