In a recent blog post, we discussed the relationship between a Senior Move Manager (SMM) and the senior housing professional or real estate agent. A few people reading the post asked if we would share more about the actual role of a senior move manager and what services they offer downsizing seniors.
The Senior Move Manager role is a relatively new one, but the profession is burgeoning, with SMM’s located in nearly every market of any size. Some choose to become members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers or other groups like the National Association of Professional Organizers.
Just as it’s the job of a Certified Senior Housing Professional to act as a trusted friend, fiduciary advisor, and business partner, a competent Senior Move Manager will provide similar service and be well-trained in how to help seniors and their adult children with what can be a very emotional and stressful phase in this transition of life.
Faced with an overwhelming life transition and project, older adult clients may look to a Senior Move Manager for advice and/or hands on assistance with sorting through personal possessions, organizing and preparing for a move, packing, estate sales, and – especially if the move is into a smaller apartment – how to “downsize” their possessions and organize them in a much smaller space.
In many scenarios, the adult children of the elder(s) live out-of-town and are unable to participate in what can often be a time consuming and emotionally draining task. This demands that the SMM not only work diligently with the senior and other related vendors, but also maintain long-distance communication with the family as well as the real estate agent.
Speaking of vendors, a first-rate SMM will have their own, long list of local professionals that they trust and utilize for the benefit of their clients. In addition to having stringent knowledge of all local assisted living and retirement communities, the SMM might also have working relationships with area home health providers, elder attorneys, professional movers, storage facilities, veterans’ benefits specialists, Medicare entitlement specialists, handymen, auctioneers, estate liquidators, CPA’s, and other senior service professionals and entities.
Of course, the situation differs for each individual client and the duties and involvement of the Senior Move Manager® will depend on those special circumstances, as well as the level of involvement that the REALTOR assumes.
As always, we at SREI recommend that senior housing professionals interview any and all service providers prior to entering into a referral relationship. Not only is it important that senior move managers have excellent communication skills and work effectively with senior clients, it is also imperative that they understand and can navigate the sales process involving a real estate transaction and related contingencies and timelines.
In some cases, move managers may have real estate sales backgrounds and may even have a currently active real estate license. If so, we recommend that there be specific conversation relative to the respective roles of senior move manager and sales agent prior to entering into a cooperative arrangement with a mutual client. Clear boundaries must be established as to not confuse the client or create unnecessary overlapping of services.