By Mary Holmes
It is coming up on a year since I started Integrated Move Management with a goal of helping seniors during a stressful time in their lives. Transitioning from their long time home, having to downsize, and the physicality of packing and unpacking can all be hard on a senior. It has been very rewarding so far – I have met so many great people, helped many seniors and their families, and worked with several great employees and vendors. If you want to learn a little more about me, read on.
What did I do prior to owning Integrated Move Management? After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance, I worked at several corporate jobs as both a Financial Analyst and a Quality Process Improvement Specialist specializing in the Six Sigma philosophy. Approximately 16 years ago, I changed careers and became a Financial Advisor and Investment Manager. In 2012, I received my Certified Financial Planner designation, which I still hold today. I retired as a partner of Casco Bay Wealth Advisors in Portland, ME in November of 2016 when I started my new business.
Why did I start Integrated Move Management? I had heard about professional senior move management several years ago from a friend that works in this field in the Boston area. I loved the idea of helping seniors at a time when they are under a great deal of emotional stress. My friend had told me that one of the goals was to make the senior comfortable in their new space as quickly as possible. One way she did this is by replicating some portion of their current space in their new home, e.g. a bookcase set up the same way, a picture hung over the same couch, etc. After spending some time on the National Association of Senior Move Management’s (NASMM) website (for which I am a member), it made me comfortable that there would be support of many other professionals doing the same thing around the country.
What do I like best about working with seniors in transition? I love when I see a decrease in a seniors stress level after I start working with them. Quite often, several hours into a project of helping a senior downsize and pack for a move, I can visibly see a change in their facial expressions and body posture. It is a good feeling to know that my client is feeling less overwhelmed than when I first arrived.
What are some of the challenges in this business? The first challenge is to assure a perspective client that I can reduce their stress level and make the process seem less overwhelming. Quite often, getting started is the hardest part and a senior will put it off many times over. Making a senior understand that allowing me to come in and get the project going will provide them with positive feelings and a sense of accomplishment can be challenging. The second challenge I see is the difficult conversations I often have with my clients about the value of the items that they can’t take with them to their new home (due to downsizing) and that they would like to sell. It is an unfortunate truth that many high quality, beautiful items that were once worth a substantial amount of money are no longer valued in the same way.
What do I like to do when I’m not working? I live in Freeport with my husband and 15 year old son. I enjoy spending time with them hiking, kayaking, skiing, and biking. I also enjoy reading and have been in a book club for several years.
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