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Working in the senior downsizing industry isn’t about just moving a person from one location to another. It’s requires a deeply felt commitment to serving seniors and their families during what can be one of the most challenging and difficult experiences of their lives. Senior transition specialists must embody core personal traits such as patience, compassion, a strong sense of ethics, be consistent and diligent in their service responsibilities.
A Senior Downsizing Specialist (SDS), also known as a Senior Transition Specialist, provides expertise in helping seniors more effectively navigate a downsizing or other transitional move. A SDS offers a wide range of supportive services to their clients who are typically moving from a larger home to a smaller home or retirement community.
Not every SDS offers the same services, but most often they help seniors and/or their families with five or more of the following: pre-move organizing and purging of items from their existing home, space planning of furniture to be taken to their new home, packing/unpacking (including providing all materials), all mover arrangements or actual mover services, move-day management and disposal of unwanted items via estate sale services, arrangements for donation or trash removal pickup, consignment or other needed resources. A SDS’s key role is providing their clients with a comprehensive transitions plan that best meets their needs, both emotionally and physically.
You do not need to provide mover services as part of your Senior Downsizing Specialist business. Professional moving companies are governed by their own industry, state licensing and insurance requirements. Though there is certainly a percentage of Senior Downsizing Specialist who are also licensed moving companies (meaning that they are responsible for the physical moving of furniture and personal belongings from one destination to another), more typically, SDS’s work in tandem with a trusted, but separate independent moving company partner on move day.
Compared to a lot of businesses, creating a successful senior downsizing business doesn’t require a huge amount of capital or equipment resources to get up and running quickly. But it does require 100% commitment, hard work and a clear, realistic business plan.
It’s also important to understand that any credible downsizing business will require a certain amount of capital investment to cover essential start-up expenses including monies for: packing and moving supplies, labor wages, transportation, office administration set-up, ongoing office expenses (Internet, telephone, computer/software, printer, etc.), automobile and business liability insurance, uniforms, marketing materials, advertising and other basic operational costs.
There is no specific work experience or education that is required to start your own downsizing business. As one of the fastest growing industry’s today, Senior Downsizing Specialists come from a wide variety of business backgrounds and life experience including general management, marketing, education, accounting, movers, organizers, in-home care providers, the legal field, homemakers, administrative support, retail service, real estate sales, general sales and many other fields.
What’s most important in being successful in this industry isn’t that you have to start with previous direct downsizing experience, but more about your core attitude, willingness to learn new skills and have a strong commitment to serving others within your community. Many Senior Downsizing Specialists, including The Downsizing Institute's Founder, started their businesses because of their own personal experience of downsizing within their own families.
Key personality traits known to do well in this industry include: great communication skills, a love of problem solving, a sense of humor, being disciplined, responsible, process oriented, highly ethical, compassionate, patient, organized, love of working on multi-faceted, fast paced projects, detail oriented, loves to work as a team, people oriented, strong leadership skills, action oriented, flexible and a creative, entrepreneurial spirit.
While it’s technically possible to start working with clients as soon as you have your business basics set up, it’s always important to be realistic about the time it takes to develop a client base and get the word out about your services. How quickly you start to work with clients involves many factors (amount of training/knowledge in the field, number of competitors already in your area, density of available clientele, speed in which you get your marketing and advertising program up and running, etc.).
In general, it’s recommended that a new business owner plan to have at least six months of savings available to cover your personal living and business expenses before any expectation of business income. Getting the right business training and support from the onset of your business can make the biggest difference in how quickly your business generates income and grows.
This business can easily be created and managed as an at-home business with a home office. No store front or formal office space is required, as most of your time is working with seniors directly in their homes. If you do not have the space in your home or garage for storage of larger business supplies (boxes, paper, bubble wrap, etc.), you can rent offsite storage space at a reasonable fee for this purpose.
