Moving house is a mixed bag of emotions: it could mean moving on to bigger and better things, the house of your dreams or the inner city hub you longed to live in during the years you trekked it into the CBD from your suburb on the outskirts of the city. But even the most exciting of moves is still a pain – setting up new internet, gas, and electricity, changing your address on your license and every other thing you’ve ever signed up to…
Looking to fix this problem is Auckland-based startup MoovMe. Founded by Claudia Smith and Russell Smith – no relation – the platform helps users easily tell their service providers, internet, electricity, and the like, that they are moving home, allowing them to set up at their new address, and notify a range of other organisations that have their details on file of their change of address.
The idea came from Russell’s work with a number of corporates throughout New Zealand with Whereabouts, a digital data agency providing address validation and identity verification solutions.
“A client of Russell’s presented a challenge, “how can a business be notified when a customer is planning to move home?” This is a big problem for companies who often lose customers when they move home,” Claudia explained.
On the user’s end, MoovMe works by simply completing a sign up form detailing their name, email, phone, and address, and then clicking all the providers that need to be notified of a move. The user then adds in their new address and date of the move. Once this is done, MoovMe handles the rest, communicating it to the service providers.
The user will then either receive confirmation of the move directly from the provider or receive a follow up from the provider asking them to confirm details about access to the new property for broadband installation, for example, or to confirm new details for insurance purposes.
Claudia explained that MoovMe acts as a checklist, helping users not only move over their core services, but also reminding them of other companies they may have forgotten.
“MoovMe is a no brainer from a customer perspective. When you talk to people about the concept, the general response is, ‘that makes so much sense, why doesn’t it exist already?’ The biggest challenge for us, being a new venture, is making people aware that it does exist now and can save them so much time, pain and money when they’re moving,” Claudia explained.
“It’s also a challenge getting the timing right, making people aware that MoovMe exists before they are moving and giving them the confidence that they can tell their power, broadband and TV providers through MoovMe and that they will be switched on at their new address and while they’re at it, they can also update all their other providers.”
On the company’s end, Claudia said MoovMe works through a number of different communication methods, from integrated services, email notifications, or company access via a secure dashboard, all depending on the company’s processes.
There are a number of big companies signed on, from internet providers Spark and Orcon to banks, insurance companies, universities, and city councils, with over 100 businesses on board.
While the service solves a big headache for consumers, it also solves a serious problem facing these kinds of businesses: having accurate, up to date contact information for clients is crucial in minimising the risk of misdirected mail, which could result in identity theft or fraud. It also helps with the problem of customer churn – it can sometimes be so difficult to switch over ISPs to a new address, for example, that many consumers end up choosing a new one.
The service is free for users, which is where the partner deals come in; after making a ‘Moov’ users will be presented with special offers on the kinds of services that come with moving home, such as a discounted move with a relocation company, half price van hire, or a free carpet or oven clean and so on. MoovMe will be looking to monetise through this marketplace.
So far, Claudia said MoovMe has seen 3,000 users on its platform since its launch two months ago, from students to renters through to first home buyers.
The startup’s goal is pretty straight forward: “We want to be the first thing people think of when they know they’re moving home,” Claudia said.
MoovMe will look to expand around New Zealand over the coming months before heading into Australia by the end of the year.
Image: Russell Smith and Claudia Smith. Source: Supplied.