Purchasing a franchise or license fee-based business package can initially seem appealing because it seems to offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ business branding package. This typically includes a business name, basic marketing and website template materials and some level of training. However, it comes at a significant price (typically starting from $5,000 up to $90,000 or more in initial investment). In addition, you are required to pay an ongoing franchise or licensing fee for as long as you own the business. You are also limited in ‘personalizing’ your business and have to agree to their terms and conditions of services or forfeit your investment.
To get the training provided, you are also required to pay for travel costs to attend pre-scheduled training seminars at a franchise or corporate location. If they aren’t ‘geographically friendly’, that can result in thousands of dollars in hotel and airfare costs. That’s taking critical business income and resources out of your bottom line that you could be using for a better quality of life or reinvestment towards growing your company.
We offer a better option. With The Downsizing Institute, there are no franchise or licensing fees. You own your company 100% and retain full control over all aspects of services while maintaining your own business individuality and goals. Our program emphasizes industry specific training and support to help you develop your own uniquely personal business brand and services to its best potential.
While it used to be expensive and painful to create marketing materials from scratch, in today’s business world, creating a personalized and professional website, business brand or marketing materials is not only inexpensive, but easy!
With The Downsizing Institute, you have a choice of training program topics, including essential business start-up, marketing and branding and downsizing services training. You can choose one or all of these programs which are designed to go-at-your-own pace, from the comfort of your own home, with flexibility to work with your personal or family schedule. It also offers an optional 3 month, one-on-one coaching program with an experienced senior downsizing specialist at a fraction of a franchise cost.
No certification or degree is required to operate a senior downsizing business.
Students who complete The Downsizing Institute training program will receive a certificate of completion once all module requirements have been completed that they can share with potential clients.
A: Typically, in a coaching program, you have a coaching session and then wait until the next session to ask questions that might have come up as you implement items, such as marketing or branding, developing a budget or business plan or other start-up issues. Under the Mastery program, the student can access me directly via email to clarify issues and get quicker feedback between sessions, which expedites the start-up process and allows you to use the coaching time for more important things like marketing strategy and business planning. The e-mail access, however, is not to be used in lieu of direct coaching time, rather, it’s there to provide support, answer quick questions and provide encouragement between sessions.
A: From time to time, multi-payment plans will be offered on select courses. If a course has a payment plan, it will be shown on its course landing page. Please note: A small finance surcharge will be added to the regular price of the course for this convenience. The payment will be determined by taking the regular price, added finance charge and then dividing it by the number of months the plan offers. The first payment is due at the time of purchase, then each remaining payment will be due in 30 day increments after that.
A: You can pay for any of the courses using a credit or debit card. All payments are handled through a secure third-party payment processing program (Paypal or Stripe). No credit card information is saved or maintained by our company.
A: Once you purchase a course, you will have immediate 24/7 access to it. You must create a student profile first, including setting a personalized password, for continued access.
A: The program is provided online through a course portal, which requires access through a computer, tablet or phone. There are also quite a few items that are downloadable throughout the course, such as worksheets, lesson plans, articles, forms, checklists, contract templates and more.
A: The program has approximately 10.5 hours of recorded material to review, plus time for short quizzes, completing workbook exercises and projects like budget and business plans. The three modules can easily be viewed in a just a few days with focused effort or take as long as you like. Most lesson segments are in the 7 to 21-minute range which makes it easier to complete a segment and take a break before moving on to the next one.
A: Coaching sessions are done either by phone or via a Zoom session, based on your preference. I will send you an online scheduling link for each coaching session once you have signed up. International phone sessions can also be done via Whatsapp.
A: All sales are final. Intellectual property, tools and resources are impossible to retrieve and protect from use once they are relinquished, especially since many items are downloadable. If you are unsure about making a financial commitment to the full program, you're encouraged to try the Introduction to Senior Downsizing starter course to get a feel for the industry, ease-of-use format, quality and delivery of information provided.
“I was extremely impressed with how intuitive and easy to maneuver the program format was.”
Helping seniors and their families navigate through a major life transition can be a life changing experience..for them, as well as for you! The Downsizing Institute’s Founder, Deborah Moyer, shares some of her client’s success stories and the difference senior move management services made
Click below to see how YOU can make the same kind of difference in your community!